The last 48 hours have been manic. I have not had two minutes to even contemplate blogging. Well, actually that’s a tiny fib as I re-blogged a small post yesterday; what I actually meant to say was that my normal afternoon typing marathon on the PC disappeared in to oblivion yesterday.
Monday morning reality sank in. That dreaded word echoed around my head like the never-ending tone of tinnitus. “Dentist !!! ” I know, I know..most of you don’t mind and its routine but I do mind and by no means is it routine. My dentist has deserted me a few times over the years as they always seem to be leaving. The phrase “This will be the last time you see me” has now become a familiar saying on my visits. So back to square one and a new dentist; maybe things just wouldn’t be so bad after all I had not been having any problems why would it be any different. I had tried to put it to the back of my mind over the weekend and just get on with life as normal but it was just sat in the back of my head like an itch that wouldn’t go away. “Be brave, be brave Mark just a walk in the park” is all I kept saying to myself.
One final brush and rinse and I was on my way. I arrived about 15 minutes early as the rush hour traffic for a Monday wasnt as heavy as I perhaps thought. This presented me with a choice: a 10 minute wait in the comfort of my warm car or a 10 minute wait in the surgery watching other victims leaving after been inflicted with unecessary pain. I opted for the first and stayed warm listening to Radio Aire.
When the time came it wasnt that bad actually, I stayed calm, took some deep breaths and pretended to be strong. I could hear the voice of Richard Hammond from BBC’s Top Gear…”Scared, Scared, Scared…quite scared..still scared..very scared”. That was me….scared. Actually the dentist was fine, nice guy..I went through the usual routine, you know what I mean…sit down, open wide, any problems I should know about sir? No !, OK then just a quick clean and off you trot. That wasnt quite how it went! Gutted isn’t the word.
From my viewpoint laid down in that wretched chair I could just see the expression on his face as he prodded his prodder and articulated his Budgie mirror for a better view. The wrinkles on his forehead were enough, three of four times he got to the same tooth and he repositioned himself to another angle. Everytime he reached my front right tooth he stopped. Only five minutes before, after asking me if I there had been any problems he commented how clean and nice my teeth were, what on earth has he found wrong with one of my front teeth. My original state of worry and fear had subsided when I sat down, but as he progressed his way around my top row of teeth from the back to the front and back in the opposite, a sudden state of nervousness returned resulting in my stomach dropping through my backside. The words I had never expected to hear now bounced off all four walls. “You’ve cracked your front tooth”. Oh S***t I mouthed without the words coming out. I had this mental vision of my face next to Jimmy Nail’s mug shot comparing similarities with a toothless Oz (Oz been his character in Auf Wiedersehen Pet)
The image I found of “Oz” doesn’t really does his toothless smile justice as he hasn’t got his mouth open but a quick google search will reveal video clips of a more appropriate Oz. This took me totally by shock. Firstly, I just wasnt expecting it and secondly how and when on earth did that happen. Mr “lovely-dentist-person” advised me that he would do what he could to repair it, if not, all the options would be reviewed later. Maybe my vision of ones head on Jimmy Nail’s body was a little premature but it was a scary thought nevertheless. I left the chair (and the surgery come to think of it) like a stabbed rat. (That’s a Top Gear expression I think) and made a beeline for the exit. Unfortunately, I will have to return.
Monday evening was cold, a lot colder than the average for the end of April in Yorkshire anyway but I chose to take a trip up to Yeadon Dam/Tarn. The opportunity to take photographs when there is some nice golden light should never be turned away. The whole place was buzzing with activity, it was quite a surprise really as the wind and the cold normally puts people off walking in circles around a shallow stretch of water. I could have understood if the Little Fisherman had been open as the hypocritical excuse of a little exercise after scoffing fish and chips is one commonly used by visitors, but it wasnt. Mondays are a closed day, much to the delight of the missus.
As always with my passion for photography, I knew what I wanted. I was looking for silhouettes, low light images with plenty of shadows. Even the possibility of a colourful sunset. As the sun sank so did the temperatures and before long it was bitterly cold. With a 28-135 IS lens on I grabbed what I could, when I could. I managed to get questioned by a swan and after poking its beak in my lens it withdrew its ideas and carried on foraging. Looking in to the sun can create some wonderful effects, including light flare in abundance. Doing just what I love felt great, cold but great. I kept tapping away composing and grabbing what I could. Always best to get more than what you need as you can always dispose of what you don’t require.
The limited clouds that were loitering around the sun an hour before were now dissipating with the cold air and low pressure. The sun was dipping closer to the horizon creating a noticeable colour change in a narrow band across the scene. The gradient of colour from a pale orange to mid to dark blue was evident as I carried on capturing silhouettes. Runners, walkers, dogs, swans, ducks, trees, houses and boats didn’t escape my viewfinder in the last thirty minutes. A poor lens choice (again) left me composing a stitch as opposed to a single image with a nice silhouette of Cemetery Road, Yeadon as a foreground to the setting sun.
One hundred and eighty images later, with the sun now below the horizon I wandered the short distance back to my car. I was quite happy with the outcome, but as with any photo shoot what looks good on the camera back doesn’t necessarily look good on the computer back home. Only time would tell. Sitting in the car to examine my images soon gave way to the thought of getting home and feeling some warmth.
Tuesday morning started the same way Monday evening ended: taking photographs. Elaine has managed to get a place in the BUPA Great North Run this year and been her first time she is training hard to give her the best chance. You can actually follow her progress as she writes a blog called “Boothie is doing the Great North Run” every few days. If you would like to donate some money towards Sue Ryder Wheatfields then you can visit Elaine’s Just Giving Page. If you have looked at the links show previously then you will understand Elaine’s passion for what she is doing. Elaine’s 10 kilometre training route incorporates a circuit of Yeadon Dam/Tarn so whilst waiting for her return it seemed like a good idea to capture a few more images. Well, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it? She wouldn’t mind, would you Elaine?
Might as well make use of the sunshine so off I went. In total contrast to 12 hours earlier, the light was excellent, the sun warmed the morning air and the colour was vibrant. The Swans were just as nosey, the Geese just as rowdy and in between all this the ducks were in abundance. The shot that probably made the morning was a gentleman fishing by the side of the tarn, he was smoking a pipe and as I was facing in to the sun the light was catching the smoke being expelled from his long pipe. I waited and waited for the perfect opportunity. He was total unaware of my presence which really helped the situation. I envisaged the image in monochrome with the smoke showing up against the dark background. Unfortunately he had a small tent by the side of him and no matter which position I stood in I couldn’t manage to get a decent image that didn’t contain part of the structure of the tent. Still, despite that I was reasonably happy with the outcome. A small preview is shown below and as I am now over 300 images in editing arrears. I will post a link from the last two days shooting on a subsequent blog entry.
Thanks for looking, as always comments are very welcome and in particular if you like the image above. Thank you.