Extending the hand of friendship

Extending the hand of friendship

We have finally had truly cold weather in Lewes and a light dusting of snow that has changed the contours of the hills and highlighted the furrows of the ploughed fields. The first day it snowed, it began while I was out walking, and the higher I got on the Downs the more there was of it. I came onto an exposed sweep of land and there, in the middle of it, was a bouquet of roses scattered on the ground. The pale yellow of the blooms and their green leaves were a startling sight, surrounded as they were by a monochromatic landscape of white snow, grey sky and dark shrubs.

I learned afterwards that yellow roses are a symbol of friendship, though there was no indication of why they had been left in this isolated spot.

A friend suggested that perhaps they had been placed here as a caring message, reaching out to whoever came across them.

I like that idea. Friendship in its many forms is something we all need during this time of isolation and social distance.

You can find more of my landscape photographs here.

Where land meets sea

Where land meets sea

I have to admit that work is a tad slower than I would have liked during this third and open-ended lockdown. To keep myself busy, I have been working with my hand-printed cyanotypes again. This shot was taken at sunrise on Cape Cod during my visit last October.

I am making plans for two more cyanotype books. (My first one, about Lewes Bonfire, can be found here). One book will be photographs of the sea – mostly stormy.

The other will be photos of the plants, sand and rocks to be found where land meets sea. I will be binding them myself as limited editions. I am still working on exactly how I will do this – I’ll keep you posted! More of my cyanotypes are here.

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

Festive greetings!

Festive greetings!

Wishing you all the very best for the coming year and may it be immeasurably better than this one. Here’s to once again being able to meet and hug and be together without fear and anxiety. Hopefully that time is just around the corner.

I wanted to send you a nice wintery photograph to celebrate the season.

I wanted to post an appropriately wintery photograph to celebrate the season. I took this last December on Cape Cod and it was chilly, but not so much so that it stopped me jumping into that still clear water – and convincing my friend to come in with me. It felt magical, immersed in the sea with the snow swirling in the air. Don’t worry, I didn’t stay in very long. You can see many more of my landscape photographs here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Twenty-nine years of celebrating Thanksgiving in the UK and it is still my favourite holiday. I have even managed to bring my English family and friends round to my way of thinking. So here’s to appreciating our loved ones and whatever it is that we have to be thankful for – there is always something.

For those of you not in the US, eat something nice today with someone you love and you too will have entered into the spirit of the holiday. For my American subscribers, you already know exactly what to do.

Please get in touch if you have an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

On the last day of summer

On the last day of summer

On the last day of summer, I swam in a sea with no horizon. It was boundless and made of liquid silver. The morning sun was hidden by a bank of mist and there was a stillness in the air and across the water. As I swam, I savoured the feeling, hoping that I would be able to retrieve it during the months of winter ahead. More of my landscape photographs are here.

I am self-publishing a book of my cyanotype Bonfire portraits. It is available by mail order. You can find more information here.

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

Dazzled at Hope Gap

Dazzled by Hope Gap

So, let us continue together on our cyanotype journey. After weeks and weeks stuck at home during lockdown, my family’s first joyous outing to a beach was to the aptly named Hope Gap near Seaford. It is along this Sussex coastline that the chalk hills of the South Downs hit the sea in steep dramatic cliffs.

The day was bright and still. An hour’s walk brought us to a gap in the rolling green scrubland. Opened out before us was a vista of sparkling sea, with the undulating Seven Sisters to the left and a headland rising straight out of the water to the right.

Down on the beach the tide was out and the cliffs loomed sharp and jagged, their white edges standing out against sky. I felt moved nearly to tears at the startling beauty of it all.

I had been working doggedly on my storm cyanotypes over many lockdown hours when I began to think about using the technique for other types of landscape photographs. The process is tricky and it is difficult to predict how a photograph will translate from computer screen to hand-made print.

For many photos, it doesn’t really work, but for some, the tonal qualities of cyanotype heighten the feelings I want to convey in a photograph. This mightiest of the Sisters is called Haven Brow and towers 77 meters (253 ft) above Cuckmere Haven. The cyanotype process helps to convey what I wanted here – a sense of the majesty of this cliff face.

You can find a selection of my cyanotypes here and learn how I create them here.This new work will be exhibited in September in a joint exhibit with artist Kelly Hall as part of the Lewes District Artwave Festival.

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