Friday, 8 February 2019

Pin Board

Just a few more pinhole pictures from yesterday's experiment. Unlike today, when the weather has turned very wet and windy (thanks a lot, Storm Eric), it was a brisk sunny day, and I took a lengthy stroll through the municipal Hollybrook cemetery and its surroundings.

Southampton being both a major channel port and the site of a military hospital at Netley, a lot of wounded troops from both world wars and from both "sides" got evacuated here, and a fair number didn't make it. There are War Commission graves all over town, not least here: about 1900 men are memorialised, but most of these are not graves, just the names of those "lost at sea". One of the most poignant is the memorial to the S.S. Mendi, which was sunk in a collision in the Channel transporting men of the South African Native Labour Corps to France in 1917, over 600 of whom died. It was reported that Isaac Wauchope Dyobha, an interpreter who had previously been a Minister in the Congregational Native Church, addressed the men as the ship sank:
Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do...You are going to die, but that is what you came to do. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill. I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers...Swazis, Pondos, Basotho... So let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war-cries, brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais in the kraal, our voices are left with our bodies.

I think the main trick with pinhole photography is to anticipate its two main characteristics – severe vignetting and a liking for bold shapes and strong lighting contrasts – and compose with them in mind. When the weather clears up (after the weekend, if the forecast is correct) I'll head out somewhere suitable – maybe down by the waterfront? – with, yes, a tripod, and have a few more goes at getting it right. Or maybe just a monopod; I always feel such an idiot setting up a tripod I never actually do it. Which is the main reason I bought one that is reasonably compact and has its own shoulder bag...

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