To Davy Jones, Thanks for the Music

God rays illuminate the sea under a dark, stormy sky near Apollo Bay, along Australia's Great Ocean Road.

Davy Jones the lead singer of the 60's pop group The Monkees left the stage, for the last time, a few years back to check into that great penthouse suite in the sky. I heard a Monkees tune on the radio today. It brought back so many great memories from days gone by.

The Monkees Song Catalogue

Much maligned as a manufactured band that, in the early days at least, couldn't play all that well the Monkees created a number of pop anthems including the following: 

  • Daydream Believer
  • Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
  • Last Train to Clarksville
  • I'm a Believer (written by the great Neil Diamond)
  • Listen to the Band

It's so easy to criticize but, in their own way, The Monkees were trail blazers and I, for one, am thankful for their legacy.

David Jones is, no doubt, missed by many fans, young and old, worldwide. But the legacy of the Monkees remains and, through that, he lives on.

Making The Photo Mariners Lookout

The photo I've chosen in memory of Davy Jones was made from Mariners Lookout above Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road in Australia. It was made not long after sunrise on a bleak, windy day. I had climbed the hill hoping for a sunrise only to be presented with bleak light and a chill off the waters of Bass Strait. But not one to accept defeat easily, I stuck it out and waited.

I watched a runner coming up the hill. Just before he reached me he began to wave and point upwards. I turned around to see an eagle hovering not far above my head. I turned back to thank him as he passed by and, just as I did, I noticed the sun shine through a break in the clouds.

The spot light effect was so strong that I knew I was in trouble. I was photographing with transparency (i.e., slide) film and knew that, under such high contrast conditions, there was no way I'd be able to record detail in both the highlights and shadows simultaneously. This image was made way back in the naughties and before the days of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.

The solution was to compose around the highlights, from where I based the exposure and to allow the shadows to record as black. Because the image's darker areas surround the highlights they tend to act as a natural frame, a little like a vignette, to draw the eye into the main focal point which, co-incidentally, is sometimes referred to as god rays.

There's certainly something about this photo that elicits an emotional response when I show it, particularly when its projected large. I feel its a very emotive image that seems to echo something beyond the here and now. A little like a rainbow that points the way, albeit it so briefly, towards possibilities that can only be glimpsed within the constraints of our normal, everyday existence. But it sure makes me wish I got our of bed early more often than not.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru