This morning I woke up to the most amazing blanket of fog out the back of the house & found myself snapping one particular tree that stood out against the mist.  This morphed into a mini-photography project over the course of the day: every few hours, as the light seemed to change, I took another shot of the same tree.  The slides show my results. 

I’ve decided that I need to get to grips with Photoshop a bit more, so that I can remove the annoying telephone cable in the photographs.  It struck me as funny, though, how the cable stands out in the early, misty shots, yet is barely discernible as the day goes on.  This – and so much else in the scene, especially the light and shadows – changed so much, even in the space of eight or so hours – making me pause & reflect on the passage of time on a bigger scale.  This has a certain serendipity with life in general for me at the moment, as I’m now in the very final stages of my PhD, with only days and weeks (as opposed to months and years) left. 

The end of the thesis marks the passing of the longest single phase in my life.  Nothing else that I have ever done or been involved in – time at a particular school, a relationship, a job – has lasted as long.  Including two interruptions for ill health, the PhD has taken 5 years.  Alternatively, you could say 60 months; 260 weeks; 1825 days; 43800 hours; 2,628000 minutes; 1576,800000 seconds.  Looking back, that time has passed with the blink of an eye, but at the same time so much – everything – has changed in those five years. 

I find myself unrecognisable from the person who started the project.  I doubt that the next five years will be as tumultuous as the last, but I suspect I shall feel different again in 43,000 hours time.  Who know where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, or what I’ll be wearing – always a key concern for me!

The images of the tree show how much can change in one day, let alone five years.  If I’m able to photograph the same spot on 4th October 2015, I wonder what those shots will look like?  Hopefully I’ll have figured how to edit out the telephone cable by then.  I also hope that the images will be better quality – I’m really keen to attend some photography classes that are being planned in my village next year.  Next year – 2011 – seems so far away at the moment, but it’ll be here in a flash – as quickly as my PhD has passed by or the mist settles on the tree again.

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