For Silent Sunday
“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships!” — Ansel Adams
It’s Sunday evening and we’re driving through drought-struck farmland in the north-west Waikato. Rain clouds have flirted shamelessly with the skyline all day, but the land remains parched and disappointed.
Rounding a corner, we see a distant hill quite dramatically lit by low sunshine breaking through the clouds. It’s beautiful and stark and emphasizes how dry the land has become.
T stops the car. I hop out and wade through long, brittle grass. As I’m fiddling with the camera, a police car stops to check that we’re ok and that the car hasn’t broken down on this very quiet stretch of road. T assures him we’re fine and I wave my camera ineffectually to establish my bona fide. He nods and zooms off — possibly a tad faster than might be strictly legal. But I suppose there have to be some compensations for patrolling country roads on a Sunday night.
When we finally get home (after quite a few more photo stops), I download the images. “Cop-stop hill” is too dark and doesn’t have the contrast I remember, but the bones of the shot are good and all the pixels I need are there, just waiting to be tweaked.
Thank goodness for PhotoShop.
When the boy-child was small and had limitless, mother-draining energy, I loathed daylight saving. I spent those long evenings wrangling the solar-powered monster into bed so I could — finally, finally — stop for the day.
I think overall I still prefer light in the early morning when I’m more alert, but I can’t deny that it’s incredibly pleasant to watch a landscape slowly turn ever more golden while having a beer on the deck with friends.
Not my deck in this case — our views aren’t nearly as spectacular.
Do I approach it literally with the layers of a macaron or a cafe breakfast?
Or stacked container layers, gone awry in high winds?
More broken layers?
Or maybe layers in art?
And then there are layers created by the two-dimensional nature of photography; compressing landscapes into bands of colour and texture.
Not to mention layered images; double-exposures, super-impositions.
Obviously, I couldn’t decide which to focus on.
Image: Su Leslie 2018
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” — Anne Lamott
Landscape is my mistress– ’tis to her I look for fame. — John Constable
Each week Debbie at Travel with Intent offers a quotation to inspire image-sharing. This week’s quote comes from the English landscape painter, John Constable.
“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose
Early morning mists create wonderful soft light and I’m lucky to live in an area that still has some tall trees to silhouette against the lightening sky.
The post title comes from the famous balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet. Though of course, Romeo was using “soft” as an exclamation, and was certainly more interested in wooing Juliet than any quality of the light around them.