We were walking through a very rainy Ambleside a few days ago. What I smilingly call my ‘camera mind’ spotted how well the lines and colours of the Priest Hole pub contrasted with the wet and uniform grey of the January light.
I also loved how the bright ‘double yellows’ led the eye away into the misty gloom…
The ‘lead-line’ of the road on the left was attractive, but my attention was fixed on the roof angle of the pub … and I didn’t know why…
I considered my options with the image. One colour stood out. I needed to conserve the paleness and the hint of yellow – I knew that was important but I had little idea why.
Studying the shot again at home, I remembered I’d saved a screenshot from Instagram of a beautiful image by a photographer I follow: bnwshot_world.
I dug it out and, sure enough, the angle of the woman’s hat, which partly obscures her face, was ‘sympathetic’ to the sloping roofline of the pub. I’m constantly amazed at what the mind can remember in symbolic form. I’m sure I’d have forgotten her birthday…
I was not planning to use the B+W image in anything other than an illustrative fashion, and at lo-resolution. Using the trusty iPad’s own image tools cropped it down to this:
One of my favourite techniques – and a pastime anyone can try – is to digitally ‘overlay’ two images that look like they belong together. I had my two images – one borrowed – and began to play with how they might look.
Immediately, I could see that ‘wedge of light’ of the model’s skin under the hat and above her society-event dress was a lucky fit for the slanting angle of the pub’s roof.
So, what’s the story, here?
A mysterious and rich woman moves into a rather grey Lakeland town. Perhaps in her mind, she is re-living something romantic from her past? Then again, she is dressed all in black. Perhaps there are darker motives?
Maybe we can make a contest of it. Bottles of favourite plonk (as before just images to keep the postage costs down) for the back-story that fits the crime… Sorry facts… Mmm.
I’ll do my best to publish any that are sent in. Just one short paragraph, please! Like you’d find on the cover of a new book.
If you’re an Instagram user, please take a look at bnwshot_world. I find them a constant source of classy inspiration.
©Stephen Tanham 2023
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.