This has been one of those languid days; overcast skies have no wind to break the clouds which become an amorphous pale grey blanket. That same stillness leaves the sea unperturbed with not a wave to give texture. It warm enough for a slight haze to soften the line between the two elements creating a picture that only a minimalist could love.
I feel the same about the people today. Few inspire, and those who do I reject as too like others that I have photographed before. Cliché is not on my agenda today.
This is dangerous territory, for by spurning the familiar, I could leave myself with nothing at all to photograph. I’m reminded of this as I cross Roker Ravine and look out to sea. The lighthouse and pier must have been photographed hundreds of times, (by me alone I think!) yet today I spotted a new take on the scene, and one so ephemeral that it must be captured there and then for tomorrow it will be different again.
Yet as I cycle on into town I find it filled with dozens of examples of the same thing, grey haired pensioners slowly picking their way across the flow of people to reach their objectives, tattooed single mothers lighting their next cigarette, young girls wearing more make up than some of the models I have shot under studio lighting. It all feels so “samey”.
And then I spot Rachel in conversation with her mother, and when she smiles I know I’ve found the grail I seek. Her alternative look breaks the monotony perfectly, which is ironic since a monotone image suits her really well. Shame it only tells half the story, yet full colour seems too much. For me that answer lies somewhere in between.