Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflecting on sunglasses and bad pop

click photo to enlarge
Every decade or so I try on a pair of sunglasses. Then I take them off and wonder why I tried them on in the first place. The fact is I don't like to see the world dimmed by dark lenses, but after ten years or so has elapsed I forget this. It seems to me that sunglasses are subtractive: the dimming of what the eye sees takes away something of the beauty of the world. I'm aware that not everyone sees it that way, but it's my view.

I've written about sunglasses before when I posted a blog image of the only other photograph that I've taken of sunglasses. On that occasion I wondered about the reason for people wearing them in a semi-permanent way regardless of whether or not the sun is shining, and speculated that it might be an exterior manifestation of an interior insecurity. But, time moves on and so do my thoughts, and when I looked at my most recent image of sunglasses I thought only of Bono. Perhaps the recent protests at the Glastonbury Festival seeking to shame him over his tax affairs have pushed him to the forefront of my mind. It must be that because it isn't his music.

Sometimes, when I've discussed popular music with friends the conversation has turned to the worst examples of the genre. A person of my age might well cite the likes of Pat Boone, Englebert Humperdink, the Brotherhood of Man, Whitney Houston or Bryan Adams. In fact there is a virtually endless list of bad pop songs and an almost equally long list of "very modest" performers. Yet, when this subject has arisen I always turn to the successful triumvirate (in terms of sales) that, to my mind, has had the most baleful influence on popular music and produced some of the most dire songs  - Abba, Queen and U2. Being favourably inclined to bombast is a useful attribute if you are to enjoy the music of U2 (and Queen for that matter) and that's something I'm not. And, if the music and lyrics didn't put me off then the politicing certainly would. If I managed to take all of that then it's surely those wretched perma-shades that would finally tip me over the edge!

Today's photograph was taken on a group visit to a couple of NGS "open gardens". It was one of those "wall-to-wall sun" days when the tabloid newspaper headlines are "Phew, what a scorcher!", or some such, and several pairs of sunglasses were in evidence. Those in the photograph were tucked down the neck of the polo shirt of one of our party, and I caught them as they reflected another member of our group.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12.8mm (60mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/125
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On