What’s in a picture?

An exercise in describing what we see in English!

This is a picture of Brixham harbour and Fish Market
It is clearly a day of mixed weather, on the horizon we see a layer of dark, low nimbo-stratus clouds, heavy with rain waiting to fall. However, in the foreground we see the shadow of the person taking the photo, bright sunshine has stolen through the clouds for a moment.
In the middle ground, there are a number of coloured fishing vessels tied up. They could just have come home or they could be waiting for good conditions to go back out again. They are obviously vessels in use, they are neither brand-new nor rusting in disrepair. To the left of the foreground is evidence that this is a place of work, there are paint pots, a gas cylinder and tools.
In the background we can see the grey of the breakwater protecting the vessels in the harbour.
The sea, incidentally, seems to be calm. There are gentle ripples rather than waves. You can see the bright coloured reflections of the boats in the dark sea.
Part of the boat being worked on can be seen at the front of the picture too, with the platform of the vessel and railings visible. On the platform are yellow ropes and 2 white buoys

If this was a painting it would be emotive, somehow familiar, giving us a glimpse into harbour life. Whilst the sea might be calm the clouds on the horizon are sombre and ominous, telling us of trouble ahead beyond the harbour wall.

Positional Vocabulary:
On the horizon.
In the foreground.
In the middle ground.
To the left of the foreground.
In the background.
At the front.

Dark, low, heavy, grey, sombre, ominous, disrepair.
Bright, coloured, good, calm, gentle.

To steal through something = creep through without being noticed
Trouble ahead = Difficulties await you in the future
Breakwater = The man-made barrier between the harbour and the open sea, protection.
After reading this we should be able to close our eyes and visualise the scene, is that possible?!


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