Sunday, December 17, 2006

Going back

click photo to enlarge
What's thought can't be unthought, what's said can't be unsaid, and what's done can't be undone: in life there is no going back. Yet go back we do, thinking that we can find the past. But we never can. All we find are the triggers of memories.

This landscape - Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar - in the Craven uplands of Yorkshire, triggers my memory like few other places. Year after year I have returned to this place, yet, with one or two exceptions, it is always my childhood memories that are provoked as I smell the wild thyme, hear the curlew's lonely cry, and study the fossilised coral in the drystone walls. The crags, screes, caves and cliffs of these distinctive hills were my childhood playground. Over this land, with friends or alone, I carried my bow and arrow, built dens, fought the foe, and wondered if, somewhere in an undiscovered cave amongst these rocky outcrops, a stone age man and his family still lived, shunning contact with our modern world. With age comes knowledge and expanding horizons: the childhood magic that these hills held for me became overlaid with historical and geological knowledge, and I gained a different appreciation of their beauty. I will continue to walk these hills as long as my legs will let me, and I hope to still enjoy them as an adult, and as a child!

My photograph was taken towards the end of a sunny walk with the clouds starting to build. As I pointed the camera I wished we'd been there a little earlier to benefit from the full sun. But, when I reviewed the images at home I was glad for the shafts of light, the heavy clouds, and the saturated colours. I used part of a near outcrop of rock and the end of a wall as foreground interest and an opening through which to view the rugged vista. On this occasion I used a short zoom lens at 40mm (35mm equivalent), with the camera set to Aperture Priority (f6.3 at 1/200) sec, ISO 100, with -0.3EV.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen