Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here comes the sun

click photo to enlarge
The Beatles' Abbey Road album is a particular favourite of mine. Just about every song is a masterpiece, from the driving blues/rock of I Want You (She's So Heavy), to the chug of Come Together and the 1950s-inspired swoop of Oh Darling. For me the inventive brilliance and contrasts wrapped into the 16 minute medley of You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight and The End are the highlight of the album. However, I also like it for George Harrison's two contributions -the peerless Something and the only slightly less well known Here Comes The Sun.

I read somewhere that Harrison wrote Here Comes The Sun when he was staying with Eric Clapton, and it certainly has some similarities to Badge, the song they co-wrote for Cream. Incidentally, the chiming guitar part on the latter song is Harrison not Clapton, and the Abbey Road song features a guitar figure with a similar feel. For an English-born listener the title and words of this song perfectly summarise the feeling you have when, on a bright, March day you feel the warmth of the sun on your back, you take your jumper off, and you know that spring has finally arrived, banishing the unremitting cold of winter.

But, it's only February, and we have yet to experience that feeling. I'm not usually one who yearns, in the way that some do, for the arrival of spring: in fact I find lots of pleasures in an English winter. However, after this year's extra helping of frost, snow and rain, I too am ready for spring. In the absence of the real sun I thought I'd engineer it through a photograph of a single bloom from the vase of yellow chrysanthemums that curently decorates our hall. To give the flower a spring-like glow I lit it from behind and from the side, and put the LX3 on a tripod so that I could use a slow shutter speed and therefore a low ISO. When I compose a shot like this that has a very obvious compositional centre (the flower's middle) I really have a struggle to put it anywhere but the bottom left corner because that location seems so "right." However, on this shot I forced myself to overcome my predilection and put it towards the top right.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2
Shutter Speed: 1/4
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On