Monday, June 12, 2006

Verdant June

click photo to enlarge
"June is bustin' out all over,
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds 're bustin' outta bushes
And the rompin' river pushes
Ev'ry little wheel that wheels beside
the mill!"
lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960), from "Carousel"

The film version of the Broadway musical, "Carousel", was my first introduction to cinema. I must have been around 6 years old, and I distinctly remember thinking that watching it was like dreaming! I couldn't understand the plot, but the images and the music made a big impression on me. But not this song. Have you ever listened to the words - they're gibberish! Oscar Hammerstein wrote some great lyrics, many of which were clever and witty, but these are not among them. However, his general observation IS correct. The month of June does seem to "bust out all over", and it certainly felt like it was the other day as we walked along the canal near Glasson, Lancashire.

As we followed the tow path from Glasson Dock to its junction with the Lancaster Canal there was a palpable feeling of nature growing at full throttle. The hedgerows were becoming tangles of green as each bush and shrub fought for its place in the light. Yellow flag, water lilies and rushes were expanding at the edges of the canal, starting to narrow the waterway. On the water swans shepherded their cygnets, coots dabbled in the weed, and under the dark overhanging bushes the sharp calls of moorhens warned their chicks of our passage. The heat of the day made the cool shade of each bridge over the canal a welcome relief.

Conventional photographic advice is to avoid shooting at midday due to the flatness of the light. The photograph above was taken just before noon! Mindful of this I used the shade of the trees and bridge to introduce some contrast. The composition relies on the figure of my wife being placed at a focal point created by the arch of the bridge and the dusty track. Increased emphasis is put on her by being placed against the smooth light background of the canal. I used a wide angle lens to ensure I had all these elements in the scene. It's not a great photograph, by any means, but I think it is a pleasant snapshot reminder of an pleasant walk in verdant June.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen