Lumen Tales: The Steadfast Tin Soldier

The Steadfast Tin Soldier is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier’s love for a paper ballerina. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A. Reitzel on 2 October 1838 in the first booklet of Fairy Tales Told for Children.

When I posted this image on Facebook, my friend Anabel, who is a Gestalt therapist, tales writer and uses stories as tools for emotional management, wrote me the following comment:

“We could talk long about that story. It speaks of the kind of fear that produces immobility. It represents the kind of person who clings to the known (like the little soldier to his rifle) and whatever happens, stays rigid in his rules. The more afraid he is, the stiffer he stays. Notice that he only holds onto one leg, because he lacks the other. In stories, when someone, who is not a sage or a magician, has to lean on a crutch it is because he is a person who is not balanced. And note also, that the ballerina also stands on one leg, that is to say, that also speaks to us of someone perfectionist and with lack of emotional balance, unable either of them to show their love, until the fire melts them.”

I’ve started with a very tragic story but there may be a reason in my choice, may it be that I am as immobile as the little soldier, in this situation that we are living with the Covid???… I’ll have to react and not let myself be thrown into the fire…  😉

Anabel and I started ten years ago, the blog Aventarte, which we now have very abandoned, but the other day we commented that maybe we could use these images to reactivate it, we shall see…    For the moment I have asked her to write me short comments for my lumen-tales, like the one above, to put them here.

Lumen process:

  • Ilford Multigrade IV RC paper
  • Date:  13-08-2020
  • Afternoon sun, 17.20 to 18.20
  • Exposure time:  1 hour.
  • Water and fixer baths.
  • Scanning
  • Edited with Camera Raw (Reverse negative, small adjustments of exposure, contrast and clarity)


As you can see in the silhouettes of the soldier and the dancer, appears letters and other images, this is because I used cuttings from a tale on paper, which has made the image was printed what was on the back of the image.

More lumen-tales in a few days…

Lumen Series




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