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Posts tagged ‘Snow’

Beauty and the Beast from the East

They call it “the Beast from the East” – a Siberian shock wave of icy blasts and perilously wintery temperatures which has swept onto the shores of the UK and shows no sign of budging. Yet with the “Beast” has come the snow: a transformative blanket of pure, frosty white which has proved to be the very antithesis of beastly, as a very chilly but utterly mesmerising walk around my local park was to prove.

I have seen Clapham Common in every season, and have often obsessed myself over the light filtering through its lush summer leaves, or the auburn tones of its autumn face. Yet I don’t think I have ever been so stunned by the beauty of Clapham Common as when I was seeing it dressed, like a blushing bride, in an unbroken veil of white. Covering metre upon metre of grassy planes, and managing to find its way onto even the tiniest of tree branch, lamp post and railing, the snow rendered Clapham Common completely transformed, and the result was divine. I have never seen a familiar place so changed, nor the local residents so equally dazzled by this new manifestation.

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It’s incredible what nature can create when left to its own devices. Take the pond for example. It wasn’t just frozen, but some effect of the water underneath had created large circular patterns all over its surface like a retro design from the 60s. Meanwhile, the way in which white would gather at the trunks of trees, but leave green and orange trunks and branches revealed, lent an ever better contrast to the colours, like a freshly daubed application of unmixed paint on a white canvas.

But of course beauty is fragile, and within an hour of taking these photos, the sun disappeared, and a fresh gale of blizzards took its place. The Belle of the ball had left the dance floor, and the fearsome Beast had returned to dominate the airwaves once again.

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© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2011-2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

London Chills: White landscapes

It’s gone all cold at The Daily Norm. Yesterday, as icy winds entered London and shook the optimistic hopes for Spring out of all of us, I decided to pay homage to the cold by presenting my collection of Nordic-inspired paintings. Today the cold theme continues in parallel to the dropping dial of the thermometer, and with snow forecast in many places, I have decided to showcase my collection of snowy landscape photography. The photos are not contemporary – I took them last winter – but sadly (or positively for Londoners who actually want to get to work without hours of delays) we have had none of the vast snowfalls which befell us last year. Consequently, in the optimistic hope that temperatures will never drop quite low enough for a repeat performance of a white blanketed London landscape, I thought it an ideal time to present last year’s photos of snowy London for the pleasure of all Daily Norm readers.

The photos were taken on a brief morning walk across Clapham Common in South West London. One of the best things about London in the snow is how idyllic and Victorian it all becomes – suddenly London lampposts and street furniture appear positively Dickensian, as the muddled cityscapes of a frantic city become uniform, clean and bright as a result of an indiscriminate scattering of snowfall. In my photos I have explored how a spray of white snow can emphasise the beautiful, complex structure of trees, particularly their branches, how, against a white backdrop, leafless-trees glow more vividly with rich colours all of their own, and how Victorian street furniture gains renewed elegance when the clutter of modernity is suppressed beneath a tidy blanket of thick snow.

Best enjoyed, laptop in hand, wrapped in a blanket with a large mug of hot tea…

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2005-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.