Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

But Soft, What Light.....?

"But soft what light through yonder window breaks?” 
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2



This week’s Sepia Saturday has dramatic light pouring through windows at Chicago’s Union Station in 1943.  This nudged me into searching my old albums for a picture lit from a window. The above photo from the mid- 1950’s, is me, aged about four, with my big brother, and an un-named bald dolly. I’m guessing that this would be my Dad’s handiwork (the photograph, not the hair loss), as he has an artistic side which often meant the family posed in other than ‘face-to-camera’ shots. He must have seen the potential when the sun shone through the window into our living room and lured us into the frame!


To ring the changes he took a shot from outside, with me looking down at Daddy. It was probably a downstairs window and I was a sensible little girl, so I wasn’t going to take flight.


This reminds me of  story, told by my husband, about his brother, when he was a child. He was enjoying a game of hide-and-seek with his father before bedtime  and, being very young, didn’t know that the sill of an open upstairs window was a dangerous place to hide. My father-in-law must also have been oblivious to the consequences when, seeing a little bump in the curtains, he gave a triumphant shout of, “Gotcha!” and poked him, rather too  enthusiastically in the tummy, sending him plummeting to the ground below. As he was small he bounced more easily than an adult would, and suffered a fractured skull and other injuries, rather than passing into the next world. His poor father however, suffered agonies of remorse for many years after. These days his son would probably have been removed from the family home and put into care.













The oldest known photographic negative in existence is of a window. William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-18-77), early pioneer of photography took the iconic image of the oriel window at Lacock Abbey  in Wiltshire. Until recently I lived in Salisbury and we would visit Lacock, a beautiful National Trust property, as a family. If you click on the link and scroll through you’ll be able to see that window as it looks now in the photo gallery.











This rather grainy black and white photo from 1979 only came to light (pardon the pun) recently. Probably my Dad at work again, taking an arty shot of his new grandaughter at Christmas. That’s me, with my firstborn of eight weeks. It could have been my brother who took the picture though, but I suspect no-one will admit to it. I rather like it as it has a somewhat ethereal quality, but it is best viewed at this size, as it is not enhanced by enlarging the shot.

















And just to complete the sequence, here is a more recent photograph of my firstborn, seated at the panoramic window of the aptly named Galeria Bar, Playa Blanca, here in Lanzarote. Now that’s how I like to see the sunlight pouring through the window!

19 comments:

  1. Lovely photo of you and your brother, it's so hard to get siblings to pose nicely!

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  2. I wonder what Shakespeare would have made of the light at Lanzarote. I might have had my back to the window especially if it faced the bar.

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  3. Your Father-In-Law Must Have Been worried Sick, & I Bet He Got A Lot Of Grief From The Rest Of The Family!
    You Have Have A Lovely Open Face In The Photo.Nice One, & Thank You For Letting The Light Shine In!

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  4. I like the picture of you in the window, but it doesn't look very safe to me.

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  5. The first photo is great. Pictures of my kids all sitting nicely together are few and far between.

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  6. Lovely pictures, the top one is a cracker

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  7. Your brother looks a little like the young Prince Charles in that first photo, don't you think? I love how you strung together all of these photos and stories, all related to light and windows. Nicely done.

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  8. Great collection. It is always a joy to come across old photographs taken by people "who had an eye" for a photograph. It may be easier, in this digital age, to take a photograph, but it not easier to take a good photograph. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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  9. Such a great photo of you and your brother. I immediately noticed the style of the chair as we had one similar. I was in high school in the late 50s. Very sweet photo of you and your daughter.Touches my heart. All of the photos are ideal for SS. Great post.
    QMM

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  10. What a wonderful timeline, shining the light on your memories!

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  11. Your husband's brother is lucky he was still bounceble! I like those ghostly old photos like the one of you and your daughter. Does your brother have one black eye in the first photo or is it just the shadow?

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  12. Wonderful set of photos! I love all the different nuances of light. I have one similar to your 1979 grandchild photo that was taken at my wedding -- my face in profile with the afternoon light coming in through one of the church's stained glass windows.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Much enjoyed this post. The picture of you in the window is very unusual, it makes you realise that most family pictures are taken with the 'victim' staring straight at the camera. Vive la difference!

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  14. Oh I like what you did with taking the light as your theme...I was most moved by it too...but wnet the blue route (Police chaps) they too were striking in a way. I really like your hide and seek photo too, and the story, but most of all yes the old first negative has me so excited that I will click on it and check it out...I am a fan of window photos always have been! What an excellent read and post again, thanks!

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  15. Love your selection of photos~ The one with you holding your firstborn child is my favorite:)

    Tracie

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  16. i like how you've opened a new window on genealogy!! nice shots!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  17. Somehow I missed this Sepia Saturday post when you first published it. This as an enchanting group of photos. I especially like the one of you and your firstborn. In earlier days I might have thrown away a photo like this as not quite good enough. And who knows how many I did throw away--and wish I had again! So glad you saved this one.

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