I'm not sure about many of these photos, and I'm not saying that to fish for compliments and reassurance. Many are just bad, the result of wanting to use neither the Canon's horribly unsubtle flash nor a tripod, and of being too ignorant of the camera's cleverer technology to be able to compensate. Some, by good luck and a steady hand - usually Tom's, he took quite a few though I'm not sure exactly which, are quite sharp. Nevertheless the upward persective and straight lines are all over the place. Straightening tools are just too lossy (I love that word!) where loss can't be sustained, and anyway, what does one use as a datum for straightness? Choose one vertical or horizontal and it seems to confound the others yet more.
There was a Flickr group I tried for a while to get in on, called 'The Aesthetics of Failure'. The idea appealed to me. I submitted all my most interestingly failed shots, as I deemed them, but evidently not one of them was a successful enough failure, and none was accepted. There were some very cerebral and post-modern discussions going on there about what should qualify, but I obviously just failed to get it. I was a failed failure. Reckoning that this was doing in my head and my self-esteem, I abandoned the attempt.
But it is true that that sometimes a failure or accident can be more effective than getting it right. I feel perhaps with these that the lack of clarity, the rather chimaeric blurriness, the somewhat giddy-making leaning nature of the floodlit shapes in the pictures, do in some manner represent the feeling that being at the Mont at night evokes. I said at one point that I rather wished I was on drugs the better to experience it (I've got to the age and stage now where saying something like that doesn't worry anyone any more, including myself); it would lend itself to the hallucenogenic. I thought about simply taking my glasses off and seeing what that was like for providing a sense of physical and visual disorientation, but was a little afraid of falling down an ill-lit stone stairway, and anyway, I didn't want to miss the detail.
This long view of the Mont was taken resting the camera - its ISO turned down to reduce the noise a bit, I do have half a clue about that - on top of the car. On 'filling with light' in Picasa, I realised that the blur in the foreground was in fact its reflection in the car roof. I liked this; it subverts the commonly represented image of the place reflected in the water and wet sands, and references the fact that if you take your car there at the wrong time of day at certain times it's likely to end up underwater.
(From now on I will stop these attempts at ironic cleverbuggery, there are plenty who can do it better and it doesn't really suit me).
The lighting enhances the theatricality of the place, the impression that on is in a film or stage set, its three-dimensionality, of being enveloped by it. You feel more involved and yet it is less familiar, each passage and stairway becomes mysterious, its ending unknown.
The stained glass of a tiny chapel ensconced somewhere in the walls, which probably in the the day you wouldn't even notice becomes a glowing lantern of gash-gold vermilion,
and you can peer voyeuristically onto the pastiche landing of a hotel, with just a little envy that you aren't staying there.