Hot and Cold…

…well not exactly hot for those of us on the North Sea coasts, but compared to recent weeks today felt like the height of summer.  Layers of clothing were shed and the world and his wife headed for the beach (leaving their children at school of course).

Now I know I try to see myself as a non-discriminatory kind of guy, but if I’m honest whilst not knowingly racist or sexist I am a snob.  Consequently my normal photography playground was off-limits today; the combination of a sunny beach with pubs, chip shops, slot machines and Morrisons all within easy reach will be a magnet to those who will leave the place awash with litter, before returning tomorrow to do it all again.

I didn’t have to go far to get away though as you can see.  The Roker Marina is close at hand, but a quieter experience on a day like today.  Quieter that is until the shrieks of teenage girls on this unlikely vessel disturbed the air.

I assumed they were screaming in case they fell in, but once out into clear water they disproved that theory immediately.

Even the motor-sport enthusiasts racing around the perimeter were making less noise – (not sure who won though!)

Then there were those who were content to sit in the sun and people-watch as others went by.  As a photographer I do this all of the time, usually in the search for a good face to photograph, but in a more leisurely context I might take this a stage further.

I read an interesting book a few years back about reading people; the things we give away about ourselves by our appearance and body language.  This is cold reading, the technique used by tricksters and “mediums” to  convince people that they know more about you than they really do.  It’s a probability game where they make statements that are probably correct and then based on the level of reaction pursue that further or move on to a different subject before you begin to challenge their powers.  Derren Brown has used the technique on several occasions to debunk a variety of scams.

A cold reader meeting me for example, would probably mention that I’ve put on a little weight recently.  They’ve never met me before so how could they know that?  Yet a little observation would reveal that the belt I commonly wear is worn around the next notch, showing that it has been fastened tighter frequently in the past.  Were the notch the other way, they might enquire as to whether I’d suffered some illness recently.

Educated guess-work, yet in America where lawyers have the right to screen jurors for signs of any bias against their client the technique is regularly used (and used to try to produce juries that might be inclined to think a certain way).

I don’t profess any expertise in this field, but if I was a betting man I’d say that my subject today, Thomas, had been out in a boat.

Why would I think that?  The collar and tie look a little formal, but then many of the older generation don’t feel properly dressed without them, but on such a warm day the hat and sweater suggest that he’s been somewhere a little more exposed.  Elementary my dear Watson.

Oh yes, and there’s the matter of the dried sea-spray on the left lens of his glasses.  Move over Benedict Cumberbatch!  😉