I've had a bit of a busy week and i'm writing this a week later, i've moved jobs and locations, from Wiltshire to Cumbria. Visiting home in the West Midlands in between. I've moved to the Wasdale Valley on the western Lakes in The Lake District, Cumbria where i work and live at Burnthwaite BnB www.burnthwaitefarm.co.uk. At the farm you have the Farmer Andrew and his partner Georgina who runs the bnb, his daughter Helen who is learning farming from her farther and her partner Gaitan who works at the local inn, where i also work 3 nights a week.
The geological topography of the landscape is immediately visible upon arrival in the valley, i felt immediately drawn to making images of the landscape that you would see in the tourist industry advertising the location as the area is so picturesque. The images would be easy to come by if you point and shoot your camera anywhere as it's such an inspiring landscape and so picturesque, but i don't want to take those traditional styled landscape images. I find traditional landscape imagery doesn't hold my interest for long, and the endless golden hour images, misty or still waters a bit repetitive. The tripod and long exposure stops me in my tracks, i prefer an immediate response to the environment not one where i wait for the right light, weather and/or conditions, i want a more reactionary response to the land than pre thinking and planning what the image will be. I'm also a lazy landscape photographer, getting up before light for the sunrise is not for me, i've tried and failed many times. If i was paid to get up to take an image i would and could. In hospitality i have to get up very early for breakfast shift because i have to as i'm being paid but the thought of doing it just for getting the image isn't enough to drag me out of bed, even though i find nothing finer than the early morning which is quiet and peaceful with not many souls around, the world waking up and i have witnessed it on many early morning journeys to work, but the early morning landscape photographer i am not. When reading about Landscape imagery the photographer is always very keen to show and explain the hardship that has gone before to make the image. For instance the work of Thomas Heaton in his ebook Landscape Photography on Location start of 'It's 4am; my phone is ringing and vibrating under my pillow. I am still in a slumber and my subconscious has not separated dreams from reality, the alarm seems distant and unreal, then i wake with a start. I force myself out of the warm, safe, cosy sleeping bag, unzip my tent and peer out into blackness. I can see cloud and i can see stars, game on.' He goes onto explain the journey of the sunrise golden hour photo. I've read this kind of account on many occasions and it now seems to be part of the landscape process, if you don't suffer for your art then it's not worth it, it seems to add to the image quality. I find it's some kind of competition for who has the worst experience bagging the shot, but it's becoming half of the experience that makes the shot even better. I won't be camping out at night on a fell side or summit to get the dawn shot. Does this mean my images aren't any good?
I want to be creative and interpret the land in my own creative way using the multi image process i've been using, whilst settling in i've been thinking about my project and where its going to go.
Place and identity within the picturesque. My aim is to capture the local landscape showing an identity of the environment which is unique to this area. I guess this covers landscape documentary reportage.
The place is a pictoraque landscape with so many images depicting the landscape, but since i've been here i'm learning about the place and the people who live here and work the land. I'm asking questions about the land and how its managed, it's such a contrast to where i've come from.
From a quick look at the module and sharing, i'm sharing my work with the new people who have come into my life, we are all learning new things from the collaboration.
I've been collaborating with the farming family and the people who live and work within the landscape. The people who know and understand the land and see it differently to tourist or visitors. Collaborations to me doesn't necessarily mean collaborating with another artist, it's whoever enhances and informs your work and inspires you. I'm experiencing their lifestyle even if for only a few months.
First set of images taken from around the farm and a little walk out.
Finished Multi layered images
You can see from the single images taken how i've put them together to create the multi images below. For example
Upon arriving at Wasdale i looked at the landscape and was immediately struck by how lunar the landscape to the right of the valley was. The fell walker, guide book author and illustrator wrote.
“The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.”
― Alfred Wainwright, The Western Fells
The patterns that the scree has created from falling down into the lake create line in the landscape. I've noticed that there are many different lines in this landscape. Lines from the scree, from walkers treading the land and fell boundry walls. The scree lines are made naturally by weather conditions and natural erosion occurring over time, the paths are trodden down by mans foot creating scars across the land, these lines can be seen from far away showing the way to the summit, a reminder of our need to conquer the great outdoors and the fell walls are another man made mark upon the land, these walls were put up due to the Enclosure Act which was introduced in the 1700's, Slaves or prisoners were used as man power to make these walls upon the fells. I was told by the farmer that the wonkier the wall the older it is, straight walls have been built more recently. As i drive past these walls and look at their design i wonder who build them?
Finished multi layered image
As you can see from these images above, the first shoot i did, i was drawn to the texture within the landscape, there are a lot of lines with the landsape.