Saturday, 3 January 2009

Winter Spirits: Photo Session

Reading some classic ghost stories over the past few days seems to have infected the very air around me. It was very cold today and I had every intention of staying in bed until noon, but once I had glanced out of the window, that idea was dashed and I rushed to charge up my phone (unfortunately I don't have a dedicated camera). The thick fog that hung in the air, coupled with the ground frost, made a trip into the woods and briers a must. So off I trotted to commune with the crows, and the odd dog walker...

Nice crystal formations.

The odd stubborn leaf still clings to a tree. I suspect the frost is probably aiding this rebel, but I do not want to belittle his achievement. :)

His fallen comrades feel nice underfoot, though.

A tree snuggling up to... itself! It must be colder than I thaught.

Bally can keep his seat. It seems a bit too frosty for my butt!

Out of about 80 photo's this is possibly my favorite: A mutilated, but proud-looking tree stands in a clearing. This is the highest point of the woods and you might be able to make out the pale blue sky above the fog line.

The sun starts to set and I'm blown away by the colour.

Ooh, very gothic looking.

Climbing down from the top of the hill, the sun is lost in the fog. Possibly an alternative cover to Anne Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest? ;-)

In an open grassland area I was half expecting to see the ghosts of past Impressionist masters trying to capture the lighting effects with brush and canvas, but I had to settle for the odd phantom dog that came bounding out of the fog.

Let's play spot the dog!

Bodies of plague victims are buried under this particular patch of land.

The last photo I took, and a fitting 'end of the line' subject: This is actually the end of an old towpath beside a series of canal locks which have long been filled in.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Winter Spirits

While tradition seems to indicate I should be looking to the future and what this new year may bring, I can't seem to shake the nostalgic feeling I have today. And while I am indeed looking forward to the warmer months ahead, I'm also trying to squeeze in a little ghost story session before I go back to work. I missed out on the traditional Christmas Eve slot so I decided to dig out an old anthology of victorian ghost stories to curl up in bed with later on.

Sorting through my christmas cards ready for recycling, I noticed a distinct lack of those beautiful old winter scenes that look rather bleak and brooding when compared to the current trend of chirpy little robins, cuddly bearded men and bright sparkly things - usually with some kind of humorous undertone. There's nothing wrong with these things, and I can see why people would rather send more overtly 'happy' cards, but I didn't even receive one of those quaint victorian scenes of figures skating on a frozen lake while a horse drawn coach passes by. At least meet me half way, guys. You're supposed to be my friends! :-D

I know that in many art circles these picture postcard paintings are frowned upon in much the same way as the work of Constable is undermined by sticking The Hay Wain on every other biscuit tin. But I rather like the bleaker ones - particularly when I received a card a few years ago that had the same painting on the cover as a book of M.R. James ghost stories I have. Classy.

So while I was thinking about the amalgamation of christmas cards and the tradition of ghost stories I decided to knock up an example of the sort of christmas card I would like to receive in future (take note relatives & friends). I might do a few more of these before I snuggle up in bed with my book.