Sunday, April 25, 2010

Writing in the sky...

In Saturday's Press Sarah Quigley writes about the effect of the aviation shutdown on the Berlin cityscape. In particular she mentions the silence  - no distant backdrop drone of planes. On the same page Philip Matthews quotes London-based Chad Taylor who also comments on the eerie silence and on the absence of the usually ubiquitous planes in the air over London.

In Yorkshire I found myself, more than once, trying to avoid taking a photo in which the high-up vapour trail of one or more planes featured. Though (or perhaps because) the vapour trails were a constant presence in the skies, I wanted to excise them - to deny them a presence. In this case the intrusion was visual rather than aural, an inscription in the sky that spoke of the impossibility, in a small and heavily populated island, of avoiding people and technology.

This also says something about the selective nature of photography and my desire to show the English landscape at its 'best' (ie minus cars, rubbish etc - my pet pollutants). I can smile at the naivety of this desire while acknowledging just how easy it is to manipulate an image.


  1. I'm visiting from Niki's blog.

    The effects from Iceland's volcano are amazing. I cannot believe how far-reaching it's been. It shows how technology is no match for Mother Nature.

  2. Hi Theresa. The family I swapped houses with got caught in Los Angeles. They finally came back to NZ and won't fly home to the UK until early May!! Awful for them, but sometimes it's good to be reminded that nature is more powerful than all our technology!!