This week, I went back to Scotland from just over 4 years ago for inspiration and came across this image from a walk along the beach in Cromarty. The time of this shot was just after 9 p.m. on May 29th; the Sun sets pretty late at that time of year, which makes for a rather lengthy ‘golden’ hour of highly saturated, rich, warm sunlight. This inspires this week’s theme of Hour.
My original intent for getting a shot for this challenge was to get a shot of a clock tower somewhere in the area. I know I had seen some in the many years I have lived in the area but could not remember where. A few minutes on Google and I had located a few.
But the one I decided on was the clock tower above the archway at Blair Hall, a residence hall on the Princeton University campus. Blair Hall, the University's first collegiate Gothic dormitory, was a Sesquicentennial gift of John Insley Blair (1802−1899), a trustee of Princeton from 1866 to 1899. Originally the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks came to the foot of the broad steps leading up to Blair Arch, which served as the entrance to the campus for visitors arriving by train.
I wanted to associate the image of the clock with the concept of an hour. But which hour of the day? Night or morning? I thought that shooting the clock tower at blue hour would work best. I imagined the building and the clock being lit with lights against a blue sky. I didn’t know if it would be or not. This was only in my imagination.
I could have gotten up early and take a photo at sunrise, but I was not comfortable walking around the Princeton University campus taking photos at that hour. I decided to aim for the golden hour or blue hour.
But things didn't go according to plan. Perhaps because I did not plan. My brother-in-law and his wife had their second child, my niece Raina. She was born a week ago and my wife wanted to visit them at home without the restrictions of the hospital. We had fun watching the baby and distracting Raina's older sister, Hazel. She was having some challenges adjusting to having a baby in the house who seemed to be stealing all her parents time. We stayed a little too long and by the time we left Annandale, the sun was setting.
I missed blue hour by one hour. But my research during the week indicated that the clock tower was illuminated at night. Not this night. Nope. Sigh.
I’ve Long noticed that many (most) of the homes I have seen in New Jersey have very few windows. Especially the larger homes. It’s as though some architect found inspiration in a box with small holes. The kind of box you use to transport small rodents home from the pet store.
I’ve seen homes where the entire side of the home is paved in vinyl save for one small and forlorn window. This is usually the side of the house with a two car garage. Why can’t garages have windows? It’s not like people parks cars in garages anymore. The garage is a place to store all the stuff that used to be in the basement. The windowless basement has been finished and no longer looks good with all that junk.
So when did the “War on Windows” start? Was it around the time Americans stopped decorating rooms with personal items? When beige and white became the best colours because you know “resale value”. Not all cities in the USA are lacking in colour. South Carolina, Florida, and California have some very colourful cities. Maybe it's a northern USA issue.
It’s the same inside most office buildings. Beige carpeting. White walls. Grey cubicles. No light. The office building where I work has small windows on the outer wall. That’s where the court executives sit. Staff sit in cubicles running along the inner walls. No windows.
When my wife and I looked to buy our home 15 years ago one of the things we loved was how many windows we had. And how much light they let in. If you’ve followed this blog for more than a moment you’ll know that I’m from the West Indies. I’m not a fan of winter. It’s grey and white and beige. It’s the same colour scheme as the inside (and outside) of the average New Jersey home.
I prefer the light. I prefer warmth. I prefer big windows.
Each Wednesday, The Daily Prompt Photo Challenge provides a theme for creative inspiration. Participants take photographs based on their interpretation of the theme, and post them on their blog anytime before the following Wednesday.