alan little’s weblog

a picture a “week” (7)

22nd May 2006 permanent link

morning mist, cardamom hills

Morning mist in the Cardamom Hills, Kerala, India, January 2000.

This one has been in my Indian landscapes gallery for ages, but Denys Bourque reminded me of it last week by asking if he could use it to illustrate a report he is producing on forest conservation work in the Indian hill regions. Glad to be able to support a good cause.

It isn’t a great picture. It was one of those ones where you think it might be when you press the button, but then you see the print a couple of weeks later and it isn’t. C’est la vie. (At least these days with digital you get the disappointment over with sooner) I’m still fond of it though. It brings back memories of my first trip to India. I was mainly there to study yoga with Lino Miele, but for a couple of days my friend Jeffrey and I rented motorbikes and headed for the hills. Those were the most memorable days of the trip for me: going to yoga class then sitting on the beach is all very well, but for me actually seeing a bit of India away from heavily westernised beach resorts was important too.

Seeing the shop print of this one was also a big step on my road to digital photography. The whole point of the composition, for what it’s worth, is the way the layers of mist are interleaved with the hills. In the print I got back from the lab everything beyond the mountain in the foreground was just blurry mist. I was sure that couldn’t be right, so I had a careful look at the negative and sure enough, the bands of mist and hills were there just as I wanted them to be. So I went out and bought a film scanner, and this picture was one of the first to appear on a few months later.

(Whereas now, I haven’t shot a roll of film for over a year but I’m thinking seriously about going back to outsourced printing, because trying to get a decent colour match on inkjet printers I can afford is just such a time-consuming and endlessly frustrating bastard of a struggle. I simply can’t get my Epson R800 to come out with skin tones I’m happy with for people shots)

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