It’s Snowtime… (21 January 2016)

…When you Snooze you lose, and the lost wallet that wasn’t.


On Saturday we had the first decent snow of the winter.  I’d been at work on an early shift, and so, not unusually I fell asleep on the sofa when I got home with it snowing fairly heavily.  After a couple of hours of Zzzzz’s  I decided to go out in the evening to try & make some interesting photos in the local area of Greenock.

 I first set off for Customhouse Quay as there are some attractive streetlights & cobbles there that I thought would look good with the snow falling.  Of course by the time I arrived, the snow was nothing more than a light flurry carried on the wind, and the cobbles were all hidden under a couple of inches of snow….a perfect demonstration of when you snooze you lose!

From there I headed up to the Wellpark for some views of Greenock Town Hall’s landmark Victoria tower.  I worked the scene for a while. (can you tell I just finished a 6 weeks course on how to talk like a real photographer?)   Enjoying myself, nice & warm, wrapped up like an East German border guard, wiping the occasional snowflake from my glass (It was a very comprehensive course!)  This was my favourite shot of the illuminated tower seen through the trees.

After this photograph I moved across to a pathway leading down onto Bank Street.  I liked the way the pathway curved down to the street below and so I set up the camera on the tripod to take a few shots here.  

Normally, I keep my phone in my trouser pocket, but as I’d been using it as a torch for checking the camera settings it had been in my coat pocket for easier access.  Anyway I’d moved it back to its usual place in my trousers, but then after a while I was suddenly aware that my coat pocket no longer contained a heavy item.  My phone was in its usual place, so what was missing?  “Oh no!” I thought, “Where’s my wallet?”  Of course not being one to panic (Ask anyone with grown up daughters about nerves of steel!) I finished off taking the shots I wanted and then decided to look around in case I’d dropped it when taking the lens cloth or phone out of my pocket earlier.  

Retracing your steps is actually much easier in the snow, so I was confident that unless someone else had picked it up, my wallet was not here.  On the way back to the car I phoned my wife to ask her to check the clothes I’d work for work earlier in case I’d just left it in my pocket.  Nope! no wallet in my pockets at home either.  Hmmm getting slightly concerned now, as up until this point I’d been 75% convinced that that’s where it was.  I headed back down to Customhouse Quay to do the retracing my steps dance again, but nothing to be seen there either. 

I’m now starting to become used to the idea that It looks like I’ve lost my wallet, and wondering whether I should just disappear into the night rather than face the rest of the evening at home with the “You’re such a  disappointment to me” look, when my wife phoned (Did I mention how wonderful and beautiful she is?) to say that she’s found my wallet on the sofa under a cushion where I’d been sleeping earlier.  Result!

I began editing and processing the photos later on Saturday night which gave me the image above, but it was the following day before I got to process the others of Bank Street.  When I looked at the original images I was reminded of some paintings my Dad had showed me late last year.  They were by a Victorian artist called John Atkinson Grimshaw.  Many of his paintings captured a feeling of grey, dismal, urban/dockside life broken only by the warm inviting light of the windows in some of the buildings.  I therefore spent a lot of time processing the images to try to bring out a similar look and emotional connection.

Do you think I was successful?

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