Winter light

2 February 2009

Peñamefecit, December.

Every day I come to school in the predawn I see the sky blue slowly, from pitch-black to something lighter, like a stain spreading, until finally out from behind the mountains the sky lightens and the color begins to spill out over the ice that caps the ridges, clean & every day just a little bit earlier, imperceptibly earlier every day.

Above is the plaza in the Peñemefecit I walk through on my way to the bus station, photographed in late December; I finally got around to developing a roll of film. This kind of clean, tired winter light – it’s finally starting to brighten, like watching a Polaroid develop in front of you over months. Even the colors are getting better. The dead clumps of growth you can see on the trellises – I don’t know the species – were bright scarlet for most of autumn, & soon they’ll be greenleafed for the rest of the year.

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5 Responses to “Winter light”

  1. notsorandomencounters Says:

    Light just looks different in winter, I’ve been meaning to go shoot out in JP and other places but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I miss you my friend.

  2. davidhur Says:

    Here, with the tepid winter, any brightening of contrast is eventually to be consumed by an inkwell.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Some pretty awesome similes in here. Or are they metaphors? Whatever…you don’t speak enough English to understand the difference anyway anymore, right?

  4. Jim Sligh Says:

    Dave: better “in” than “with”?

    Jackie, no hablo íngles ni español ni ninguna otra lengua. I’ve lost everything.

    Although, in a nice coincidence, my last 3º de ESO lesson was “metaphors & similes,” using Snow White as the exemplar.

    One girl came out with, “Her eyes were green glass,” when I asked them all to write one metaphor and one simile, & it made me very happy.


  5. […] Last December, I took a photograph of the blue & white checked plaza I walked through on the way to the bus station every morning, talked about the quality of the light. I carried my camera through again in early April. By now the sun is so bright in Andalucía it’s become impossible to walk outside at midday without dark glasses, & the heat transforms the air, & the white buildings are made brilliant by it. It becomes impossible to imagine that it was ever any other way – as now, in Boston, it is becoming impossible to imagine that I was ever in Spain. Posted by Jim Sligh Filed in everyday life, jaén, photography No Comments » […]


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