Skies

Below are four photographs that I’ve made over the years. They have much in common although spread over many years. They were all shot on reversal film, in 35mm. Apart from the first, they were all taken within 20 foot of each other, (in the back garden of our old family home), and yet they all have different stories.

Sunset, behind Chesil Beach, Dorset

This scene was on the regular dog walk and I’ve seen maybe a couple of hundred times. On this occasion I just happened to have a camera with me with a few frames left. The water in the foreground is a salt water lagoon called the “fleet”. For the literate among you, you may have heard of Moonfleet, a 1898 novel by J. Meade Falkner, perhaps more known for the film version by Fritz Lang. It is a real place and it’s just “up stream”. The land on the horizon that can be seen in silhouette, is a pebble split bar known as Chesil Beach. I like the interest in the sky.

Sunset from the garden – looking NE

This was taken from our old back garden. I noticed the room had gone very orange – looked out and that’s what I saw. I should mention that in none of these photographs have I heightened the colour in photoshop – they are just straight scans!

Clouds but no storm.

Almost the exact same photograph as above, just a different time of year. I have never experienced cloud like this before or since. It was a warm day, but not humid as it gets when there is about to be a thunderstorm. Although this looks like evening it was only about 2pm. The cloud was low and what I can only describe as “boiling” in motion. If a UFO had popped out I wouldn’t have been at all surprised! (Well I guess I would!) Anyway in half an hour it was gone.

The decisive moment!

I admit to loving thunderstorms, and when there is one at night, I leap out of bed to grab the camera – always have! On this occasion, I looked out of the small bedroom at the rear of the house, I suspected that lightning might strike the TV mast that is much further away, normally visible but totally obscured here. This is NOT a long exposure but 30th second, the film is original Ektachrome 100. I don’t remember the aperture but it would have been near wide open. Not only did I catch a bolt striking the chimney of one of our neighbours but a smaller “up-strike” on the left! I’m not sure we knew they happened when I made this photograph. The strike blew out all of their electrics, blew up the TV and they had to have the chimney repaired, but no one was hurt!

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