Regular readers will know that I am starting a new long term project this year. I wrote about it here.
In a sentence I have defined an area of countryside to photograph which covers about 30 sq miles to the north of where I live; it’s a mix of chalk downs, farmland and woodland and includes a section of the South Downs Way.
At the beginning of anything new there is a sense of excitement and anticipation. A desire to make the first image not knowing what the coming weeks and months ahead will produce. What direction will the project take as it evolves over time? Who knows, but I am aware the project will require a title at some point in the future once a clear sense of direction has been esyablished. Whilst I already have a number of ideas as to what this might be it’s far too early to commit, as conceptually it may well change as I become influenced and inspired by the varied scenery I discover. I want to immerse myself in the landscape, capture what I see, not necessarily for its beauty but because that’s how it is – an element of documenting the countryside will form part of the project.
Yesterday I headed out for the first time to an area known as Colworth Down which is part of the West Dean Estate. It’s an area which is familiar to me so I had some inclination as to what I would see and the subjects I might photograph. The weather was dry and bright, if anything a little too contrasty, but this light can be an advantage as well. I work with the conditions I am given and I don’t wish for something different. Other light will come in the future.
I was also keen to test out my newly acquired 18mm super wide angle lens. You can read more about it here, but I am already delighted with the creative compositions which are possible with this lens.
On the return journey I drove through Chilgrove and was drawn to a horse box and a rather ramshackle outbuilding . As mentioned earlier this project is less about ‘stunning landscapes’ and more about recording what I see and find attractive. These image can have their own ‘beauty’ even if your definition of ‘beautiful’ might be very different to my own way of seeing and thinking.
I expect this project to last at least a year and quite possibly much longer, so this is just the beginning. As the project develops I will share my thoughts and some of the images on this blog. I hope you will find it to be as interesting and as enjoyable as I know in will.
Do click on any of the images to view a larger version which will open in a new window.