On a recent walk I stumbled upon this old steel barn which had seen better days, and was now being used to store three redundant tractors. They too were long past their prime. How long the barn and tractors had been in this state is anyone’s guess but it was a rich source of photographic material.
It was a real pleasure to wander around and uncover some details in an effort to record and capture the feeling of this place.
This collection of images forms part of my latest project – ‘Close to my back door’. There are two other entries you might like to see.
Earlier this month I posted my first entry on this blog for nearly 5 months. I am pleased this entry hasn’t taken quite so long!
Once again the images are all of scenes which are close to my back door. This isn’t just because the current ‘Covid Lockdown’ prevent anything other than ‘staying local’ for exercise but because I truly enjoy exploring and seeing what can be photographed in my immediate surroundings. Why travel for miles and miles (restrictions allowing of course) if good subjects can be found near to home?
There is another distinct advantage to this approach which I written about before. It allows me to return to a place when I know the lighting will work to my advantage. I will have visted the location previously and then envisaged what the scene might look like at a different time of day and when the weather conditions are more conducive to create a pleasing result.
This approach doesn’t guarantee a good picture but it does improve my chances greatly. Composition, choice of lens etc can all be considered beforehand. The light just has to be right.
All of the images in this entry were taken in this way. It requires a degree of patience and the pre-visualised outcome may not always be as I would hope or expect. Over the years this approach has allowed me to think and plan ahead. When the plan comes together there is a great deal of satisfaction to be had. When it doesn’t, I learn from the experience knowing I can return another day. After all – it’s close to my back door.
My last major project was ‘Still by the Water’ which took the best part of 2 years to photograph and complete, and all the images were captured within a 10 minute drive of home. The photographs you see here are I believe the humble beginnings of another long term project.
It’s been a number of months since I posted an entry on this blog. Five months to be precise, which is a long time. I could bore you with a variety of reasons for my absence but that’s not really something I think you want to read about. (I have kept fit and well though and for that I am most grateful).
Instead I would prefer to share with you a selection of images all taken since the turn of the year. Pictures of my favourite genre, the landscape of the English countryside. Open countryside, farmland and woodland scenes.
I consider myself to be very fortunate. I love and I am inspired to photograph the beauty that is on my doorstep, which is just as well as we are living day to day through another Lockdown. This severely limits all travel except for essential reasons, and to take exercise in your local area. In fact the guidance is clear, do not leave home unless absolutely necessary.
I inted this to be the first in a series of images and blog posts. As I process and share these photographs with you I can feel a degree of excitement at the prospect of building a body of work which is harmonious in character, style and subject. I am sure it will evolve over time but as the seasons change I shall allow that to happen. Most of all I want to capture how I see the English countryside, and in particular record the raw beauty of rural scenes close to my back door.
Wherever you happen to be, stay well and keep safe.
At the end of July I posted ‘Winter is coming’, and here we are now at the end of August. Whilst it’s definitely not winter it is certainly feeling distinctly more autumnal. Everything in nature seems so much earlier this year. Some trees are beginning to turn colour, the wheat and barley have been harvested, blackberries are ready to be picked and this weekend the weather forecasters are predicting a chill in the wind as it turns round to the north.
After a long dry summer rain clouds and heavy showers have returned and these conditions for photography are right up my street. I am inspired to reach for the camera bag and head out. I did just that yesterday and my efforts were rewarded with the above picture.
Long walks weighed down with gear is not my idea of fun. But if I have spotted a location I like to return, park up nearby and wait for the light and a composition to come together. It can of course mean staring at rain drops on the windscreen until conditions improve!
This particular spot is a favourite of mine. Near the village of West Marden in the South Downs National Park. I first came across it back in February when I made this image. The same tree but taken from another position and of course in very different light.
I shall doubtless return when the weather looks promising. I can already picture the scene in a harsh frost or when fresh snow is lying on the ground. We see less and less snow in the south of England but I shall keep my fingers crossed.
As I have already said ‘winter is coming’ and photographically speaking I can’t wait.
It may seem a little odd to be posting this image when here in the UK we are still enjoying the long warm days of summer.
This dull, misty scene of bare skeletal trees in winter reminds me of what lies in store. From a photographic point of view, autumn and winter have much to offer and the months between October and March are arguably my favoured time of year to be out and about with a camera.
I shall make the most of the summer but I am looking forward to the seasons changing and the impact they have on our rich and varied landscape.