Sometimes, when you take a photograph, you know immediately what it’s about. Other times, you’re not so sure. This was one of those times.
But hold on, you say, how can you not know what you’re photographing? Well, you may be able to tell what’s in the photograph but it’s perhaps not always so easy to say what the photograph’s about.
On the sands at Crosby near Liverpool, there’s an Anthony Gormley installation: Another Place. It consists of 100 life sized metal statues of Gormley stretching for miles across the area between high and low tides. At high tide the figures are mostly covered. At low tide, they stand clear. Most days, there’s someone walking out to examine one of the figures, but they soon enough scuttle back to the shore. The figures just stay there getting slowly submerged as the tide rolls in.
In the distance, there’s Welsh mountains, wind turbines and clouds all heading for the horizon.
The light was crystal clear, bouncing off the sand as if it were snow. There’s a clarity about it all that you often get on cold days by the sea, so you could see for ever.
The story behind the image. By daylight the scene is nothing to write home about. But at night, nearly midnight, all those extraneous elements and colours just disappeared, and the atmosphere of the Venetian night took over.
Way back in 2011, I was fascinated by the buildings in Manchester – mainly the Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture. There was lots to go at, and much that was in an attractive state of dilapidation. But there’s lots of modern buildings too and I regret not photographing more while I was there.