Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hunstanton cliffs

click photo to enlarge
"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before."
Steven Wright (1955- ). U.S. comedian, actor and writer

People, usually children, have occasionally asked me what it's like getting older. My answer is always the same: "It's better than the alternative!" I find that the younger the person is, the less likely they are to understand my response. However, old folk get it straight away!

Up to the age of fifty my body gave me no problems, but since I passed that age parts of me feel like they need a bit of servicing. As I get nearer to sixty my brain seems to be working OK (how would I know if it wasn't I hear you ask), though my memory doesn't work as efficiently as it did. Today's photograph is a good example of that. I know (or at least have a strong feeling) that I have seen a Victorian (or possibly earlier) painting of these distinctive sea cliffs at Hunstanton, Norfolk. This work shows a view looking the other way from my image, so the sea is on the right. The beach has a number of people, and maybe a stranded boat or two. I assumed it was in one of my art books, probably one of several I have that concentrate solely on English painting, because I'm fairly sure it wasn't a painting by a major artist. But, despite an hour or so scouring my shelves and flipping pages I can't find it. I've searched the internet too, but to no avail. In the past, when I've slept on a query to which I can't remember the answer I've usually found that my memory kicks in when I rise. So I imagine that after this blog entry has been posted I'll turn up the painting. In the meantime if anyone knows the work, and can point me to a reproduction of it, please do.

The banding of Hunstanton cliffs that makes them look like a layered cake is caused by white chalk laid on top of red chalk that is coloured by iron. The strata are popular with geologists who examine the cliff face and rock falls for fossils of the Cretaceaous period. With this shot I was particularly pleased to be able to include two people, in the distance on the left, to give some scale to the image.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 31mm (220mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On