By davidc

MonoMonday: Composition, Outside

I happened to be walking near Newcastle's Town Moor this morning on the way from the city centre to the suburb of Gosforth, which meant passing "The Hoppings". This is said to be the largest travelling funfair in Europe, and always comes here for the last week in June to coincide with a big race meeting at the local racecourse (The Northumberland Plate Festival). It has taken place with only a few missing years ever since 1882.

I love some of the possible origins of the name. The word “hopping”, apparently means a dance in Middle English (old fairs included dancing), so that's one possibility. Alternatively it may originate from the fact that  the Anglo-Saxon word “hoppen” means funfair (that sounds to me the most likely). To me though my favourite idea stems from the clothing which the travellers used to wear: old, sack-like tops and pants. Clothing often became infested with fleas from the animals that travelled with the fair and people were often seen “jumping” or “hopping” about itching from the bites which they received!

Anyway, this week's MM theme is "Composition - of anything Outdoors". I reckoned that this shot shows off one of the supposed "rules" of photographic composition, that of using a lead-in line: here the line leads all the way through the photo to point to the buildings on the horizon. The building to the left is Newcastle's iconic Civic Centre (the home of the Newcastle City Council), topped by its carillon.

I've blipped The Hoppings before (here and here, including flickr links) but I've never photographed it before at 10 am - when it's totally deserted! As you can see, the weather wasn't great (although happily it wasn't raining) but I think that adds somewhat to the deserted feel of the place. It looks best large, against black.

I do hope that laurie54 is recovering well from her illness and able to enjoy judging this week's MonoMonday.

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