Sunday, 17 July 2016

A Nice Picture.

I haven’t tired of my new toy yet. Every night at about this time I feel the need to scan some picture or other whilst supping my second coffee of the day. It’s a routine that’s become useful for filling in the arid time between closing the outdoor activities at dusk and entering the shower-and-YouTube epilogue period.

The problem is that I’m getting close to running out of pictures because the vast majority of my stuff is held by publishers and picture libraries and I don’t have copies. Besides, there needs to be a reason for putting the picture on the blog, doesn’t there? Maybe there doesn’t, but I’d prefer it if the picture prompted the odd word or two, however trivial.

OK, so here’s a picture of Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire, which at least makes a change from the rugged and romantic Lake District:

The point about this picture is that it’s a perfect example of composition-by-numbers. This is how the Beginner’s Guide to Taking Nice Pictures tells you to do it. Rule of thirds, colour in the foreground, people to give context, side light to add body to the elements, etc. It’s a commercial picture taken for commercial reasons, so let’s be kind and call it unpretentious. Better still, let’s call it nice.

The point about the location is that it’s the sort of place where the suburban population of towns and cities go for a nice day out on Sunday. Some go while still digesting Sunday lunch; the more wilful and carefree throw their wallets to the wind and buy it while they’re there. (I went looking for commercial stock shots and took a packed lunch.)

The more extended point is that it proves the exception to my English teacher’s instruction. ‘Never use the word nice,’ she said. ‘Be more imaginative.’ I know what she meant and generally agree, but there are times when ‘nice’ is precisely the right word.

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