Photography and Art

Chronicle: The Great WinterSnowfall of 2009

It has become increasingly rare for there to be any significant snow fall in London. Usually, if it does snow you can be sure it is no more than a centimetre thick, and it will be gone by the afternoon. The climate seems to be slowly changing and only the more senior members of society can still remember what it was like to have proper cold winters.

On the evening of the 1st February, significant levels of snow began to fall. What was surprising was that the snow was not letting up and it was getting heavier. Kids were out in the streets as if immune from the cold and throwing snowballs at each other. There was a lot of merriment as parents looked on.

It was a very old morning. To some it may of felt as though their central heating system was not working. Touching the radiators showed that there was heat but the body and items in the home seem to disagree. A look out the window only revealed one thing, white. Snow was everywhere and it was deep. The for time of morning is was strangely quiet. What happened to the cars? Listen closely and the crushing sound of packed snow under foot could be heard.  The foot steps were slow but steady. Someone was determined to make progress and get to where they were going. The streets looked simplified with all that thick snow. No detail to catch the eye only white. Foot steps left an interesting trial. They seem to lead the eyes to look to the horizon, well, the end of the street.

This being London, it is almost usually the case that people would pass by each other with no acknowledgement or even a raised eyebrow. This morning things were different. Strangers were actually talking to each other. The snowfall was of course the topic of choice and there was a lot of laughter and hand gestures. Six to eight inches of snow. Thoughs numbers seem the by uttered everywhere be it on the TV news reports or under the misted breath of passersby discussing the snowfall. The parked cars, the streets and the buildings almost seem to merge into one with the thick blanket on snow. You would think the bitter cold make people look dismal but the opposite was true. It was truely going to be a strange day

Being a work day people were leaving home and making their way to their place of work. There is no doubt some peaked out of their windows, saw the snow, felt the cold, and then went straight back to bed. Others stepped out from their front door only trip as they didn't realise how deep the snow was. One can only assume they never listened to the TV or the radio. Well, it was certainly a tricky journey to the bus stop. Well, actually a slow walk rather than a difficult one. Some of the street signs were clearly frozen. The frozen street signage can as a stark reminder than although the snow represented fun for some, for the elderly, it meant more difficulties.

Had commuters been paying attention to the media they may well never of got out of bed. The slow movement of people made a rather amusing scene Its was rather a strange scene to see people moving so slowly and slow motion in a movie, well, almost. To many it was becoming obvious that something was missing. No transportation. The bus stops were getting crowded but no buses could be seen. With the roads virtually empty it perhaps was one of the quietest rush hour in recent times. The trains seems to be doing a better job although their service had been limited. A challenge to commuters was how to get to the train stations and when they got there could they be sure there would be a service to take them back.

For those who could not get to work it was a time not to escape from the cold but to get their kids and head for the local park. The land of green had become the land of white. The blanket of snow had a spectacular brilliance which could be a little hard on the eyes at times. The snowmen weren't complaining however. The snowmen were multiplying and the snowballs were flying. Some had not given up hope of getting to work as they equipt themselves with skis. Not the usual sight during a stroll in the park but an amusing one nevertheless.

For the shutterbugs the snow offered a great photo opportunity. Perhaps it could be said a challenging with because as simple as snow appears it is never as straightforward to capture. The severe cold brings its very own challenges but not on the camera but on keeping extremities nimble. Just try pressing the shutter when you have been in the cold for several hours.

Of course all good things have to end. With the constant foot fall its not long before the snow becomes slush and which in turn freezes and becomes ice. As time passes the fine white snow turns to grey as if to match the mood of the people now tired and cold and just wanting to head home. It has been an eventful day with so much joviality but the feet can only take so much and energies need to be recharged as the forecast states there is more to come. EA



Mini News

22 November 2012: Sigma 18-250mm now available in Sony's A-Mount

Sigma Imaging UK Ltd has announced that the 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM lens is now available at a suggested retail price of £499.99. Sigma's APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens will shortly be available in Sony's A-Mount for a suggested retail price of £1499.99.


17 October 2012: Firmware update for Sony NEX 7 v1.01

Sony NEX firmware update provides the following;

  • Addition of capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button
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Visit the link: http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/NEX-7/updates

Firmware updates are also available for the a77, a65, and a57.


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