Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cold Sun on Old Stone

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This picture looks warm and serene, a summer evening in any European-derived society anywhere in the world, but, as always, looks are deceiving. This picture was taken in the early evening of Guy Fawkes' Night (November 5th) 2007, a few hours before the fireworks displays would be in full swing, and such a date, in England is cold by any standards. This is the church of St. Hilda on the West Cliff of Whitby, North Yorkshire. It stands among the tall 18th-century terrace houses which are of course now all hotels, something of a medieval anachronism cheek-by-jowl with buildings which remain contemporary in flavour. The frame was not as easy to capture as it may seem: a roaring wind was blasting down the North Sea, I could hardly stand straight in it (further south, Great Yarmouth was evacuating within days in fear of sea flooding). Exposure was short but framing was almost hit and miss in the buffetting of the gale. Colours were slightly enriched digitally, but the low evening light of early winter brought out the tones of the native stone beautifully. Fuji FinePix S5600, on automatic.

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