Thursday, March 19, 2009

Morning Dew

click photo to enlarge
"Walk me out in the morning dew, my honey,
Walk me out in the morning dew today."
from the song "Morning Dew" by the Canadian singer, Bonnie Dobson (1940- )

The title of today's photograph is the most obvious choice - Morning Dew. However, as soon as I said it, into my head popped the words of that great song. I heard it first in the 1966 version sung by Tim Rose, a fine rendition with a great guitar figure, fine, deep piano and an interesting bass line behind the singer's gravelly voice. Today it's probably better known through successive cover versions by the Grateful Dead. I'm a fan of the Dead, but I don't especially care for them doing this song. The earlier versions are the best, but in the later, live covers the strengths of the song get buried in the many layers that they pour over it. I've heard two exceptional covers by the Jeff Beck Group - the earliest has Rod Stewart on vocals. This one borrows from Rose's version more than the later cover featuring the singing of Beth Hart. In both the singing is great, with the rawness that the song demands, and Beth Hart adds a few nice vibrato touches. However, it's Beck's guitar playing that distinguishes these versions with very effective distortion and some great wah-wah.

Other singers, too many to mention, have had a go at the song, but I have yet to hear the original by its author, Bonnie Dobson. A quick trawl through YouTube will throw up the versions I cite, along with a quite unaffecting endeavour by Robert Plant, and an OTT cover by Long John Baldry.

So, back to the photograph. It was taken before breakfast from the edge of my lawn with me on my belly, shooting into the early morning sun. The macro lens threw the distant dew drops nicely out of focus, and I helped by reducing the aperture to f5.

Incidentally, over forty years after first hearing Morning Dew I still haven't a clue what it's about!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On