New Year’s Day

I cycle; I stop; I photograph

Sometimes when I go out cycling I will take the camera. I might have no particular subject in mind, just whatever I see along the way. Sometimes I may come back with no photographs at all (or I end up deleting all of them!) Sometimes I will cycle for some time before stopping to take a photograph, and on other occasions I will be stopping every hundred yards or so, sometimes even doubling back on myself if I think I might have missed something.

I live in London and I have written before about cycling out of town, the shackles of the city slowly loosening until they have fallen away and I am released.

This particular ride took place on the first day of a new year (2022). The previous years had been turbulent but little did we know as the year turned that there would be further turbulence on the way. For the moment, though, as with each new year there was a moment to pause. I took the day to ride out of London through Barnet to a small village called Ridge.

At this time of year the soft light mutes the colours such as the remains of last year’s harvest or the spread of green promise on the dark earth. Close up, the winter trees stood stark but further out softened into the light.

My destination was the church in Ridge. A project I have been exploring for some time is all about what I have been describing as the quiet corners of churchyards where the evidence of the practical day to day activities of tending graves and remembering the dead is found.

Behind the church and within the shelter of its wall stands a small bench. I noticed an array of glass vases lined up beneath it in preparation for flowers. On this occasion I was drawn by the light of the setting sun that had barely risen all day. It cast a glow through the church and upon the window above the bench, creating an aura of tranquility in this quiet corner.

The low light reminded me that I would have to turn around and head back into the “Great Wen” very soon so I put the camera away and headed for home.

Click the link below to view the route I took.

Published by Stephen Taylor

Freelance e-learning developer and instructional designer, photographer and cyclist

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