It’s a fortnight since I posted an entry on this blog, and in the meantime I have to confess (somewhat shamefaced) that apart from occasionally signing in to WordPress once or twice to check if there were any comments that I should reply to, I have not read a single blog. That’s the longest break I’ve allowed myself in more than three years of blogging.
The holiday period has provided an opportunity for me to clear my head and prepare for a New Year. And before I go any further I hope it’s not too late to wish all of you – my readers – a Happy New Year.
Christmas is predictable: it passes by in a hyped-up blur of eating too much (and wishing I hadn’t). Imbibing an occasional extra glass of wine that results in (a) the room revolving in an alarming way, and (b) falling asleep and missing at least half of one of the rare TV shows that I really wanted to watch. Finally ten days later I’ve caught up on all the shows I missed the first time round, the intake of food and drink is back to normal, and like so many others I scratch my head and think: ‘what was that all about, why do we all make the same mistakes year after year?’ Sounds familiar?
So what else has happened? Housekeeping. No, not vacuuming and dusting, although I do light the fire, clean the grate, do my share of filling and emptying the dishwasher, carry a cup of tea upstairs to my dear wife on a daily basis etc. The housekeeping I’m referring to is of the photographic variety.
These short days, and long dark, cold evenings provide the opportunities to catch up on chores that always get put to the bottom of the list. This Christmas I’ve re-visited the archive and pruned the collection of images from 2009. I’ve found a few gems that had never seen the light of day. Been reminded of where we went and what we did. Been surprised and disappointed in equal measure with some of the images that I had preserved for five full years.
And, more importantly, I’ve gone through my entire collection of transparencies that date back to about 1962. Thousands and thousands of them. Chucking out the total rubbish and sorting them so that I can now readily find images from a particular year or place. That was a task that was long overdue. And what I have noted is that Kodachromes from 1962 are as vibrant as when they were first taken. Agfachromes have faded badly. Images shot on Fujichrome, (a film that arrived in this country around 1970), have undergone some slight colour shift toward the magenta end of the spectrum. Thankfully Kodachrome was the medium I always took with me on major trips – I’m so glad of that.
Finally to today’s image. This was taken on 21 December 2009. We had a small fall of snow that evening, and I remember drawing back the curtains to look outside. The rear porch light was switched on, and the main light in the living room was dimmed. The result was a ‘balancing’ of light levels inside and outside and the image you see was a straight image – the room reflected in the window through which the exterior was visible. No HDR trickery, no fiddling during processing. Shot on a Sony compact. For me it sums up a winter evening at Christmas time. The simple pleasures of snowfall viewed from the warmth of the house.
Now it’s time I took a look at what you have all been posting on your blogs.