Posts from the ‘south downs’ category

‘Fallen’ in Wildhams Wood

Wildhams Wood-4

In the location I have chosen to explore and photograph for my new project there are a good number of woodland areas, some of which are managed by the Forestry Commission. Open access to this land is not clear although I underdstand The Forestry Commssion has started the process (in June 2017) whereby it will designate its land for public access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.

When I visited this wood recently I stayed on one of the public footpaths. I did though venture into the wood itself having noticed a single fallen pine tree which I thought might be an interesting subject to photograph. This tree had not been felled by a forester. From the angle of its trunk it was clear nature had been the cause of its downfall. I took a number of frames from different positions using either a 90mm short telephoto lens to compress the detail or an 18mm super wideangle to get up close and personal.



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New Project – It’s early days


It’s very early days as far as my new photographic project is concerned. For a variety of reasons I have only ventured out  on a few occasions with my camera since the turn of the year, however this will change as the daylight hours start to get a little longer.

Each trip has been very worthwhile as I start to familiarise myself with the area I have chosen to photograph. Even if the conditions aren’t perfect, the shutter is always released. Sometimes the purpose is to simply record a place and a composition I would like to revisit when the light is more favourable.

For the time being I thought I would share with you a small selection of images which only make me want to get out and about even more!

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Thinking outside the standard box!


There are of course many standard aspect ratios which photographers use on a regular basis to crop an image. The obvious ones that immediately spring to mind are 3 x 2, 5 x 4, 1 x 1 and 16 x 9. There are very good reasons why these are widely used but there are also images which require a ‘non standard’ approach. This picture is a perfect example.

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New Year, New Project

Towards Cocking

Towards Cocking (2013)

For the past 18 months or so much of my photography has centered around the coastal area of Chichester Harbour. Having a specific and long term project to concentrate the mind has been something of a revelation to me. I have always been inspired by other photographers and artists who have chosen a subject to work on over a sustained period of time. The intimate knowledge gained by exploring a defined area and the benefit this brings to a body of work is, I have now discovered, hugely rewarding.

South Downs Project Map

Project Map

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Churches Project no.5 – St Michael’s, Up Marden, West Sussex

St Michael’s in Up Marden is a small, beautiful and unspoilt country church dating back to the 13th Century. Within the South Downs National Park it lies to the north west of Chichester and to the south of the Hampshire town of Petersfield. Invisible from the road behind farm buildings and surrounded by trees and farmland it would be easy to pass it by. Even if you happened to find yourself along this very quiet country lane in this remote backwater of West Sussex, you still might miss the small sign which leads you up an unmade track to the church.

When I visited the church it was quite a dull day and on entry the nave was dark and it took a while for my eyes to adjust to the light. I rely totally on natural light for my work, I don’t even possess a flash but even if I did, I wouldn’t use it as I like to work with the light I am given and not create an artificial look to my photographs. I did though wonder how I was going to cope with such poor light, but the combination of a high ISO setting (1600 or 3200), a monopod, and some careful post processing, I was able to achieve the results you can see in this post.

I spent over two hours on my own, observing and taking in the atmosphere of this lovely building, working out the best way to capture the almost rustic simplicity of this church. After all it is still lit by candles, so there are no ‘modern’ wires or bulbs to take away the fact that this is a very old place of worship for country folk.


The Chancel in Up Marden Church

The Chancel


Prayer Book in Up Marden Church

The Lord’s Supper


Light through the door way in Up Marden Church

Light through the door way into the bell tower


Candelabra in Up Marden Church



Cobwebs and cow parsley through the leaded light window of Up Marden Church

Cobwebs and cow parsley 


St Michael's Church, Up Marden

St Michael’s Church, Up Marden


The Alter in Up Marden Church

The Altar 


Within the same area there are churches at East Marden, West Marden and North Marden, but they will all have to wait for another day.


Do click on any of the images to view a larger version in a new window or visit the West Sussex Gallery page for other churches in the county.

For more information about my ongoing Churches Project do click here.