Tales From the (damp) Edge
I finished the job in Ampthill last Thursday, just as the rain started. I looked on the map to see what I could take a picture of in the much needed rain, and spotted Woburn Sands railway station. By the time I had driven to Woburn Sands it was raining so hard I didn’t want to get out of the car. After weeks of nothing but roasting hot weather, I hadn’t thought to bring a coat.
I sat in the car in a side street near the railway station, just inside the county border with Beds. I checked that the camera was ready while I waited. The rain eased off, and I walked briskly across the road and onto the Eastbound platform.
The next train was due in fifteen minutes. I stood in the shelter. My plan was to photograph passengers getting on or off the train while the rain lashed down, but the rain was easing. A passenger waiting on the platform glanced at the sky and happily commented that it was brightening up. I looked up and scowled.
The train arrived. It wasn’t raining. I took a photo of it drawing in. I also took a few shots of the passengers, but as people just getting on a train in nondescript weather aren’t very interesting, I’m not going to show you those. What I’m going to show you is aerial perspective.
Aerial perspective is that softening and blurring of detail in the landscape, the further away it is. It’s due to moisture and/or dust in the air. There hasn’t been a lot of moisture in the air recently, but probably quite a bit of dust.
In the main picture, if you look down the line into the distance you can see it quite, er, clearly; the tones are more muted, and in the far distance the hills look grey blue. This effect is often more noticeable after rain, and you can see it better in the detail photo below. Next time you go out, look out for it.
Here’s a close up. Even the trees in the foreground are softened
and muted. The effect becomes more and more noticeable as
distance increases. Beyond the bend in the track, details disappear
and the land at the horizon is a muted blue green.