I like the way this bird (which apparently is a jackdaw, not a rook as I originally identified it) looks aspirational, as if it’s seen something up there and (unlike poor grounded humanity) knows that within a couple of seconds it can reach it. I also like the focus and the lines of the slates below it. All not bad going for 6.45am, the first time I’ve done a shot remotely at this time since November.
It is actually easy to get this shot, if one is up before dawn and walking along Commercial Street in HB. However, it is chosen today to epitomise the fact that I do still have early mornings now and again. The sabbatical largely cured me of this affliction, but not entirely. This is the earliest shot since Abu Dhabi airport on 27th May, and the sixth-earliest ever on the blog.
I took precisely no (n=0) good photos today, but this one makes it to encapsulate the fact that I am in a sort of limbo week, still getting up before dawn to trug in to Manchester on the early morning cattle truck, waiting for my sabbatical to get going. Wintry morning with freezing fog today, but not much longer to suffer this.
Bloody hell, roll on the solstice – all the way into Manchester on the early morning cattle truck and it doesn’t even have the decency to be starting to get light by the time I arrive. Today was probably my most daylight-free day of the winter so far. The one consolation – I will have no more Monday mornings like this for months now.
Fourth and final day of the ALT-C conference, but the picture is not of Manchester today: this is Hebden Bridge station, as you probably recognise by now. An early morning after a late return the night before. Ow.
Today at 5.45 am (Norwegian time) there was a transit of Venus across the sun, the last such event until 2117. Through a series of lucky events, I did actually get to see it; not many people would a) be up at that time b) be somewhere where the sun was shining (particularly in Norway), c) have sight of it while sat in an airport departure lounge and d) have access to a pair of plastic, cheap children’s binoculars which nevertheless did project an image of the sun onto a whitewashed wall – on which the tiny black dot that was Venus was clearly visible. I did try to take a photo of it, but that proved beyond me, which I was disappointed about until reflecting that I was, after all, trying to take a picture of the dark side of a planet some 20 million miles away with a compact digital camera. So here’s another picture of an impressive astronomical object instead. (Chosen also for the novelty value of the time: one of the earliest shots on the whole blog.)
After 12 consecutive days in Hebden Bridge or the immediate area, I made it into Manchester for the first time since graduation day (Dec 14th). Started early enough for it still to be dark even after my 50-minute train journey in. This shot is of what looks like the cleaning crew reporting for their own early start, at Selfridges department store on Cross Street.
Why do I like this shot of such a mundane moment? I like the stripes of light, I like the fact that the focus is as good as it could be (bearing in mind the low light levels) on the illuminated guy in the grey jacket, and I like that as soon as Joe saw it he said he thought the two lightsabers were cool.