Monday, 29 August 2011

Summer in suburbia...........the sky should be blue

Roses © Caroline Fraser
The image above was showing until yesterday at the 4th Greenwich Annuale at Viewfinder Gallery, Greenwich.

I returned to the same site today to find a very different view; the roses have turned to hips, and there were light clouds in the sky. One of the criteria that I have self imposed for my contribution to the London Villages Project London Villages Project with my series "Seasons in Suburbia" is that the sky is blue. This was not a problem in May, as we had blue skies almost every day; summertime is proving more of a challenge, but I shall try to stick with this , as I feel it adds to the slightly surreal view of suburbia that I am trying to create. The same view a few weeks later has less impact with a cloudy sky.
Rose hips © Caroline Fraser

As I strolled with my dog this morning I carried my newly refurbished Rolleiflex. Looking through the viewfinder with everything reversed slows me down, and with only 12 frames on a film focusses the mind on composition, lighting and finding the best viewpoint for a particular subject. I find myself standing in the middle of the road to get a perfect shot of a house or tree, as each image costs a significant amount unlike  digital images that can be discarded by the hundred. Taking my life in my hands I tie dog to a fence post and leave her while I wander around in the road, dodging cars as they pass by. I took a perfect shot of two trees, only to realise further down the road that I had forgotten to focus the camera in my excitement over metering with a hand held meter using the road as my grey card.

Sunflowers © Caroline Fraser

These sunflowers caught my eye on a grey day last week, but they look so much better on a blue sky day.

One of the joys of the London Villages Project is the extraordinary variety of ways in which individual members interpret the brief. At the monthly meet up last week I heard about the Transition Network and the projects in London that are working to

 " support community-led responses to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy, building resilience and happiness"

I love the idea of building happiness; something that we all have within our power to do.

Jonathan Goldberg, an active LVP member has been exploring Transition Towns across London as his contribution to the project, with some beautiful portraits of individuals who are actively involved in their local communities. Growing vegetables on a railway station platform in Kilburn, or campaigning against another runway at Heathrow, these groups are passionate about their local environment and communities.

As regards my project, waiting for blue skies has been the main problem through August; roll on September, when the Indian summer traditionally graces us with its presence, and I shall be out looking for autumn colour in the gardens of suburbia.