Friday, March 02, 2012

Lime trees, ageing and coincidence

click photo to enlarge
Like most people, during my younger years I saw the last quarter or so of my expected life span as something to be concerned about. Now that I'm entering that period I haven't banished all those worries about the possible course of my physical and mental health, but I have discovered that ageing can bring pleasures that the young don't always see.

I was reminded of this the other day when  I stopped off in Long Sutton to make my second visit to the lime tree avenue that leads to the local cemetery. I'd photographed it in August 2011 when the trees were in leaf, and I wondered what it offered when the branches were bare. A woman was walking her dog towards me and I made use of her presence as a complementary detail in my photographic composition. As she approached we exchanged greetings and fell into conversation. We learned that she was ninety years old, walked her aged, partially blind dog twice daily in a quite long circuit that included the avenue, and that, like us, she wasn't a native "Yellowbelly". We learned a little of her long life, the places she had lived, the things she liked to do and much else, all in the space of ten or fifteen minutes. As we went on our way I reflected that conversations of this sort with complete strangers, that are very common among older people, are much rarer with the young and middle-aged, and are often a real pleasure.

When I got home and started to process my photograph a thought that I'd had during my afternoon talk came back to me. Is the person I spoke to the same person that I'd included in my earlier photograph of the lime tree avenue? On close inspection of both photographs I find that, remarkably, it is! What are the chances? Probably greater than I might imagine, but an interesting coincidence nonetheless. And here's a further thought. A few weeks ago I was contacted by someone who had seen and heard about this particular avenue on television. She then searched for it on line with a view to going to photograph it, and finding my image, emailed me with a query about its precise location. I sent her a Google Maps link. What I'd be interested to know now is this: has she photographed it yet, and if she has, does her photograph include a white haired lady walking her dog?

I like to produce a sepia photograph every now and then because the effect pleases me. This photograph seemed to be a good opportunity to do so.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 80mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On