Monday, December 20, 2010

The story of a blog post

click photo to enlarge
Most of the responses I get to PhotoReflect are polite, friendly and thoughtful. However, once in a very rare while an individual blog post takes on a life of its own and roams the web, ending up in odd places and provoking unusual reactions. Here is the tale of one such recent post.

On 4th December I posted a piece called "Rooks, hoar frost and adverts". In it I mentioned the humour that I'd experienced reading the advertising pitches that Toyota and Land Rover were making during the present spell of exceptionally cold, snowy and icy weather. The photograph that accompanied it was O.K., but nothing special, and the text was mildly diverting for me, but not, I think, particularly noteworthy. Consequently I was puzzled to see it achieving so many hits; enough that it is now the fifth most visited page on PhotoReflect since I changed my page counter to Blogger Stats in July. So, I did a bit of Googling and discovered that a Wiki site that trawls blogs and that indexes "similar" subjects had picked it up and listed it alongside sites discussing the Land Rover Freelander. A couple of days later I got an intemperate email (complete with expletives) from someone who owned a Freelander, and who wanted to explain to me why I was wrong to describe it as "dangerous", and how he, with a young family, had chosen it because it was a very safe vehicle. I did what I always do with unsolicitited emails and deleted it.

Later, however, I wondered whether I should have responded - in the spirit of broadening his thinking on the ownership of such vehicles. I'd have talked about how bigger, heavier vehicles are only relatively safer, and how their safety comes at the expense of increasing the risk to other road users and their children. Then I'd have suggested to him that by his logic he should have bought the biggest available 4X4, or better still, have got a massive lorry (HGV) because as far as the passengers go (though certainly not other road users), these are by far the safest vehicles on our highways. Instead I wondered why someone would invest the time and effort to justify himself, using such language, to me, a complete stranger. Perhaps, I thought, it is an extension of the "forum" mentality, whereby people proclaim their own opinions about news articles, etc. and defend them in a completely unrestrained, and often abusive, way. Most odd.

On the day I took this photograph we had hoar frost again, alongside a thick fog and temperatures that never rose from several degrees below zero. During a circular walk I passed a lone tree that I've photographed a couple of times thinking it would make an image, but which thus far hasn't. On this occasion the weather and the frosted white umbellifer in the right foreground made a composition good enough for me to think, "That will do!"

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 47mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: +0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On