STRANGE DEVELOPMENT (a quick snap of a story.)
It was strange watching that old woman as she slowly passed me on
the deserted cliff path that morning.
We didn't exchange even the briefest of acknowledgement, no nod, no trivial pleasantries, nothing.
The morning sun had recently risen and was briefly creating an Ansel Adams monochrome portrait of the lighthouse which seemed grateful to cease the 'night shift' duty for which it had been gainfully employed during the long dark hours of that recent February night.
Strange I thought, that in the cold kiss of the early morning, the clothes of the old woman were clearly inadequate for the time of day in February.
From my limited knowledge of fashion, I could still recognise the
style of her well tailored dress, the garnet studded necklace and
her snake skin shoes, as being from the 1920's
The shawl around her frail shoulders, similar to that which draped over my Grandmother's seldom played 'Steinway' piano in her rarely used parlour, was one of brightly embroidered oriental birds flying amongst the cerise blooms of the famous 'famille rose' design.
The long black hanging tassels, busily dancing around her aged but still shapely legs seemed more alert than their host as she moved carefully down the rocky pathway.
They ceased their fidgeting as she came towards an awkward steep bend where, pausing momentarily, she turned to look back towards the way she had travelled and smiled sadly.
I lifted my camera to capture the sunlit frame of both her and the lighthouse, before that rare moment in photography was, as so often happens, lost for ever.
The magical experience when developing a roll of film is
The smell of developer, the slightly sinister red glow within the dark room, oddly meditative and then..
"Oh that thrill!" watching your composition giving 'birth' as it presents your newborn creation up to you slowly through the chemical mists.
It was with no less a thrill that evening as I slipped through the heavy velvet curtains with an air of expectation into that special world of solitude.
The pure white of the paper looked up at me from the tray teasing me with its apparent reluctance to release its gift.
Then slowly, the silver performed its magic spell.
There is the lighthouse and here is the bend in the cliff path but..
The old lady... never appeared.
Nick Thomas for Rita..(my favourite image) August 2014