Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pleasure, happiness and slanting light

click photo to enlarge
Many people confuse pleasure and happiness. Such confusion is quite understandable when you appreciate that we are constantly told by advertisers and businesses that happiness can be bought, when in fact what they are offering is (usually) pleasure. What is the difference? Happiness is a deep, long-lasting experience born of meaningful activity and solid relationships: pleasure is transitory, experienced briefly, then it is gone.

Consequently it is refreshing to see the word "pleasure" used accurately, as I did at the Lincolnshire seaside resort of Skegness the other day. The children's rides - roller coasters, big wheel etc - are part of what is known as the Pleasure Beach. This is a place where you pay your money and experience the fun and thrill of a ride. Even though the day was bright and sunny the month of February was not one where the owners felt that punters would be tempted on to the outdoor rides and so they were all still, waiting for the end of march or April to arrive. But the big, bold, painted and illuminated signs were still proclaiming the pleasure on offer even though most of the light bulbs were unlit.

The word shown above, part of the sign "Pleasure Beach" was painted in light blue, purple and yellow with red stars. Not my favourite combination of colours but appropriate for the purpose to which they were being put. What I liked was the way the slanting sunlight was making long shadows of every part of the wall, name and stars, and particularly the light bulbs. I felt the effect would be amplified by conversion to black and white, and so it proved.

photograph and text ® Tony Boughen

Photo Title: "Pleasure", Skegness, Lincolnshire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 70mm (140mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On