cardinal direction training

to stay oriented.

point north!

Somehow, I wanted to stay oriented. Probably it is true in both literal and metaphorical sense. At times it can be enjoyable to be lost in the middle of nowhere so one can explore, extend one’s boundaries. Many times though, I prefer to obtain the solid sense that my feet are on the ground, oriented, so as long as I am on this earth, I can rely on it.

altitude: -1.67°
azimuth: 96.53°
sunrise: 07:00:01
latitude: N 53°42’45.3”
longitude: E 9°12’55.09”
hamburg, germany
height: -4m
facing: east

There is an aboriginal australian tribe who speak a language called kuuk thaayorre. kuuk thaayorre is noted for its thoroughgoing use of sixteen words for absolute cardinal directions instead of words with relative senses (ahead, left, etc.) as is familiar in most languages. [wikipedia]

The language kuuk thaayorre was a powerful influence on me. I started training myself to learn the cardinal directions. Since I cannot change any language itself to gain a better directional sense, I had to find other applicable methods to train myself.

time + shadow = north!

“which direction am I facing now?”

Through the camera lens, I started reading shadows. I try to include the light source or shadows in the frame as much as possible so I can have the directional information of that moment. when I take photos or even slightly before, I get oriented. Then I stay oriented for a some time after.

Representing the sun’s rays as well as shadows according to the actual altitudes and azimuths throughout the day, illustrating the relations among the time, shadow and the north.