The Waste Land begins ‘April is the Cruelest Month’, which one has to assume reflects in some way the opinions of TS Elliot on the subject of the calendar. Whatever the merits of the poem, and it is very good, it reveals one thing and one thing only about TS Elliot’s knowledge of photography.
He clearly didn’t have any!
How do we know this? Well clearly no photographer if asked to choose the cruellest month is going to pick bloody april are they? Spring in full, well, spring. Loads of colour. Great Light. Long days (but not so long you don’t get great golden hour without having to stay up till after the late news on TV. Bit of rain to dampen things down, make some puddles and give you interesting reflections. April cruel? Don’t make me laugh.. Hell you’ve even cleared your credit card statement from Christmas by then and can think about some equipment upgrades!
Nope, I would defy any photographer to opt for any month other than January. It’s dark when you go to work and it’s dark when you get home and the weekends are, well, dark. A dank, grey claginess covers everything, broken up only by the times when it’s actually raining. Of course while there are loads of puddles you don’t get interesting reflections because the light is so flat. If you’re lucky you might get a bit of snow, but that’s going to be short lived and then contributes to the overall dampness. At least you’d stand a chance of some golden hour and still be home for tea, but of course you don’t get golden hour twilight, it just gets progressively greyer and greyer till you realise it’s actually dark.
Great poet, crap understanding of photography I say.