Saturday, January 13, 2007

The pearl earring

click photo to enlarge
The discovery of Marlene Dietrich's lost pearl earring in a drained pool at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (a large fun fair), brought the Lancashire seaside resort into the news this week. Apparently, when the actress was riding the Big Dipper in 1934, it fell into a water-ride below. This is currently being dismantled prior to the installation of a new, £8,000,000 ride.

The mainstream British daily press is a strange beast, with the populist "red tops" delivering a diet of celebrities, sensationalism and sport. Regrettably they find plenty of takers for their tittle-tattle masquerading as news. The more "serious" press does a pretty good job in reporting the domestic and foreign news, and features well-written analysis and comment. Their sales are, unfortunately, considerably lower. Maybe that's the way of the world, not just Britain. So, it was interesting to find that the news of the found earring was reported mainly in the serious press, and all but ignored in the mass market dailies! I suppose that is due to the fact that Marlene Dietrich is dead, is judged of little interest to the readers, and has been superseded by today's film-stars, reality TV non-entities and footballers' wives. Which is a pity because the story around this small discovery brought together an illuminating insight into fame, the fallen fortunes of Blackpool, and forensic skills.

My photograph shows a view of Blackpool Tower seen from the North Shore Colonnades (see the post of Wednesday 10th January). The seafront has three levels at this location. Above the Colonnades is a footpath, tram tracks and road. The cycle path and road at the Colonnades level (seen here) is rarely used by motorised traffic. Below this road is the promenade walk and sea-wall next to the beach. The way the Colonnades, lamps and road converge near the Tower prompted me to take this shot, though I probably wouldn't have done so without the interesting quality of the light. I used a long zoom lens at 92mm (35mm equivalent), with the camera set to Aperture Priority (f7.1 at 1/1600 sec), with the ISO at 100 and -1.7EV.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen