Monday, June 04, 2012

Aural and visual restoratives

click photo to enlarge
Music is a well-known pick-me-up. In fact, it's so good at lifting the spirits and setting you up for the day it's a wonder that doctors don't hand out mp3s or CDs rather than drugs for mild depressive symptoms. These could be sequences of music designed to shift the listener's mood from despair to elation in easy stages. A course of treatment might start with, for example, the melancholy music of George Butterworth's "Banks of Green Willow", followed by the more uplifting "English Folk Song Suite" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and conclude with "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity" from Gustav Holst's, "The Planets" suite. If it didn't alleviate the malaise at least it might widen the range of music the patient was exposed to and complement any further treatment! Or not.

Of course, not everyone is moved by music in this way. Some people respond to visual stimuli rather than the aural. Others, such as me, aren't fussy - sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, can all have the required effect. One of the visual uplifters that brightens my day - and in my mind marks the onset of summer - is the sight of a group of Leucanthemum vulgare swaying in the sun. These beautiful wild flowers go under many names. I call them dog daisies but others know them as oxeye daisies, marguerite, moon daisy or some other appellation. I've no idea why these very common flowers should have this effect on me. The combination of white and yellow isn't one that particularly appeals and the shape of the flowers couldn't be described as unique or even unusual. Perhaps the reason lies buried in my childhood because it's one of the earliest wild flowers that I came to know by name.

I came across the group shown above below a hedge by a roadside. I liked the way the sunlight gave shade and a lit area in the background against which I could position the bright, flawless blooms.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 175mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -2.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On