Funny Cheri Lucas should have challenged us to go out and shoot in the Golden Hour this week. Traditionally, October/November is when we can expect gentle mornings and sari-coloured sunsets, but I’ve been trying to catch a golden hour for the last few months!
One of my goals for this (seemingly open-ended) pre-departure period was to capture as many photographs of the island as possible, especially here in Colombo where, as a resident, I’ve been remiss about taking along my camera whenever I’m out and about. Because of the tropical haze, I’ve been aiming for those golden bookends – they’re the most comfortable time to loiter – watching, waiting for “the moment” – and that golden light to infuse my shots with the romance appropriate for bottling my memories of Paradise!
I love the early mornings here. They’re cool and fragrant, and full of the waking noises I’ve grown to love – the song of a myriad birds and the chirping of lénas (the little tropical chipmunk/squirrels that dart and flick from every gate post, every tree), rattling pails and bottles, chanting monks and the call to prayer.
A few weeks ago, not long after I moved from my friend’s flat, I thought I’d noticed a bit of change in the light, so I called Mahendran and challenged him to meet me in his three-wheeled chariot for a six o’clock start. It was a little hazy, but the light was soft and things were looking good – perhaps this would be the morning I’d capture a bucket load of golden memories?
First stop was Donegal, on Dickman’s Road.
The early morning light imbued the dilapidated old house with a slight glow, but, by the time we got to our next stop, the Ponnambalam House, on Queens Road, that haze had solidified into a hard white glare. I persevered for a while, trying to capture some of the wonder of the giant shade trees on Thurston Road, but really, they’re all just snaps.
Then, last week, I caught a glimmer, from my window
– but Cherie’s challenge galvanised my intentions: there was no point waiting for a glimmer to appear before heading out to shoot, it was time to take myself to the Galle Face and just see what happened!. Lunch out, I thought, then a leisurely stroll to the sea front. If nothing else, I’d capture the Sunday crowd on the Green.
Over my meal things weren’t looking too promising
When coffee arrived though, the sun striking the cajan roofs of the buildings across the pond made me wildly optimistic.
Hurrying outside, and looking around, my heart sank
By the time I got to the ocean front, this is what greeted me!
Disappointing? Hardly! I had a memorable day, and I adore the drama of a good storm – the sounds, the smells, the rushing wind and the plummeting temperature that presages a mighty cloudburst. Oh yes, how I love a storm.
There’s a big procession in August – I’m hoping an early start will bathe the participants in that elusive golden light.