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Catch it while you can


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Catch it while you can

20 Sep 2020 10:23AM   Views : 446 Unique : 262


Transience is a regret for almost everyone, almost all the time. We long for this or that as it used to be… A lost amenity for me is a fire escape at a local studio – you used to be able to get in there, and switch off all the lights, using small flashes for spectacular shadows: these shots of Victoria Summers were lit with Chrism8’s excellent battery-powered flash, giving a more general illumination.

All lost now: the building managers have fitted a ‘break glass to exit in emergency’ lock. I treasure the images I have, though I regret not being able to go back again. Similarly, mistere has shot for the last time in a semi-derelict industrial building this week. Conversion to luxury flats begins this week.


But it doesn’t always work so dramatically. The stoptap cover that I used as an illustration a few days ago has been replaced, proving that the George Best Problem afflicts inanimate objects as well as people. The twig that you see lying photogenically across a plant will have blown away tomorrow, or this evening, so if it’s beautiful now, photograph it now.


The effect of directional light on textured surfaces is particularly transient. Look at my shadowed wall – five minutes earlier, it was in shade, and five minutes later, the effect would, largely, be gone.

‘Carpe diem’ got mainstream after Robin Williams quoted it in Dead Poets Society. But if you’re a photographer, ‘Seize the moment’ is a better maxim. So many things will have changed by the end of the day. Seconds count.


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altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
20 Sep 2020 11:19AM
One of the most noticeable and rapid changes is the sky. At the moment I do not go out to a position where I can see the sunset, I am lucky that after a 10 minute stroll I can normally catch the sun going down over the Solent or Isle of Wight. Sometimes it was effective,other times not so good.
Now, in isolation I can only watch the sunrise through the seasons, out of my kitchen window. First thing I do when I get up is to open the blind. At the moment the sun rises behind some trees, which can make a picture if he clouds are agreeable.
In mid winter the sun rises near or behind a small tower with a weathervane, which can make a good foreground, if there is some colour in the sky, occasionall after a storm it is quite spectacular. The point is though that 5 minutes late with the camera and a colourful group of shapely clouds turns into a flat pale scene.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
20 Sep 2020 11:36AM
Precisely, Richard. And many of us don't observe things as closely as you have done. Maybe lockdown has made us more sensitive to such things - as well as giving us more time to see them...
GGAB Avatar
GGAB 7 31 1 United States
20 Sep 2020 1:45PM
What is a "Conker"?
GeorgeP Avatar
GeorgeP 16 62 26 United States
20 Sep 2020 2:49PM

Quote:What is a "Conker"?

It is what the English call the fruit of a horse-chestnut tree and what the kids in Belfast, N. Ireland used to call a "cheeser" (and maybe still do.)
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
20 Sep 2020 4:21PM
Intriguing how words differ across the Pond. In the same way as my car has a boot, while you’d has a trunk.

And there’s a film in which - I think - David Niven explained that ‘fanny’ has a completely different meaning in the UK. Our word for what you sit on is arse...

Apologies. I didn’t know.

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