Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Photography Revisited

Waves at Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

At the moment there are severe gale warnings posted for northern Britain. Last night the Isle of Wight and the south coast got a beating with much flooding. These waves bursting up over the sea defences at Freshwater Bay had a small group of photographers trying their luck to catch a big one without getting soaked. Fortunately I remained dry.

Just up the road is the Dimbola Lodge, former home of Julia Margaret Cameron and now a museum exhibiting her work and telling her history. I've long admired Cameron's photographs and was glad of the opportunity to visit the westerly edge of this windswept island and take a look around. As a present to myself I bought two prints.

One is a striking image of a woman titled "Proserpine" and I think refers to Proserpina whose name comes from proserpere meaning "to emerge." (Wikipedia) The woman was a professional model unlike most of Camerions subjects who tended to be relatives, friends or servants. The other print is of Sir John Herschel. Herschel played a part in the history of photography including coining the word photography as well as discovering how to 'fix' photographs. He was also a photographic mentor to Julia Margaret Cameron.

I'll keep those two prints, treasures, tucked away to remind me of the day I turned sixty and of my long interest in photography.