Here in the snail garden, we had the first overcast cool morning in a long time. I’m not much for this kind of weather, but when I started to think about it in terms of postcards, I realized that gray days are unique.
Postcards tend to favor bright blue skies, tempting postcard receivers–potential visitors–with warm sunny days. Because of the abundance of color filtered landscapes under blue skies and vibrant sunsets, the occasional overcast postcard tends to give more of a sense of a place’s daily atmosphere–how it looks to locals as opposed to how it looks for show. There’s a sense of authenticity about cloudy day shots.
There’s also the matter of light from a photographer’s point of view. It’s a lot easier to take a nice looking photo in full sun than in low light. But in the hands of a skilled photographer, it’s when the clouds come in that things get interesting. The sky can change by the minute in such conditions, and if the photographer has the eye, (s)he can catch a moment that can never be recaptured.
Hermes and Pegasus at the Place de la ConcordeThe Notre Dame gargoyle seems to be taking a timid look at the city below to see if the Nazis are gone. This Roger Parry photograph was taken around 1945. The German occupation of France would have just ended. Claude Monet’s house in Giverny. Tulips only grow where it’s cool and wet.One of the most photographed hotels in the world, the Château Frontenac in Quebec was founded in 1893.
This postcard has one of the best messages I’ve received:
I thought I’d send another postcard response for your collection. Funny enough, this is one of my favorite photos of my hometown in California. I think I like it so much because it so accurately captures the beauties of places in the world that tourist postcards often overlook. To many, the fog may not be ideal, but growing up with that fog–it was always something I could count on. It wrapped me up in familiarity just for a moment.
View from a ferry in ScotlandHigh tide floods Piazza San Marco. From a 1960’s Venice postcard book of Grandpa Snail’sBull moose at the the foot of Mt. Moran, WyomingVermont maplesThe sun tells quite another story…