Saturday, November 30, 2013


I don't write much these days. Taking photographs seems to have taken the place of words - I say what I want to say with an image, or a stream of images. Sometimes though, the two go together, I take an image and as I see it appear, the words start to jostle and prod for attention. Today in the city where I live, we had a remarkable sunset. The colours changed minute by minute as I made my way home from the centre. I always have my camera with me, and as I stood taking photographs of the sky, people streaming past glanced up briefly, short bursts of interest as to what I was photographing. One woman though, stopped. "I never noticed that!" she said, "thank you for making me look."

That's the thing - we don't look up. We stare ahead, and sometimes down. We miss all that natural beauty - nature performs free aerobatic displays, at times we have, for free, a sky full of glitter, of fireworks, of ruched satin. In winter, we get shiny skies sometimes. Filled with swoops of distant starlings, it is a silver sheet dotted with dark clusters of marcasite. Split, sliced in half, there is cloud and clear sky. As the sun shines onto the cloud from the inside, we get something like the ceiling of an Arabian prince's Bedouin tent. Looking down gives you dog shit and gum spattered pavements.

I'm currently working on producing a 365 of sky photographs, all taken from my top-of-a-hill bedroom window. There are many things wrong with my house, my view is not one of them - a beautiful, fantastic gift to wake to every morning. I think about how many people over the centuries, have stood at the top of this hill and looked out over the hills to the sun and the sky. The view stays the same for us all, yet ever changes.

We should look up more. We should.

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