Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fen Landscape 35 – Cottenham

Saturday 25th August 2018.  This morning walked along Cottenham Lode from Cottenham to Rampton, between Little North Fen and Great North Fen.  Sunny and breezy; candyfloss cumulous clouds over fields of russet linseed and bleached blond barely-harvestable barley.  At Rampton … Continue reading

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Talking Pictures 5 – Hurn & Jay

David Hurn and Bill Jay argue that time is embodied in one of the fundamental principles of photography: ‘The exposure is made, and the image is frozen in time, at exactly the right moment’ (Looking at Photographs, 2000).  Time is … Continue reading

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Snettisham

22nd August, trip to RSPB Snettisham with J.  Overcast to start with, brightening later, mild and breezy.  Low tides had left the estuarine mud to be baked into a reticulated tawny shore by endless days of sun.  A rare chance … Continue reading

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Talking Pictures 4 – Bill Jay

My photographic education continues: a copy of On Looking at Photographs – A Practical Guide, David Hurn/Magnum in conversation with Bill Jay (Lenswork 2000), has arrived from St Louis.  In the introduction they say: ‘Its purpose is to suggest how … Continue reading

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Talking Pictures 2 – John Szarkowski

It’s 45 years since John Szarkowski’s Looking at Photographs was published.  I wonder how many photographers read it now (or any other critical texts on photography for that matter)?  I think he still has a lot to offer, his take … Continue reading

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Clouds

‘Clouds were a particularly good subject for an artist like Coburn [Alvin Langdon Coburn 1882-1966] who sought the broad poetic view of things.  Granted that no two clouds are the same; nevertheless, their meanings (except to farmers and meteorologists) were … Continue reading

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Joan Leigh Fermor 3

Joan Leigh Fermor as a photographer, as opposed to a handmaid to male writers, has long been something of an enigma: the claims made for the quality of her work were hardly borne out by its limited publication during her … Continue reading

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Taking Pictures Revisited

On Friday J asked me why I chose monochrome for the picture of Shingle Street posted on 26th July.  That’s a very good question.  There are three parts to the answer. First, I find Shingle Street a strange, rather haunting … Continue reading

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For the Birds

A bird is seen as a symbol of the soul, especially as it ascends to heaven after death, in eastern and western art, culture and religion.  The image of a bird and snake fighting represents the conflict between heavenly and … Continue reading

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Fennel

Fennel is both beautiful and useful in the kitchen; I have some growing in my garden.  Growing, but not flourishing, it amounts to no more than a few weedy stems, despite my efforts with the watering can and occasional doses … Continue reading

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Shingle Street 9

Shingle Street is a strange place.  Maybe it’s the remoteness, the restless sea and the unstable shape-shifting shore.  Maybe there are ghosts too. The lost name ‘German Ocean’, remembered only in the eponymous Mansions, echoes to the fervent patriotic clamour … Continue reading

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Russian Friends

Whatever Presidents Trump and Putin are up to, relations between Britain and Russia are poor.  But that’s hardly a surprise: it’s been the historical norm for most of the past 200 years.   The two nations confronted each other in ‘The … Continue reading

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Gibraltar Farm Barn

Gibraltar Farm Barn, Tempsford, is a Grade II Listed Building.  The official citation is as follows. ‘Barn, later adapted to store flight equipment for Special Operations Executive agents, and now a memorial. Early-C19 with mid-C20 modifications. Concrete plinth, weather-boarded and … Continue reading

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Dunwich

The Medieval port town of Dunwich has long since been washed away by storms and spring tides – the tower of All Saints’, the last of the ancient churches, toppled over the friable cliffs in 1922.  A local legend says … Continue reading

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Shingle Street 8

‘At Shingle Street we strolled towards the sea, our feet setting up a slow rhythmic, percussive rattle in the shingle. Valerian, sea kale and horned sea poppy bent in the wind, their muted red, green and yellow blending with colours … Continue reading

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