Nothing special about going to the shops, what with the hype that is Black Friday and the run up to Christmas but actually on this day I was off to the supermarket for the mundane routine of pushing a trolley for the weekly food supply. As usual I set off early to get there just as the doors open and as long as I am given a fairly organised list I can be out of the place before the crowds fight over the bananas.
So it was on this Saturday, the forecast the night before promised a hard frost and it was right, the icy film was scraped off the windscreen in the half light and as usual the camera was tucked away in the car, just in case. Passing through Barney (Barnard Castle) I could see the sky filling with colour, nothing too dramatic but an almost cloudless sky with the promise of some nice early light, by the time I was heading towards West Auckland the sun was breaking the horizon. There is a stand of trees on a slight rise of ground just near the gates of what was Streatlam Castle and today the sun was in just the right position to silhouette the bare branches.It was a good sunrise but not a stunner which was fortunate as today I had left my tripod at home which would have given me a more stable base to work from, but this was more of an off the cuff photo opportunity, there will be other days.
Moving on I travelled through the long street of Staindrop and I could see that the sun was now beaming on the top of the church tower and it looked as if my timing was going to be perfect.
And it was, the frost was giving way to a strong warm sun. I pulled into a familiar layby near the entrance to Raby Castle and by simply crossing the road I was able to stand safely on the footpath and fire off several shots of the shafts of light on the frosted grass. The orange glow contrasted dramatically with the cold frosty blues. Even the sky had a few wisps of clouds to give the sky some interest, the only thing missing was the herd of deer in the foreground but at this time they were being fed, just under the castle walls. Still, you can’t have everything. I was pleased with my efforts and the weather had played ball. Best to get back to my domestic duties. At least I had a good start to the day.
Shopping done it was time to head home, work to do. Whether it’s just me or not I don’t know but my eye always seems to be on the lookout for a potential subject and as I swung the car out of the car park I spotted a car showroom, one of those where rows of neatly polished cars are lined up to attract punters. The sun was still low but now lighting up the frosted bonnets and windscreens, I knew time was limited as soon the ice would return to beads of water so the unusual combination of sun and frost was worth capturing. Not my usual subject but fun to make a shot of the patterns of the bodywork and a bit of black and white tweaking made a final bonus from my simple trip to the shops.
Prints available in the Teesdale Collection.
Thank you for reading.