Saturday, 13 September 2014

Photography: Last! At Last! I love it!


[last, lahst] Spell Syllables
  • Synonyms
  • Examples
  • Word Origin
adjective, a superl. of late with later as compar.
occurring or coming after all others, as in time, order, or place:
the last line on a page.
most recent; next before the present; latest:
last week; last Friday.
being the only one remaining:
my last dollar; the last outpost; a last chance.
in his last hours.
ultimate or conclusive; definitive:
the last word in the argument.

I have always been fascinated by the word "last." Now that may sound strange, but I think it goes back to the mid 70s and mid 80s when I was at TAFE and then Uni studying business management and marketing. One of the things we learnt was that the first line in the heading was the "advert" for the advert.

As in:

"At last, a way to get your floors clean with half as much effort!"

Or how about:

"At last, improve the value of your car by this simple trick."

And then in both cases the body copy went on to extoll the virtues of whatever the product was and then had a call to action in the end part. 

Basic rule of advertising: Attention, interest, desire, action. (Ring this number NOW or fill in this form NOW.. only 9 items available etc.

In my MAX Instruments days, I always tried to use "At Last" in my advertising. 

Then there was Warren And Gordon's song... "At Last" (my love has come along)

And what about my new Holden that is on order...  as it is arguably the most advanced car ever built here, one could say....

They saved the best for LAST!

When I was about 12 and we had our family holiday home on Bribie Island, we had a bookshelf full of books.. as we had no TV. I remember seeing a paperback called, "The Last Hurrah" and it said in a splash on the over, "Now a movie starring Spencer Tracy". There it is.. that word "last" again. Always popping into my life.

My mother telling I would come last in my class if I didn't study my maths. (Mother, there are 12 frames on my roll of 120 and the camera counts them for me. That is all I need to know and anyhow, I don't want to be a mathematician!) That bloody "last" word again.. but this time with negative thoughts attached to it.

But back to the word last and its other uses....

One day back in about 1980, I was walking up George Street in Brisbane City and I walked past a hifi store. Out the front they had a pair of big Peterson stereo speakers and they were pumping out ELO's Last Train to London. I stopped and listened in.. wow, what a romantic vision formed in my head. Late on a cold night, a young couple on a railway station somewhere in England (Three Bridges perhaps) and they are sharing one long last kiss as the porter calls last train to London. Imagine the thoughts in the head of the guy singing the song, telling the story. He knows he should go, but he has just met her that very night and it is sweet agony... hanging on to her as the seconds count down to the train's departure..

Of course being a visual person (I am a photographer) all of this is playing out on a screen in my mind to this incredible sound track. 

Naturally, that night those speakers are in my home, hooked up to my magic Sansui AU555 amp (still have it.. 1969 vintage) and are pumping out.. Last train to London.

So from 1980, fast forward to 2014 and I find myself on my last night in Budapest with Debra. Our holiday European River Cruise is over and tomorrow we fly to Munich in Germany on business. Budapest is a very romantic city and Debra and I along with our friends Mark & Libby, Greg and Heidi cannot believe our holiday is nearly over. On this, our very last night all together, like that couple on Three Bridges Station 34 years ago, we are all living very much in the moment, all deliriously happy and we all want this moment to last....


And then...

Along comes The Last Tram to Budapest.

And I have my trusted Fuji with me! What visual poetry to finish the night.

Folks.. I give you... "The Last Tram to Budapest"

Last Tram to Budapest. © Mark Taylor BNE 2014

Let the music play on down the line tonight!

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