Wednesday… and I am itching to get out into the autumn sunshine to capture the richest colours I have ever known in this photogenic season.
I headed off down to Belper Mill and River Gardens, though after I took a few shots of the Horseshoe Weir, I noticed that the sun wasn’t at the best angle – there was no light on the weir trees at all – and shadows were harsh.
I felt deflated, especially knowing that I had missed glorious conditions just after sunrise a few hours earlier. I walked through the River Gardens and, apart from a golden yellow tree, saw nothing inspiring under the harsh sun.
As I stepped on to the walkway overlooking the pond before making my disconsolate drive home, my mobile rang. The way the day was going, it was bound to be a cold call. But no, it was Chris Peddy from the Derby Telegraph, ready to interview me about my crowdfunding appeal.
An appropriate place to talk about my Derwent Valley book, I thought, with the glory of the River Gardens around me.
As I was talking to Chris, I started to notice some wonderful, colourful reflections in the pond. There I was talking about Belper’s East Mill and, although it stood loftily in my presence, I was more taken by the abstraction of its shape and form in the water.
Suddenly, the day felt better. Not only was the Telegraph going to run a feature on me but also that phone call had delayed my stay and enabled me to spot infinite photo possibilities – I say ‘infinite’ because the ducks on the pond were continually breaking up the reflections.
The East Mill reflections struck me as poignant because this mill is degenerating; the movement in the water was splitting up the form and shape, making it look as if it was coming apart. It all seemed apposite.