Thought for today
A snap dating from a couple of years ago ...probably the winter before last... after my renunciation of digital, but before I started doing my own developing. My films were done by a chap who advertised in the magazines, to whom, I regret to record, I still owe the sum of £3. I had sent two films at the same time and unfortunately failed to grasp that posting back two contact sheets and two Kenro archival wallets for the negatives would incur twice the usual charge for "p&p". I would have discharged the debt with my next order, you understand, but at just this point I took the plunge and started doing my own developing: our dealings were at an end.
These days my policy on photographing trains, on the rare occasions when my interest is engaged to the point of wishing to do so, is to reduce them to a minor component of the picture. So this photograph is really "about" the sodden grass, denuded branches, dripping twigs and bleak light of an afternoon in late winter, with the train serving as a focus to which the eye is drawn by the lead-in lines of the rails. It's all about composition ...not that I lay claim to any particular skill. At the time I wouldn't have rationalised the matter and probably only noticed the felicity of the composition ...if I may be so immodest as thus to describe it... after seeing the result. Another happy accident is the satisfying way those birch trunks provide just the correct degree of detail within the solid black mass on the left side of the tracks.
The Divine is present in the ordinary. Rainy, fresh air smells ...leaf mould and something oily from the tracks: the raw feel of the air against one's face and the misty look in the trees. How beautiful are even these anonymous few yards of a dull bit of country, and how well this old world suits us, though we must leave it one day.