Most people know my predilection for photographing doors and windows. One reason is that, even when the building is somewhat boring, the door (or window) is often attractive. Another reason is that I am always struck at the way people decorate their doors and windows, sometimes quite elaborately, and then sit inside without being able to enjoy the fruits of their labours. It is up to you and me (me at least) to appreciate the attractive appearance. Another reason is that doors and windows are gateways to the everyday life of the building's inhabitants. When we look at these openings in the wall, we are half-seeing, or seeing maybe just a glimpse, of the existence of others. Are we looking through windows into their souls? What can we imagine of their lives, their loves, their aspirations from the decoration they choose? Or maybe B&Q only had blue paint the day they went to buy decorating materials.
Anyway, while I was in the little seaside village of Newton in Northumberland recently, it wasn't surprising that I saw the buildings as ordinary cottages, but the shutters on the doors and windows as something more - protections against the frequent storms, shields of the residents' privacy against the world outside, the one opportunity to brighten up the dull, workmanlike exterior. Here's one as an example.
The shutters are open but the window is closed. The curtains are open, but what goes on in the house is closed. The shutters are a lovely shade of blue (Azure #007FFF to be exact. So, why not Royal Blue #002366, we're all left wondering?). And yet the view of them is completely closed to the residents sitting in their living room. Curious, isn't it? Not at all an open and shut matter.
This then is my contribution to this week's Picture Perfect.