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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Tuesday September 17 2013

In that earlier posting here about reflections in cars, I wrote about how the brain interprets, while a camera only sees.

I think this also explains a related phenomenon, which is that when I go out on one of my photo-expeditions, I often need time to appreciate which are the best photos I took.  When I look at all my photos from a day out as soon as I get home that evening, my memory of what I photoed is still, approximately speaking, fresh in my mind.  Which means that I cannot see the photos objectively.  I cannot separate the pictures I was trying to take from the pictures I actually took.

But later, as the memory of the trip fades, and all I have is the photos, and the memories those photos still manage to trigger, I am able to look at the photos as if I were looking at someone else’s photos.  And I can then see far more clearly which the best ones are.

So, for instance, on September 5th, I went on a pilgrimage to the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, partly to see what the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park is, but mostly to try to check out the big cranes at the new London Gateway container port.  With luck I’d be able to see the cranes from the south end of the park, looking east north east downstream, and so it proved.  And, of course, I took a zillion photos,of the cranes and of everything else that caught my eye.

Of these photos, it is now clear to me that two of the best are the two below.

I took many photos of the cranes, of which this was the best, I now think.  And that despite me later having got somewhat nearer to them than I did when snapping this:

image

I think what I like about this photo is that the inevitable blurriness of the cranes, what with them being so far away and the zoom operating at its most zoomy, is offset by the not so blurry pylons nearer to us.  In almost all half decent photos, something in them is in sharp focus.  Not everything, just something.

And then later in the day, just when I thought all the excitement was over, I took a whole batch of photos like this, of the sky:

image

Of which that one is now my favourite.

I don’t think I’ve ever before managed to photo, quite as well as that, those lines of light that sometimes emanate from the sun when it is behind clouds.  The reason this worked so well on September 5th was that there were not only regular clouds, but also a general mistiness or cloudiness in the air, all of it, which picked up these lines and really emphasised them.  Not even I could fail to photo the results interestingly.

Earlier, that same general cloudiness and mistiness had made photoing the cranes rather harder, but all in all, I was very glad of it.

I half expect to see the clouds part, God’s crowned head to appear and Eric Idle’s voice to call out “Ar-thur! Ar-thur! King of the Britons!”

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 19 September 2013
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