Free-For-All Football Foofaraw

Sorry, you’ll have to read the whole thing to get to ‘foofaraw’…

I love words.

     I can go a day, or two, or three, without SAYING a word aloud,and sometimes would enjoy spending several days without HEARING a word spoken , but that’s through no fault of words themselves…that’s more from the nuances of their presentation and connotations.

     How often are words misconstrued or taken out of context, or simply twisted to the ‘hearer’s’ needs or wants… colored, tinted, or tainted by the listener’s inability to actually listen ?


     That’s probably why I can go without uttering a syllable at times…choosing to listen instead…hopefully with open mind and ears…but I can’t guarantee that my interpretation will be accurate to the intent.

     I enjoy opening the dictionary to a random page and finding words that I don’t know, or have never heard/read.

     For instance, how many people have called their boss, or others, a ‘crupper’? (definition 2…BTW) I think you could pull that one off without fear of immediate termination, when the more literal phrase might land you in the currently growing unemployment line.

So, today’s word (not that there will be any OTHER day’s word…) is


     One reason I am fond of this particular word is that the pronunciation ‘AD-uhm-breyt’, is as acceptable as ‘a-DUHM-breyt’. Being from the South, Nashville in particular, where we pronounce the name Lafayette as ‘la-FAY-et’, instead of ‘LAH-fi-et’ as the French might, I am particularly drawn to not only double entendre, but also the freedom, or sloppy acceptance of, multiple pronunciations. ( I embarrassed myself recently by asking a store clerk what strength the “Zy-DECK-o Sunrise” coffee was . ZY-di-co….I’m afraid I didn’t, at the time, equate coffee with a style of music…silly me!)

     Adumbrate is a word that I have never heard a photographer use, or an artist, for that matter, but the technique is SOOO common in art…and music also, perhaps.  Does a single word description legitimize an effort or concept? 

     The term ‘Bokeh’ is all the rage recently in photographic circles. I think not because it is a newly discovered technique, but because someone discovered the exotic (it’s a Japanese term) word for ‘selective focus’.

So, I’m introducing


 To produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch

To darken or conceal partially; overshadow

     In the photograph above I adumbrated the area surrounding the football player standing on the sidelines holding his kicking tee,… awaiting his moment in the sun,…(or on this occasion, his moment before the field was evacuated due to lightning)… so as to attract more attention to him in the picture…or more specifically, to the uniform and colors of the team, as opposed to being a picture about a specific player.

     If I were truly a word geek…(If?), I might be justified in using and adding ‘obfuscate’    (definition 3) to my photographic lexicon…but, on second thought, I will most likely never again use the word adumbrate, either, in discussing a picture OR a photographic technique..

So why obfuscate?…(definition 1) 

      I mean, simply saying, “Darken the area around the subject” rather than “Adumbrate” would probably raise fewer eyebrows…

      In the following, the adumbration was created by a darkening of the surroundings along with the blurring of the background and the background activities.(there’s that Bokeh thing)

Do I think adumbrate will become a common photographic term?

     Not hardly! (For one thing, photographers and art directors would then have to SPELL it…No offense!..I’m just saying…)

     It has long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I have always wondered how many pictures can a word connote…?

Oh, yeah….

The title of today’s blog….

      I have, so far, restrained myself from approaching subjects ‘political’ in these posts, but If I ever do, be assured that I will need to use the word ‘foofaraw’!


~ by rkpowers on August 23, 2010.

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