Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Hound of The Baskervilles

"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.

- From "Silver Blaze" (1892) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Beginning this past January, and continuing thru late April (when, for us, the 'twilight hour' moved beyond a workable time-slot), I was in the habit of walking Tegwen (Golden Retriever) AND the G10 (Canon) 'round Mare Island - moreover, photographing Tegwen while learning the capabilities, limitations of the G10 (a great little camera, BTW!). The wintry, wet and windy conditions, the fact that we live so close to the wetlands (read: bog, moor, or moorland), and some of the reasons stated in the previous blog post got us thinking (uh, oh!) - about one of our favorite (too obvious?) works of literature, One we think is very suited to long walks in the countryside, 'round the periphery of the bog. Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles," long an inspiration for us, contains many memorable passages that drive home that almost primal attraction of NPy and the mysteries of the nocturne. And of course, nothing says mystery and heart-stopping, murderous terror in the night like a Golden Retriever, right?

{:<)} .

Working within the camera's range of slo-o-w-w photography (up to 15 sec exposures, max) and an uncooperative (tho' still devoted) canine model we set out into the twilight and beyond, to see what these 'puppies' could do. Giving in to some slow shutter speeds (not paying too much attention to focus/sharpness/etc.) and some deliberate camera movement seemed OK - a scene as you might experience out on the darkened moorland with a 'hell-hound' on your trail (Wow! - managed to work a Robert Johnson reference in there . . . !) . Some of our results follow. Quotes, except where noted, are from the text of "The Hound of The Baskervilles" (1902) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

"Dr. Mortimer turned the manuscript to the light and read in a high, crackling voice the following curious, old-world narrative:-
"Of the origin of the Hound of the Baskervilles there have been many statements, yet as I come in a direct line from Hugo Baskerville, and as I had the story from my father, who also had it from his, I have set down with all belief that it occurred even as is here set forth."

"Baskerville was in the habit every night before going to bed of walking down the famous Yew Alley of Baskerville Hall."

More to follow . . . (in The [not so] Daily Nocturne)

("Life has become like that great Grimpen Mire . . ." )

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