Notes For Assessor

This learning log / blog is my main submission for assessment  supported by a presentation box containing:

  • The contact sheet of prints for each assignment
  • A selection of A4 prints for assignments 2, 4 & 5 (no prints have been included for assignment 1)
  • A photo book of the photographs submitted for assignment 3
  • Assignment 5 is represented by a mocked up and bound magazine article plus some prints
  • Tutor’s feedback for each assignment
  • Any reworked prints arising from the tutor’s comments

This blog is organised so each assignment can be selected from the menu to the right. In each case, under the assignment number you will find :

  • My response to the tutor’s comments and any further reflections arising
  • The tutor’s feedback (including links to follow up research)
  • My self assessment
  • The assignment as submitted
  • The specific research leading up to the assignment which usually provides an explanation of my thought and practical processes and relevant context in terms of other practitioners

There is a record of other, less specific, research throughout the blog and that is filed under the “Research and Reflection category

Nicky Bird, Tracing Echoes, Assignment 5 Follow-up

My tutor suggested that I looked at Nicky Bird’s Tracing Echoes (1) as a follow up to my TAOP assignment 5 submission, Change in the Village. This proved to be an interesting line of research that not only plays a part in closing down TAOP but has real relevance to various lines of research that I have subsequently been pursuing as part of Context and Narrative. With this in mind I am posting this essay on both learning logs.

Julia Margaret Cameron 1815 – 1879

I declare my prior ignorance regarding this obviously eminent Victorian photographer. Tracing Echoes includes, as way of an introduction, an essay by Pamela Gerrish Nunn which explains some of Cameron’s history and her place in the history of British photography. She is an artist worthy of study as her work, in many ways, is more closely related to the styles of the late 20th and early 21st century than to her own time. Gerry Badger (2) presents her as an unconventional photographer who “broke all the rules of 1860’s photography” and Pamela Gerrish Nunn explains that her disregard for conventions was not limited to her work behind the camera, she was a strong character who apparently often intimidated her sitters. Dr. Nicky Bird’s book mostly concentrates on her portraits of women, often in tableaux or as allegorical figures, so we have to look elsewhere (3) to find examples of her portrait style and how she often filled the frame with her subjects, sometimes working so close that the camera could not be focussed. This approach gives the viewer no escape, the frame is dominated by the subject and because we instinctively and subconsciously read body positions and faces we are joining Cameron in confronting her sitter and through this process are exposed to some element of their personality. Do they stare firmly back? Do they appear relaxed? Are they being made uncomfortable by the experience? Badger uses a photograph of Thomas Carlyle taken in 1867 to make the point that she was “totally at odds” with the usual formality of the Victorian portrait.

Diane Arbus (4) was a modern photographer who regularly used the same techniques to ensure that her audience did not miss the message when she photographed studies such as A Women in a Bird Mask or Women with a Fur Collar and many other of her street portraits, one might also look to some of Martin Parr’s work to see a similar approach. ( i )

I would like to return to Cameron in the future but, for now, my interest in is Nicky Bird.

Photography’s Relationship with History

Tracing Echoes is a refreshingly affordable book and one that I am pleased to have added to my collection and, from my perspective, a book that is highly relevant to my work on Change in the Village and to my current research into Late Photography. Nicky Bird’s approach to photography speaks to my own interest in finding ways, by combining past and present photography, to understand how history has shaped us and our contemporary landscape. Photography records the present at the moment it becomes the past and since the 1860’s our understanding of history has become increasingly informed by the still or moving image. Today, television, on-line news and social media is consciously or subconsciously prioritised by the availability of images to such an extent that an un-photographed or un-filmed event is, at best, a footnote and, at worst ignored.

As a way of recording a place or an event photographs form part of the archaeological record but, beyond this, the photograph, in itself, is a physical or electronic artefact, a piece of archaeology. Most of us born in the 20th century have a record of our life in photographs forming a visual record of the places we have been, the physical and social changes we have experienced. This “family album” is a tiny current in the ocean of history but becomes more interesting when we attempt to link it with other contemporary or historic currents so it becomes part of a wider stream that tells a more comprehensive story of who we are and where we came from. In Change in Village I was trying to relate two lives that were separated by over a hundred years but played out on the same stage, a small Surrey village, and through this process I was exploring the way ideas and social interactions changed in a single place over time. I was also seeking traces of my life in that place and of the earlier life that had been lived there so the project was archaeological in nature with found images being the most commonly discovered artefacts.

Nicky Bird

Dr. Nicky Bird is a PhD Coordinator at the Glasgow School of Art (6) and a practicing artist whose work usually involves a combination of new and found photographs (7) to support explorations of social and hidden history. Tracing Echoes is one of her older published or exhibited projects dating back to 2001 when she was the artist in residence at Dimbola Lodge, the home of Julia Margaret Cameron.

In 2006/07 she created Question for Seller where she purchased unwanted family photos on ebay and exhibited them with the sellers comments and their original purchase price. At the end of the exhibition the photos were resold. This project raised a series of questions about the value placed on a family’s history and how a family album moves from being a cherished possession to a commodity that sells for a few pounds on eBay. In an interview with Sharon Boothroyd (8) the artist touches on how this process might be connected with class and the way in which working class history only exists at the margins. This is insightful and reminded me that the only reason I could trace photographs of Fred Grover, the real hero of Change in the Village, was because his middle-class employer had photographed him and that this family had placed sufficient value on their family album for it to survive and to be eventually donated to the local museum. I did not attend the exhibition but can only assume that the most asked question was “who are these people?”, a question that we ask ourselves when we pick up an photograph in a market. My mother left a biscuit tin of ancient family photographs and many are unnamed, undated and mysterious, I presume there is a connection with the family, that connection must have been important for my mother or her mother to have kept the photo but there the story ends.

Archaeology of the Ordinary was a series created in 2011 centred around a group of derelict cottages in East Lothian where archaeologists had found the signatures of, what proved to be, Irish migrant workers from the 1950s. Abandoned buildings hold a particular fascination as a place of ghosts and faint traces of history and perhaps because they have been abandoned as opposed to evolved and changed with the times adds a sense that the ghosts and traces are present but on the verge of disappearing forever. These migrants may have moved on and made their mark on the world in many other ways but it is also possible that some of these signatures are the only permanent record of their passing and it is this sense of seeing a moment in time in a photograph or a piece of graffiti and not knowing the back story or what followed that makes these marks, and Bird’s photos of them, so poignant. The idea and the approach of this and other examples of Bird’s work reminded me of an article in the British Archaeology Magazine about tree carvings or arboglyphs left by soldiers who trained on Salisbury plain showing, perhaps, that archaeology and photography sometimes follow the same as opposed to parallel paths. (10) ( ii )

Tracing Echoes

Tracing Echoes is divided into four main sections followed by a detailed conversation between the artist and two individuals from the National Museum of Photography. The first section sets out to map  Dimbola Lodge, which as previously mentioned was the home of Julia Margaret Cameron in Freshwater Bay on the Isle of White. The presentation is of a single found photograph of the house in Cameron’s time and a series of new images taken by Bird. This acts as an introduction and gives a sense of place. I am interested that these images are quite flat, low contrast and without any artificial lighting for the interiors. This made me think of Jaochim Brohm’s Typology 1979 (11) which was part of my inspiration for Change in the Village, Typology 1979 is a study of the small structures Germans build on their allotments and was consciously photographed in flat autumn light. ( iii )

The second section, Timelines, is more interesting as each found photograph is accompanied by one of Bird’s images. The linkages between each pair are not always obvious and Bird makes no attempt to copy the composition and her images are all in colour. She explains that whilst some are of the same location there is a certain amount of guesswork involved and in one case we see Cameron’s daughter in 1867 and her bedroom as it is in 2000 which, as bedrooms have a special relationship with their occupants, this is a link that any parent or grandparent can relate to; the room is now stripped bare but showing it alongside a portrait of the daughter took me to the room in the 1860s asking me to imagine its Victorian decor. I found the subtle and unclear linkages drew me into the archaeological investigations asking me to linger over the photographs to find the clues and traces that Bird had seen or sensed.

There is then a section that records Bird’s genealogical research which I found needed to be read in conjunction with the conversation section at the end of the book that explains who these people are. However, that is a minor comment as any photo book worth owning must draw us back on multiple occasions and when the artist provides the level of context that we have here it will always be necessary to turn back and forth to understand the story. The genealogy searches tell us what happened to Cameron’s sitters which takes found photography to a different and interesting place partly, or perhaps mainly, because the sitters are mostly Cameron’s domestic servants or other working class people who visited the house. ( iv ) This research enabled Bird to make contact with some of the descendants of the sitters and thereby leading to the Echoes and Dialogues section.

It is worth noting that this research and, in some ways, the whole book is fuelled by Cameron’s tendency to note the names of her sitters on the back of the photographs. This is all the more surprising both because the pictures are often allegorical and because the sitters were working class, servants who would have been transparent to many upper middle class Victorians. Most other Victorian photographers and plenty of more modern ones did not take the trouble to find out or record who their subjects were so, as Bird points out, this act held some significant for Cameron despite the fact that some of these acquaintances were quite transitory, a fleeting visitor to the house for example. Cameron is an artist who is much studied and researched so the names of her sitters are well known and well published, the simple act of noting down their names has given these ordinary people an unusual status, a remarkable level of importance 150 years after they sat in front of Cameron’s camera so, for once, we are not asking “who were these people?”, a name gives them a more real existence, a history and, by tracing some of their decedents, a future.

The pairs of photographs presented in the Echoes and Dialogues section are not simply ancestor to the left and descendant to the right. Some are direct decedents, some are unrelated in the genealogical sense and Bird has linked the timeline through other means such as composition in Venessa at the Gate. Vanessa is Nicky Bird’s sister and quite unrelated to the original sitter, Mary Pinnock, the link is that they look similar, the pose is the same but it is not the same gate. Without going through each link suffice to say that they are varied and somewhat complex and I found myself drawn into the narrative to such an extent that I was turning back and forth between the photographs, the genealogical research and the closing conversation to understand the links.

Bird takes a place and shows it to us in the 1860s, she fills the place with the women who sat for a notable artist in that house and then draws us across 130 years to find that same place and another group of local women who are sometimes related to the original cast and sometimes not. This work is part historical research, part genealogy, part photographic and partly the study of a women who has an important place in the history of British photography and of women photographers and a exploration of Victorian values and the history of working class women. It appeals because it blends these disciplines in a practical and unforced manner, using research and photography as equal partners to tell an interesting story.

Notes on Text

( i ) When I made this statement I had in mind many of the close-up portraits that are included in Think of England (5). Plates 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 58, 73, 82, 83, 104, 106, 107 and 108 are all examples where it might be argued that Parr has invaded the private space of his subject in a potentially confrontational manner.

( ii ) As soon as I saw Nicky Bird’s photos of these signatures I was reminded of an article in British Archaeology Magazine (10) in January 2013 about arborglyphs, the carving of soldiers names and often regimental badges into the trunks of the beech trees on Salisbury plain. All archaeology is about people but the stories become more moving the nearer they are to our own time, in the article the author, Chantel Summerfield, describes how she has traced some of these soldiers from their time training on Salisbury Plain to their service in WWI and sadly to their war graves in France or Belgium. One example combines a photograph of the arborglyph left by one solider with a found photo of his wedding day after the war, another shows a WWII arborglyph recording a soldier’s love for his wife Helen and found photos of the same lady in 1955. This latter story was quite poignant as although the American soldier in question had survived the war he had predeceased his wife but shortly before her death the author of the article had been able to send her a photograph of her husband’s carving of her name in a heart in a small wood on the other side of the world. Looking at this article again I realise that the dividing line between an archaeologist’s article and Nicky Bird’s work is very slight. The archaeologist offers us a higher ratio of words to pictures and her photographs are taken from the perspective of being a functional record but Nicky Bird’s Tracing Echoes also has a high percentage of text and the main difference is in the presentational style.

( iii ) One of the aspects I have struggled with when approaching landscape work during the course is that so many contemporary photographers appear rot actively seek out flat, low contrast lighting. I ask myself whether this approach is mandatory if one wishes to be taken seriously. If so, it is disappointing as I happen to like strong contrasts and saturated colours in landscape.

( iv ) Contemporary historians and archaeologists and the writers of fiction are increasingly interested in the stories of ordinary people following a long period where the world appeared to made up solely of the aristocracy and their servants without anyone in between. One of the great appeals of the work of Hilary Mantel, the two times Booker prize winner, is that her Henry VIII series is written from the perspective of the professional classes that served him. 



(1) Bird, Nicky (2001) Tracing Echoes. Leeds: Wild Pansy Press, University of Leeds in association wit the University of Northumbria at Newcastle

(2) Badger, Gerry (2007) The Genius of Photography: How Photography has Changed our Lives. London: Quadrille.

(4) Arbus, Diane (1972) Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph. Fortieth anniversary edition 2011-2012. New York: Aperture.

(5) Parr, Martin (2000) Think of England. Paperback Edition 2004. London: Phaidon Press.

(10) Summerfield, Chantel (2013) Landscape of Rememberance. British Archaeology Magazine January February 2013. York: The Council for British Archaeology

(11) Brohm, Joachim. (2014) Typology 1979. First Edition Published by MACK. Mack Books (a small selection of the plates can be seen at


(3) J. Paul Getty Museum (accessed January 13th 2015), Jula Margaret Cameron Collection –

(6) Glasgow School of Art (accessed January 15th 2015) –

(7) Bird, Nicky – Artist’s website (accessed January 11th 2014) –

(8) Boothroyd, Sharon (accessed January 14th 2014) Nicky Bird –

(9) Bird, Nicky – Artist’s website (accessed January 11th 2014) –

Assignment 5 Tutor Feedback

Fig. 20 The Bourne Graveyard - 1/60 at f/11, ISO 900

Fig. 1 The Bourne Graveyard – 1/60 at f/11, ISO 900

Overall Comments

As already mentioned, I think you are responding very positively to your feedback in this respect and I can see evidence of the research you are conducting in your work, which will definitely strengthen your position from a summative assessment and grading perspective, once you decide what to include for this submission.

Assignment Feedback

This assignment specifically looks at illustration and narrative techniques within photographic story telling.

This was a really well researched, structured and presented project Steve, which ticked many of my boxes in terms of bridging the gap between yourself and a person who died 50 years before you were born. (Fred Grover) The space that provided this link is The Bourne, which is clearly a space which you are connected to on a very personal level. From the outset the project was engaging, as the personal interest was evident. This can so often be the cause of failure at this level …. You need to select something which is or real interest to you as a person in order to become fully engaged within it. This project really gave me the impression that you were fully engaged within it. The level of research was excellent for this level, using both found historic imagery along with personal family photographs to support the narrative.

Once again, I couldn’t really fault the created imagery from a technical perspective. All the shots had been well composed, focused, exposed etc, with the typology of housing towards the end, really providing a mapping exercise of the village during most recent times. (see fig. 02)



Fig 2 The Bourne Typology

The shot that really stood out for me was the image of the gates leading into the old cemetery. This was very green / mossy / lush well squared shot, with the gate left slightly ajar … in an almost inviting and curious manner. (see fig. 1)

I really liked the idea of trying to photograph physical evidence of what must have existed within the two different timelines and then linking this to quotes made by Grover himself. (EG: The old mower). (see fig 3)

Fig. 18 Old Lawnmower in Graveyard - 1/80 at f/10, ISO 400

Fig. 3 Old Lawnmower in Graveyard – 1/80 at f/10, ISO 400

I think you might benefit from looking at the work of Nicky Bird and in particular, her project entitled ‘Tracing Echoes’. Bird became artist in residence at Dimbola Lodge (home of Julia Margaret Cameron) in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight (see follow up work here). The project was triggered by a portrait she took of her sister in relation to a Cameron portrait, but quickly progressed into a much bigger project which included mapping the house and photographing the ancestors of Cameron’s original sitters.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

Again, your Blog is developing very well and has been updated regularly. This will all add towards your final grade so long as we make it very easy for the assessor to navigate through what has been evidenced during the course of the module.

Follow Up Work

Having completed all five assignments for this module it is now time to submit the work for formal summative assessment which has been discussed above.

Assignment 5 – Reflection

Fig. 03 The Common - 1/200 at f/16, ISO 200

Fig. 01 The Common – 1/200 at f/16, ISO 200

I have very consciously left a number of weeks between finishing this assignment and reflecting upon it. I felt it was important to give myself some space to consider what I had and had not achieved.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Technique: There was nothing radically new in terms of my photographic technique, I did attempt to move away from the saturated colours that I prefer and used a more subdued palette. This was to avoid any sense of creating a travelogue, I was not trying to promote this village and wanted it to be seen for what it is, ordinary. I took most of the photos during a sustained period of good weather and this inevitably meant that a number of shots are a little more postcard than I had intended.

The techniques used to present the assignment are where I have broken new ground. Using a typology to bring together the cottages and houses that formed the shared landscape between the old Surrey labourer and me was a new approach and one that I felt appropriate and I was pleased with the result. If the project had started a few months later I would have used Joachim Brohm’s idea of photographing all the buildings under a neutral sky to create greater uniformity between the images but this proved impractical.

The steepest learning curve was in laying out a magazine article of this type. If I had chosen to use photos and dummy text or much less text it would have been easier and I realised that it is a two dimensional jig-saw puzzle to balance the images and edit the text and to do both within a restricted space. It also showed that photos had to be chosen for content, shape, size and visual variation so when constructing a narrative the best photos do not always lend themselves to being included. These factors meant that I had to re-shoot a number of the images and to collect more in some cases. If I started again now I would have a much clearer idea of what was going to fit into a layout.

Observational Skills: The project became an investigation and, at times, I had to become an architectural archaeologist to spot buildings of the right age and to find the buildings that Sturt described as being part of Grover’s life. I spent many hours walking round the village and I believe that my observation skills did develop as the weeks went by.

Visual Awareness: I hope that I saw and photographed the subjects in interesting ways. This is a very ordinary place but I wanted to express how important it is to my history and how it fitted into the broader social history of Surrey. To achieve this I had to treat the subject matter as important and photograph it with as much skill as I could muster, my intent is classic “banal” photography – making an ordinary subject important by treating it as such.

Design and Composition: I am disappointed by the overall layout, the design is unexciting and when I tried different approaches – pictures at angles, more white space and unusual balances – it looked forced and I return to a conservative layout. The process shows that page design is a difficult skill in its own right. Having said that I believe I achieved a balance page by page and used the old black and white images effectively to maintain the two, sometimes three, timelines of the story.

Quality of Outcome

Content, Application of Knowledge: The intent was to use as much of the knowledge acquired during TAoP and bring it into this assignment. This might not be particularly evident with the photographs but I set out to incorporate influences from a wide group of photographers –  appropriation (Burgin and Fox) , typology (Brohm and the Blechers) , the use of multiple timelines (Germain), how to contextulise photographs with text and captions (Jones Griffiths, Lam, Koudelka) and depth of research and understanding of the subject (Freeman, Jones Griffiths, Tod Papageorge).

Presentation: The presentation might be unexciting but I believe that the story is coherent both in terms of the text and the photographs.

Discernment: The links between the characters are quite obscure so the challenge was to bring these people together into a single story against the background of a village’s history. I believe that my thought process was insightful and that I did connect the pieces together into a narrative that had not previously existed.

Conceptualisation: The original idea was lurking long before I started but it took a lot of thought to pull the idea into a coherent narrative. The challenge always lay in the length of the story, a hundred years between the labourer arriving in the village and my starting at Grammar School and then another fifty years to the present day. I had to find a way to pull this into a single narrative with different but concurrently presented timelines. It may not be a brilliant idea but it was incredibly difficult to plan and present so I was pleased with the conceptualisation process.

My tutor was immensely helpful in suggesting, on a phone call, that I looked for the sprit of the labourer and this idea led to finding, what I think are, some of the best links like the schoolboy walking past his cottage – just as I had done every day 50 years ago- and the cattle on the common – a sight that he would have related to.

Communication of Ideas: I recognise that some might say that it is meant to be a photo essay and that the extensive use of text is inappropriate. I considered this at some length and was ultimately swayed by something that Jones Griffiths said along the lines that we are living in a literate society so why attempt to tell a story without using the most easily understood form of communication. The text became very important and I wanted to test how words could be used to expand upon the pictures, not to explain them, not to describe them but to build upon the visual ideas. I felt I achieved this to some degree.

Demonstration of Creativity

Imagination: I wanted to avoid looking at a single event, or a day-in-the-life, or to mimic an old school Life Magazine article so it felt as if the extended history of a place across many decades using old and new photos was a little different and therefore reasonably imaginative. In some ways it would have been more creative to discard the idea of a magazine all together and to design a photo book which is probably the natural home of narrative in contemporary photography but, in the end, I decided to stay within the sprit of the assignment and target my article at a specialist magazine such as British Archeology which would use this type of approach, albeit it in a more sophisticated manner.

Experimentation: As previously mentioned I tried out a number of new techniques and approaches (typology, appropriation, combining text and images) plus the whole idea of a magazine article was in itself experimental for me.

Personal Voice: If there is any progress in this area it probably lies in the use of text and images. I was very comfortable with this approach and, to some degree, it built on assignment 3. I see myself taking this further over time so it might qualify as beginning to find my voice.


This whole assignment was totally reliant upon research, collecting appropriate influences and moulding those influences with my own ideas into a single project. I set out to produce something that was supported by careful historical and photographic research and felt that I achieved that goal.

The work is strongly contextulised in terms of the practitioners that I researched and found relevant but it was equally important to look at a number of other forms of narrative that were unlikely to influence this particular piece. I believe that I am building my skills in terms of considering the work of established and not so established artists, finding inspiration and influence where appropriate and leaning how to look beyond the images on the page.

Assignment 5 Illustration and Narrative

Change in the Village is the story of two families who lived, at different times, in the same valley on the Surrey and Hampshire borders and the story of the village that grew up there. The narrative starts when an itinerant farm labourer and veteran of the Crimean War marries a local girl and settles in the valley and ends, over a hundred years later, when my childhood in the village finishes and I begin to attend the Grammar School in the nearest town.

It is an exploration of shared memories and common values, of lifestyles that have all but been forgotten, of how the Surrey peasant and rural working class lost their land and their dignity, and how the people that displaced them lost their innocence in war and found peace in this insignificant place. It is a journey through a shared landscape that can still be found and that has shaped the history of the valley and of the settlers who drifted here. For a thousand years this waste land, the common land upon which the village is built, held no value nor offered wealth to the the great landowners but in 1861 it was enclosed and everything changed in the village.

A full description of the development of this narrative can be found in the post Researching and Completing Assignment 5.

A selection of PDFs of the complete narrative are available to download:

Change in the Village 1 low res – Page by page PDF designed to be printed double sided

Change in the Village 1 spreads low res – The spreads

The photographs that make up this narrative can be found in Assignment 5 Images

The Spreads









Assignment 5 Images

The following photographs were used in assignment 5. I have not included the individual images that make up Shared Landscapes as these were conceived as a typology and not relevant as individual images.

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Fig. 01 The Village Green 1/125 at f/10, ISO 800

Fig. 01 The Village Green 1/125 at f/10, ISO 800

Fig. 02 Squatter's Cottage - 1/160 at f/9, ISO 200

Fig. 02 Squatter’s Cottage – 1/160 at f/9, ISO 200

Fig. 03 The Common - 1/200 at f/16, ISO 200

Fig. 03 The Common – 1/200 at f/16, ISO 200

Fig. 04 Dene Lane - 1/100 at f/8, ISO 160

Fig. 04 Dene Lane – 1/100 at f/8, ISO 160

Fig. 05 The Boathouse Frensham Little Pond - 1/125 at f/14, ISO 200

Fig. 05 The Boathouse Frensham Little Pond – 1/125 at f/14, ISO 200

Fig. 06 2 Old Frensham Road - 1/60 at f/20, ISO 1000

Fig. 06 2 Old Frensham Road – 1/60 at f/20, ISO 1000

Fig. 07 2 Old Frensham Road 1/400 at f/8, ISO 400

Fig. 07 2 Old Frensham Road 1/400 at f/8, ISO 400

Fig. 08 2 Old Frensham Road - 1/500 at f/6.3, ISO 200

Fig. 08 2 Old Frensham Road – 1/500 at f/6.3, ISO 200

Fig. 09 Fred Grover's Cottage - 1/100 at f/9, ISO 1000

Fig. 09 Fred Grover’s Cottage – 1/100 at f/9, ISO 1000

Fig. 10 Steam Lane - 1/60 at f/10, ISO 1100

Fig. 10 Steam Lane – 1/60 at f/10, ISO 1100

Fig. 11 The Clumps - 1/160 at f/14, ISO 200

Fig. 11 The Clumps – 1/160 at f/14, ISO 200

Fig. 12 The Enclosed Common - 1/60 at f/13, ISO 800

Fig. 12 The Enclosed Common – 1/60 at f/13, ISO 800

Fig. 13 Camps in the Woods - 1/60 at F5.6, ISO 800

Fig. 13 Camps in the Woods – 1/60 at F5.6, ISO 800

Fig. 14 Hops - 1/250 at f/2.8, ISO100

Fig. 14 Hops – 1/250 at f/2.8, ISO100

Fig. 15 Vine Cottage - 1/100 at f/9, ISO 140

Fig. 15 Vine Cottage – 1/100 at f/9, ISO 140

Fig. 16 The Bourne School - 1/60 at f/22, ISO 200

Fig. 16 The Bourne School – 1/60 at f/22, ISO 200

Fig. 17 The Bourne School Gates - 1/640 at f/3.2, ISO 200

Fig. 17 The Bourne School Gates – 1/640 at f/3.2, ISO 200

Fig. 18 Old Lawnmower in Graveyard - 1/80 at f/10, ISO 400

Fig. 18 Old Lawnmower in Graveyard – 1/80 at f/10, ISO 400

Fig. 19 Farnham Grammar School - 1/20 at f/3.6, ISO 800

Fig. 19 Farnham Grammar School – 1/20 at f/3.6, ISO 800

Fig. 20 The Bourne Graveyard - 1/60 at f/11, ISO 900

Fig. 20 The Bourne Graveyard – 1/60 at f/11, ISO 900

Fig. 21 The Family Grave - 1/30 at f/14, ISO 800

Fig. 21 The Family Grave – 1/30 at f/14, ISO 800

Fig. 22 The Bourne Graveyard - 1/100 at f/16, ISO 560

Fig. 22 The Bourne Graveyard – 1/100 at f/16, ISO 560

Fig. 23 Cattle on The Common - 1/160 at f/16, ISO 200

Fig. 23 Cattle on The Common – 1/160 at f/16, ISO 200

Fig. 24 Shared Landscape 1

Fig. 24 Shared Landscape 1

Fig. 25 Shared Landscape 2

Fig. 25 Shared Landscape 2


Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red



Not a photographic exhibition but the art installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies at The Tower of London may prove to be the most visited and photographed temporary piece of art in Europe this year. Designed by Tom Piper with the poppies made by Paul Cummins it is breathtaking in scale and very moving. I reject Jonathan Jones’ view that it is too pretty to be a reminder of the horrors and war and doubt that this was the designer and the artist’s message. My response was to recognise that each poppy represented a life, nearly exclusively a young life, and that this is a rare opportunity to see every single one of the British and Commonwealth dead of the First World War commemorated in a single place. It has shades of Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds where he was representing millions of individuals not a single entity andthis work needs be viewed in the same way.

My photos don’t do it justice but it was worth the 6:00 am start this morning to beat the crowds.

_FJ10645 _FJ10697 _FJ10700