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So much for Sunday being a day of rest! With Dawn being on her ‘virtual retreat’ we were up at 06:30 and prepped and out walking shortly after 07:00! Our timing was perfect as the weather here in the Calder Valley has been awful for most of the day. By getting out early we escaped the drizzle and later heavy rain that’s persisted right through until the evening.

After our amble down to Sowerby Bridge and home via the canal I’ve spent the day in holed up in the office having a marathon slide scanning session. I’ve hit a personal best as I’ve refined my systems and managed to get 88 slides scanned, edited and added to my Zenfolio website. Admittedly, I now have square eyes, but it’s been a productive day. I rarely use my new scans as pictures of the day, but this one I couldn’t resist. The batch I’ve been doing are railway images from late 2001 – early 2002. They may be nearly 20 years old but it’s funny how many I actually remember taking. This latest batch were all taken in the winter, which is a time of year that’s brilliant for photography. The days may be short but the richness of the colours is far superior to the harsh summer light. Here’s an example. This shot was taken at Clapham Junction station, London, on the 10th December 2001.

09960. 313119. Service to Willesden Jn. Clapham Junction. 10.12.2001.2001crop

The day had been one of glorious (if short-lived) winter sunshine but the sunset was magnificent with the sky above Clapham looking as if it was afire. In this picture an old Silverlink Class 313 waits to depart for Willesden Junction on a shuttle service. Admittedly, this shot was taken on Fuji Velvia slide film which had superb colour saturation but I remember the sky really did look like this and the film managed to capture it – which is why I took the picture. Mind you, in those days I wandered around with a tripod on my back as Velvia was a very slow film (ISO 50) so there wasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of getting shots like this hand-held.

Looking at this picture now I’m amazed at how much has changed. The platform canopy remains, but that’s about it. The platforms themselves have been rebuilt. The old trains have gone, so’s the franchise. This service has been absorbed by the London Overground Network. Even the skyline’s changed as high-rise apartment blocks have filled in the background. What seemed mundane at the time is anything but now, instead, it’s become a snapshot in time, but that’s one of the beauties of photography. Sometimes I wonder what the scenes and locations I’ve captured in my modern pictures will look like in 20 years time – if I’m still here to recreate them…


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