We’ve been here before and a couple of other places you’re about to see in this blog post that may give you that Deja Vu feeling. For example that opening shot was taken in Weymouth. It’s strange or maybe not, that you’re drawn to similar scenes, a case of Deja Vu: “I’ve been here before and taken some crappy shots or was that just a dream?”! As you stand there, camera in hand, looking for something different, generally not much happens that is very different. The people change though and that fact we’ve also discussed before, I wrote; Everything else really is just background, it’s the people that matter…that’s true of life and photography.
So the last time in Weymouth I haunted those old shelters they have on British Beachfronts. Somewhere to put a rug over your knees, protected from the English weather whilst you reminisce about days gone by and watch a slightly younger generation walking up and down the promenade battling against the aforementioned weather. Ah, one day it’ll be their turn to put a rug over their knees.
Right, let’s move on from the sea front and see what’s going on at the old Harbour. I know what you’re thinking “Ooh, how exciting we’re going to see something new!”, please try and contain yourself, it’s just people with a different background, although as I’ll explain some of them I found quite interesting! Here we are then, at the Harbour and the traditional seaside fare of Fish & Chips is being consumed by the ton:
and traditional pints of beer guzzled by the gallon:
Let’s move in a bit closer…oops, perhaps not that friendly:
Note that guy has ‘Replay’ on his t-shirt, just following the Deja Vu theme!
I walked around for a while and came across a lady painting the Harbour front and near to her a guy watching intently. I struck up a conversation with him, a nice chap incidentally, whereby he asked “ ‘ow much you reckon she wants for that there picture?”
“Why don’t you ask?” I said. “I bloody well will” he replied. So, he sauntered over and asked the question. Her reply was £350. I fully expected him to say “Bugger that for a laugh”, but instead he said “I’ll take it”. Even the artist looked a little taken aback, but afterwards explained that it wasn’t completed and she would take his details and send a photograph of the completed work. “£350 for a photo of it?” he exclaimed. No, she said, just to make sure you like it before I send it to you. I admire her for that, she could easily have taken his money, but pride in her work wouldn’t allow her to do so. We’ll meet another artist later.
Interesting how that scene is being replicated on canvas so that our friend can go home and reminisce about his holiday in Weymouth, perhaps he’ll get that Deja Vu feeling. Talking of replicating, I see a guy with a Leica taking a photo of me with my Leica! What the…
Once again, another really nice chap. We spoke about cameras and lenses, he was from Rotterdam and apparently his wife was waiting for him so he’d better get his skates on. I do feel sorry for the wife or husband of a photographer, it must be so frustrating, all that waiting around whilst their partner frames up yet another shot. I was stood on a bridge here, that spans the harbour, you’d think I’d have taken a shot of the view. Instead I clicked this long suffering lady pulling the camera from her husbands neck. Perhaps she was thinking of throwing him and it over the edge:
Let’s move on to Portland Bill. We’ve been here before and it got a mention in what was going to be a series on this blog called “My Point of View”, okay, like many of my bright ideas it only lasted for just one post. There’s a lighthouse at Portland, the end! Seriously, that’s all it is, but I met a couple of interesting people there. Firstly a painter who I didn’t, out of respect to him, take a snap. He was working with water colours and his pictures were truly beautiful, absolutely wonderful. He told me that he was currently exhibiting his work and also in the process of producing a book based on his vision of the Jurassic Coast. Turns out that those ‘truly beautiful’ watercolours were merely sketches for him to produce the ‘real’ art in his studio! I mentioned to him about the painter at Weymouth Harbour and the offer of £350, he told me about a Japanese tourist who recently offered him £1,000 whilst he was sketching in nearby Portsmouth. Here’s the scene he was capturing at Portland Bill:
He didn’t include the people. You’ll see here some men carrying out maintenance on the top of the lighthouse who clearly know exactly what they’re doing. In the foreground you’ll hopefully be able to make out a guy holding the hand of a little girl on what are treacherous, slippery rocks, evidently he didn’t have any idea what he was doing! The artist packed up and left for the pub (I have that effect on people!). Along came another guy also with zero safety in mind. Here he is walking past this same scene heading for an outcrop which has a 60 feet drop into the sea and rocks below:
I took a shot of him standing there, looks pretty precarious don’t you think? Makes for a thoughtful scene though, depression perhaps comes into play, a recent bereavement perhaps, contemplating life. No, nothing like that. He took out his phone and proceeded to make a call, that outcrop gave him a signal, some reception that wasn’t available elsewhere. He paced up and down as people tend to when they’re talking on mobile phones, oblivious to his position in the real world. I thought about hanging around to see if he would fall in, but got bored and walked up to the lighthouse.
Here I tried a shot that didn’t quite work, the light was changing, but I include it because it’s in colour and some maybe interested to see it. I know my American friend Maxine Lund who follows this blog likes to see where I’ve been and from previous blog posts she might think this lighthouse is black and white and the skies permanently grey. Blue sky and a red & white lighthouse Maxine… Who knew? ;-) :
I met another photographer near to the lighthouse, a guy called Hugo. He was carrying a medium format film camera and so it was I took a not very good snap of him and he took one of me which I suspect will be much better. Of course we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Film versus Digital, 35mm, medium format etc. Well, here’s my shot, he promises to email me the shot he took once the film is developed and it’s been scanned.
So there we have Portland, hang on a minute…didn’t we meet a painter and a photographer in Weymouth…this whole Deja Vu thing is messing with my head!
Time to head home and wrap things up. It’s a two hour trek, even on the motorbike. The traffic was heavy and so I decided to stop just over half way to take a very quick look at Shaftsbury, specifically Gold Hill which was the first Blogpost I published back when I started the Blog almost three years ago. I had some really dull, flat light on that visit. This time the sun was shining, well trying to. Here’s a classic view of Gold Hill:
Yep, no one in the shot which was disappointing, we know I find it difficult just to take photos of background, I need people…we said this at the beginning, it’s as though I’m in some sort of a continuous loop! I waited for five minutes. A cat sat down in front of me which I ignored because I don’t take shots of cats. Eventually along came some locals heading for their cottage. Better up the exposure a touch then:
That’s it. Another trip, another day and some more photographs. I just had a really odd feeling and so using the search facility for this blog I typed “Deja Vu”. Thankfully the reply was “Your search did not match any documents”…
As always my sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read this blog.
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M with Summicron 35mm Lens fitted.
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