Took this with my old Canon EOS-100 on Ilford 400 speed film, probably about 20 years ago on one of what seemed like a thousand trips from Calais to Dover on the Channel ferry.

Found this couple alone on the rear deck looking back towards the Calais docks… didn’t know whether they were leaving or going home, but I felt a sadness when I had it printed so hence my title.

One of the few of my images with no post processing… except for cloning out the 3,568 specs of dust from the original print that showed up so beautifully on my high rez scan. (sigh)

Thanx for lookin!


  • Marion  Cullen
    Marion Cullenabout 4 years ago

    I do believe I just heard the theme from Titanic start up in my head! LOL!
    Seriously though, this image has such a beautiful, timeless quality and a very poignant atmosphere.

  • Hey Marion, ya just turned purple!
    I’m glad it comes across as timeless cause LOTS of time’s gone by since it was taken…
    But you’re right, the theme is definitely something that applies as strongly now as at the very foundation of human emotion. Leaving always does create atmosphere.
    Thanks for feeling it in this.

    – billyboy

  • Lee d'Entremont
    Lee d'Entremontabout 4 years ago

    Excellent Capture Billy (& very impressed with the processing)!

  • Thanks Lee, but didn’t actually do much except clone out a bunch of specks. I’M actually impressed that I counted them all!!

    Having said that, since you commented I desaturated the image to lose the yellow cast that came from the original dark room print. Think it look better like this…

    – billyboy

  • robpixaday
    robpixadayabout 4 years ago

    Magnificent image…I can hear the sounds, smell the water…WOW!

  • Cheers Robin. And I kinda wish I COULD have smelled the water… they always washed the decks down with this stuff that smells like TCP antiseptic and if you’re not prone to sea sickness, that stuff would make you hurl anyway!
    Thanks so much for the fave!!

    – billyboy

  • Robyn Lakeman
    Robyn Lakemanabout 4 years ago

    Love the way you’ve processed this. Has a real air of mystery to it

  • Hiya Robyn!!
    There is definitely mystery goin down here…
    Like who set the docks on fire?
    Always a compliment simply that you stop by.

    – billyboy

  • Wendi Donaldson
    Wendi Donaldsonabout 4 years ago

    Excellent processing! Like the mood you’ve created here, Billy.

  • Thanks Wendy!
    I actually remember feeling a sadness seeing those two people contemplating so ruefully, so happy you think the mood translates to the image.

    – billyboy

  • Hiroko
    Hirokoabout 4 years ago

    Lovely nostalgia

  • Cheers Hiroko, cool to see yer smile today!!

    – billyboy

  • Mel
    Mel Brackstone...about 4 years ago

    That’s a wonderful atmosphere Bill!

  • Thanks Mel!
    Thought I’d create a fitting atmosphere here in my sanctuary, so just broke open a bag of sea salt crisps and poured meself a mug o’ beer…
    Feelin kinda sea sick as it ’appens… (hic)

    – billyboy

  • Barbara Sparhawk
    Barbara Sparhawkabout 4 years ago

    Very touching, kind of perfectly saying all that needs to be said. I thought for a second it could also be arriving, but no the posture of the couple is all farewell and not hello. It’s got the right amount of dark for that too, goodbye to something that meant a great deal. I hope they’re headed to a fabulous adventure full of unexpected delight and challenge. You were caught up in this, too, I know. You’re not the average photograper or average anything. Sweet.

  • Barbara, you pretty much see this the way I did at the time… the bright lights are on the shore and fading fast, the other side is dark expanse and choppy waters.
    I’m kinda touched that you feel the farewell in this. It doesn’t look like they’re setting off to set up home above their west coast art gallery neither… I see no optimism at all in their body language.

    But hey, what do we know? Maybe the mob paid them 50.000 bucks to set Calais on fire and they’re stopping off at Dover to pick up their kids on the way to a new life in the Caribbean. It actually DOES look like they’re watching it burn, yeah?
    Cheers for the fave. And the sweet:-)

    – billyboy

  • galagol
    galagolabout 4 years ago

    Great moment, looks like a picture that should be in some book or cover a movie.

  • Art, you definitely got my imagination running now. This picture needs not only a story, but a full length feature film. All about some Italian couple making their way to New Jersey to build a fortune in the waste disposal industry.
    Hey, can you get me Tony Soprano’s number? I got an idea…
    Grazie for da fave!!

    – billyboy

  • Jen Waltmon
    Jen Waltmonabout 4 years ago

    Love this, Billy! Great lights and love the vintage feel (I guess it’s a bit vintage since it’s 20 years old!) Sorry to hear about your fight with the dust :(

  • Thanks for that Jen, and cool you dig the lights!
    And yeah, its age does mean it’s vintage…
    But hey, if 2O years is vintage what does that make ME??
    No worries. I’m quite happy increasing in value every day!
    And the dust thing? No worries on that front neither. Been fightin’ off dust since I hit 50:-))

    – billyboy

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