Another Photography Book

I’m currently in the early stages of making my second book that i plan to release later this year. It’s an ambitious book idea and there’s lots of work still to be done but I’m having fun and learning a lot.

The book will bring together a collection of images that i shot over a ten year period in the English county of Norfolk. A book seems the perfect format to show the work. The images below come from one of my favourite locations in Norfolk called Little Walsingham.

A place of pilgrimage, Little Walsingham has a remarkable blend of new and old world. It’s one of the most peaceful places i know. The perfect place to unwind.

More details about the book project can be found HERE

priests_walsingham

Two Priests walk through Little Walsingham, a village in Norfolk that has been a focus for religious pilgrimage for centuries

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Three Crosses in a church garden – Little Walsingham

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Lit Prayer Candles  – Little Walsingham

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Favourite Photo?

There is a website, for a British newspaper, that runs a regular article where a photographer picks his or her favourite photograph. While the choices made by the photographer in question can be revealing, I often think that the idea of picking ONE photo to sum up your work/talent is just asking for trouble.

The photograph above is just one of my favourite shots. I’m certainly not going to limit myself to picking just one unless I have some rabid photo fanatic, holding me hostage with a gun to my head. Then I’d have to pick one! If so the photo above would make the list.

The photograph was taken in 2003 at Beaumaris on Anglesey, North Wales. It was the classic story of walking along and behold, there was the image. The couple were taking in the view, looking over the water to the Snowdonia national park with the mountains just visible through the mist. Really the picture sums up, at least for me, what most people seek out of life – a companion to be with and to admire/share the view/experience with them. It also reminds me of the W.H Davis poem about having time to stand and stare.

I was worried that they’d move position or decide to walk further along the sea front, but they remained like that for some time, completely unaware that i’d taken their photo. Two frames of HP5 taken on a Nikon F4s fitted with an 80-200mm zoom.

The only other consideration is the telescope to the right of the couple. Is the fact that it is in an upright position relevant at all??? 🙂

A Heathenish Vanity

I thought i’d give a glimpse of something I’m working on at the moment. It’s coming to the time of year when people get dressed up and dance around a brightly coloured pole – a Maypole. It’s usually a very popular event and hopefully there will be some acceptable British bank holiday weather – a tall order i know but it could happen!

Next Monday i’ll going along to the Mayday celebrations to photograph the festivities and try and capture some of the atmosphere. The Maypole featured in the photo above is a permanent iconic structure on the local village green, unlike many other village Maypoles that are put up and taken down when required. Most of the year it just stands waiting, waiting patiently for May to arrive when it will become the focus of attention.

The history of the Maypole is fascinating with the practice falling in and out of favour with the ‘authorities’ on many occasions. Probably one of the more amusing descriptions comes from the Long Parliament ordinance of 1644 describing maypoles as “a Heathenish vanity, generally abused to superstition and wickedness.” Plenty to photograph then!

It’s old world clashing into the new, although it could be strongly argued that most village Maypole usage these days has more to do with tourism than any olde world beliefs. One visitor to the local celebrations where i am, is apparently coming all the way from Atlanta!

Look out for a Maypole gallery coming to  the main photography website soon

Parting Shots

The last couple of days have been among of the most painful I’ve ever experienced. Strangely, Grandma’s funeral last Thursday wasn’t the worst part – the emptying of the bungalow she called home the following day takes that honour. Something felt very wrong. It was all very surreal and immensely sad as the furniture was carried away. One of the more common sentiments among many of the village residents present at the funeral and afterwards, was that it was the end of an era for the village community. It certainly felt like the end of something you never thought would end.

I had packed a couple of cameras with me and i’m glad i had them. The day of the funeral started as a bright but foggy morning – perfect for getting some moody, atmospheric shots among the trees and around Thorpe Malsor. To be honest, it was great to have a distraction, but the photography also served a deeper purpose of recording the village that had been part of Flint family life for so long. That relationship, that physical connection, has finally gone. Was the photography a form of therapy? Undoubtedly i’d have to say yes.

I took film cameras rather than the DSLR. I did pack the digital camera but then decided to stick with a 35mm SLR and the 6×6. Later it seemed right to be shooting these final (?) images of the village using film. After all, as a teenager, I’d had great fun going around Thorpe looking for images, armed with my trusty Miranda MS2 (my first SLR camera) loaded with Boots film. Fortunately the light was great during my final stay. I’ll be publishing the 35mm and 6×6 images on the blog very soon.

Finally i come to the image above. My iPhone developed major battery problems so that it could only be used if plugged into a power socket. I would have liked to have posted some images, audioboos and tweeted more as i walked around, but it wasn’t to be. Instead i took this image, using my Nokia, of the snowdrops in the churchyard at Thorpe Malsor. For many years, my Grandparents lived in the house opposite. The proximity of the church, combined with living in a fabulous old country house, made it feel very olde world England. The snowdrops in the photo add a feeling of new life. Renewal. A new start.

It was dark when i left the village. Will i return? Well i prefer to use an au revoir rather than a definite goodbye. If I’m nearby, I’ll stop to remember some childhood memories. When it comes down to it though, the Thorpe Malsor residents were right – it is the end of an era.

Saving for a Rainy Day

Bamburgh castle from the sand dunes

I’m currently reinstalling everything back onto my laptop. Great fun! After around 18 months of flawless use, the laptop finally started freezing on me in critical situations, so i decided to do a factory reset. A drastic move, i know, but it means a fresh, clean laptop ready to go soon. It’ll just take me several days to put all the software back on it.

Fortunately there was nothing on the hard drive of great value. I backup to DVD-ROM and memory stick, and now DropBox, as often as i can, but it never seems quite enough. The fear of losing digital content has increased each year as i realise how much I rely on files just being there. To complicate matters, the laptop DVD-RW would no longer burn discs due to a software issue. The factory reset has removed this problem too. Phew!

Just recently I started using an online service called CodeGuard after i realised how much blood, sweat, tears and man hours had gone into the main website redesign. The idea of someone wrecking all that work with a hack [shiver] terrified me! CodeGuard simply backup your website (all the files on your server) so you have a fall-back (or several!) should the worse happen. So far it looks like a great service.