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Saturday, 13 February 2021

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Light is pretty freaking great.

I can confirm that as one accumulates the years, the yearly change in the length of the day seems different every year. To eliminate my annoyance at the shortening of the days, I'd like to move to the Southern Hemisphere during our North American autumn and winter, and therefore live a life of perpetual spring and summer days.

Aye. You know more, but you're certain of less. And you become aware of how much more there is to know than you do, and what a painfully short ration of days there is in which to know it.

We are all phototrophic...either positively or negatively, echoing the rotation of the earth that gives us periodicity of sunshine--some half of us the "children of the sun" and the complementary other half, the skototrophic ones, the night owls, are there to balance us, to fill in nature's void. "There is grandeur in this view of life"


"Daylight Savings Time" - Savings? Really?

I'm much the same, and in more recent years have become more aware of the lack of light during winter. I live in Sheffield, in northern England, at a latitude of 53° N, and on our shortest day this winter sunrise was at 08:19 and sunset at 15:48 - just under 7:30 of daylight. And on a cloudy, grey day in the north of England it won't seem even that long, of course.

The other thing I notice is how low the sun is in the sky during winter here - 13° on December 21st. Even in mid-dummer it only reaches about 60‡. I know places in the countryside near me, tucked away in the Derbyshire hills, that don't get direct sunlight for weeks on end - the sun never clears the tops of the hills immediately to their south.
As I say, I've become very aware of this and there's no doubt my feelings get very low during January and February.

I was in Singapore on holiday a few years ago, and I had an astonishing (to me) experience - I suddenly noticed I had no shadow! Then I realised that I did, but that it was very small, and was just covering my feet. The sun was directly overhead, of course - 90°. I'd never experienced that before.

...... "Sometimes I wonder: is it photography I love, or merely light?"

Aren't they the same thing?

All these southerners! (Apparently). The sun is basically always in the south—a bit more easterly in the morning, a bit more westerly in the afternoon.

When I grew up in Holland, the long gray days in winter were a given. Hardly seeing the sun between October and April didn’t bother me. Now, my mood is highly dependent on regular sunshine and I can’t imagine ever again living in a place that’s gray for months on end.

And I often wonder how my kids don’t hear or see things that are obvious to me. Then I realize they’re just more inward focused at their ages and I was once like them.

Well they say photography is "writing with light" so I guess maybe you can't dissociate your love of both. I also, like you, love light. However, unlike you I am a fan of daylight savings time. I think it is great when you are of kid and have that extra hour to play outside on a warm summer's night, or for golf. My wife's mother used to say that daylight savings time was invented by affluent men to enable them to play golf later in the day. Makes sense to me. We could get a quick 18 holes in after work if we could tee off by 4:30 pm or so and I always seemed to have my best rounds in the evening. There a few places more pretty or peaceful than a traditional tree lined golf course on a summer evening...except when the peacefulness of the moment was interrupted by the cursing of an irate golfer.

"These days, I'm exquisitely sensitive to light. It changes my mood...The ebb and flow of the longer and shorter days as each year progresses looms larger and larger for me as time goes by."

May I suggest that you spend a little time reading about Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The Mayo clinic page is a good place to start https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651.

As someone who struggles with this, I assure you that this is real. And light therapy has helped me.

There are three kind of rules. The heaven which you cannot change but adapt to, as background... you can ignore it these days even though it is very interesting. There is another one which is pure social abd you cannot ignore it. Photography belongs to the third type. It accumulates over time, with both physical and human side. You can like the social one change it in a second but once firm it is hard to be not have lasting (at least for a while abd for some).

Heaven human and earth ...

Winter longer and shorter usually affect you in current social way or historical way. Except for Astro lots and harder now for city folks, it is not as important as in the past.

I'm on Rice Lake, Ontario, a bit north of where you live, Mike, and it's a grey day, snowing lightly, with a very snowy forecast. The extra slice of daylight we have been getting lately really lifts our spirits. I recently asked a friend, who is not a photographer, what her favourite thing in the world was. Without hesitation she replied, "sunlight".

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