Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sun's so bright...

...I gotta wear shades
London, ON, November 2009

The scene: We're driving the kids home from school. My wife's at the wheel and I'm beside her. I'm fiddling with my camera because I'm in a bit of a funk and I need to occupy my mind and my hands. As we turn the corner and head west, the late afternoon winter sun almost blinds us all.

We're Canadian, so we should be used to this kind of thing by now. And to a large extent we are. But we've all got either green or blue eyes, and given our inherent sensitivity to light, we don't particularly appreciate the optical equivalent of a blowtorch.

I raise the camera and try to capture the moment as best I can (manual, as massively underexposed as the camera will allow.) I'm sharing the result not because it's a particularly great picture - it isn't - but because I don't want to forget what it's like to experience the day-to-day with my family. On this day, we were still in the shellshocked phase of early grief, and we grabbed at any snippet of normalcy. Sometimes, it comes in forms we can't anticipate.

Your turn: How does bright light make you feel? Why?


MB said...

Bright lights make my eyes water and squint. I have blue eyes and, as you know, they are extremely sensitive to bright lights. I never leave home without my sunglasses, even on cloudy days.

Mojo said...

Okay, no fair making my heart stop like that. "Early grief?" I found myself scrolling furiously through all the posts I've missed (I know, I know... bad Mojo!) trying to figure out what had slipped by me. Then I noticed the date on the photo.

Guess that'll teach me to go head-down into something for 2 months at a time, huh?

I digress. I'm not a fan of bright lights myself. Especially not in the form of a late-afternoon/early morning solar flamethrower right in the face. Like MB, I almost never leave the house without sunglasses -- even on days that aren't sunny.

This photo reminds me of a series I took in October of 2008 at Atlantic Beach. Except it was sunrise over the ocean. Camera stopped down as far as it would go with both a polarizer and an ND filter. And yet that distant burning orb manages to find a way through even the smallest, most heavily masked aperture. It is relentless, isn't it?

Sorry I've been away so long, but there was a reason. And yeah, as soon as I get my copies, there's one with your name on it.

Ben said...

My Canadian/Swedish/Finnish baby blues struggle with the rays here in the Sunshine State on a daily basis.
Having said that, there's no place I'd rather be, no sight I'd rather see than a cloudless sky with bright sunshine.
The vintage Canadian rock band Lighthouse said it best;

"Sunny days
Oh, sunny, sunny, sunny days
Ain't nothin' better in the world, you know
Than lyin' in the sun with your radio..."

Gilly said...

I have no sunglasses (a very, very long story) and I squint and hide in the shade!

Have I missed any Thematic Photographs - last one I can find is 96 - goodbye to winter.

My computer gets very shy with some people and only logs in to old posts!

Pamela said...

hat, sunglasses, and sunshade on my car.

Still make wrinkles squinting.

Anonymous said...

This is a comment on an old post, Carmi...but I love this photo.

Anytime I capture an image that has deep symbolic meaning, it stops me...sometimes it warms me with encouragement, and sometimes it chills me from within.

Carmi...the pain does get sweeter...if that makes any sense at all.