Saturday, May 07, 2011

Votes and buoys

click photo to enlarge
For most of my lifetime the majority of the electorate have voted for left of centre candidates in UK elections. And, for most of my lifetime our first past the post voting system has delivered a right of centre government with a parliamentary majority. As a result of yesterday's vote against the proposed AV system for future elections, this state of affairs looks set to continue.

Is this what those voting "No" wanted? Perhaps, but I find it hard to think so. There are several reasons people rejected change including inertia, a preference for "simplicity" over "complexity", a campaign of bile and lies (from both sides), the desire to punish the Lib-Dems, a disillusionment with politics in general and more. But, at the heart of it is, I think, the fact that a large section of the British public are not terribly interested in politics and still collectively leans towards the "they're all the same" point of view when it comes to political parties. This would account not only for the low turnout but also the tendency to vote for the status quo. However, it never was true in the past that all parties are the same (though under New Labour it was sometimes difficult to discern the difference) and it's not true now. We have many political parties in the UK, but the fact is, of those that are well-supported there is only one whose principal aim is to transfer wealth from the poor and the middle classes to business and the wealthy. Don't know which one? Well, today you can identify their leaders by the grin on their faces, a smirk that has appeared because the "No" vote means their core task will be just as easy as it always was.

I've photographed the subject of today's image several times and have never been happy with the outcome. It shows the area where buoys are re-painted on Purfleet Quay on the River Great Ouse at King's Lynn, Norfolk. As well as a few old buoys there are paint marks on the ground and a contraption that, in some way, must be used to aid the painting, though quite how I can't imagine. Given that the subject is colourful, with red, green and yellow buoys and rings of paint, it may seem odd that I've chosen a black and white treatment. But, the truth is that light is usually more important than colour in creating a photograph, and here shooting fairly close to the sun gave me a curved composition, made more of the shapes and delivered a shot that I liked.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 28mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On