This page has been created as a space for the promotion of the 'World of Vista'. It will stay live until the end of the Kickstarter VISTA Campaign.
Launch Day- My project is now live and I already have two backers. Thank you very much to them. The picture below is my iconic shot. It has been featured in Essex Life Magazine and at my exhibition being displayed at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge right now. The story goes that the trees surround a well, this was the location of a lost village. It was destroyed because of the Black Death. The image was shot on the outskirts of Saffron Walden. It is called Hunters Plantation. I have tried something different with this shot. I have made a Landscape a Portrait and pumped up the contrast and saturation. The picture is about the isolation of nature and the way it is disappearing in the wake of modern farming. Which though needed, seems to steam roller all before it.
Thank you to Dave who has become the third backer of the VISTA project. But there are still plenty of time to back so go to the Kickstarter website and search for VISTA. I may have a few more backers today but only time will tell. Today I thought I would list names associated with the land, old and new.
The day started with another backer, thank you. That is now four.
Frosty with hazy cloud
Hadstock: Holy Well.
The well and pond is situated by the Churchyard in a small village in Essex called Hadstock. The Village has Danish connections. The church door is reputed to be the oldest in England. The story goes that captured Danish warriors were nailed to it. Skin from the prisoners was thought to survive up until very recently.
The mighty Oaks in the field to the south of the Church are probably the remains of an old hedge line. The area also has Roman connections. A Villa from the period was excavated in the nineteenth century by a local Lord. Some Roman tiles from the Villa are thought to still exist today in a stream locally.
Thanks to the backers that are supporting this project.
Whilst walking around the various old industrial sites. I come across many things. I have started to collect them over the years. Here are four
1. Byrd’s Farm Chalk Pit: This is piece of chalk from the site. The pit is now full of water and is closed to the public. But it is a haven for wildlife in an area of large open arable fields
2. Ashdon Road Chalk Pit: This is another place that is disused, but is a wildlife haven. It has been used as a rubbish dump over the years. With bits of Cars and bags of rubbish everywhere.
3. Bartlow Junction Signal Box: This still stands just. But a few years ago a large tree took the roof out. It is on the track bed of the Linton to Haverhill Railway
4. Tiptoft Lane Brickworks: Now almost totally disappeared. The lane approaching it has had many names. Cement Works Lane/Shire Hill Lane to name a few.
As a background to the VISTA project I have an Archive of 200+ images.
Here are a few with their stories
This is one of my favourite places to walk. It has so much going on. You have the open fields, the Slade stream, Pond Plantation and a great covered footpath up to The Slipes. The vehicle in the foreground is slowly disappearing into the undergrowth.
Autumn is great time to spot mushroom and fungi. I go to areas near streams that have dead trees left on the ground. This one was spotted in a small Grove by the River Slade in Saffron Walden.
One of my new discoveries is Nunn Wood it has been a wooded area as far back as 1758. To the west within of the wood is a swamp and stream. There appears to be building footings towards the east. Maybe they are associated with Little Walden Airfield. The wood was surrounded by the airfield in the last war.
Thank you for your continued support!
Shot taken today in the Mist…………..
The book is split into five sections. The first is Majesty. What are the ideas behind this concept?
1. Why Majesty?
It best describes the feeling of the shots. They are portrait so as to concentrate the views eye and hi colour to attract attention
2 Who are your influences?
Martin Parr’s and his attitude, the Landscapes and East End shots of Don McCullin and the English tradition shots of Holmer Sykes
3 Where do you shoot?
Around Saffron Walden in Essex
4 Why hi colour?
It attracts attention and is beautiful. My majesty shots are statements of intent
5 What make a shot suitable for inclusion in this section of the book?
It must talk to me……………
Field names as fascinating. The 1758 Saffron Walden Map had nearly a thousand
Here are a few:
Burnt Woman Close
More Field Names from The 1758 Saffron Walden Field Map
Seven Acre Piece
Thanks for the continuing support……….
Not so much a walk. More an observation of the flooded fields on the former
airfield at Little Walden. The land is very flat after being levelled for the former airfield.
After moderate rain the fields start to flood. On old maps there are various ponds within
the airfield site this may contribute to the problem. In the area pre-dating the airfield was a royal
deer park with mansion and lodge. It is said locally that these buildings were used a target practice by the bombers during construction of the airfield..
The second section of the book is called Texture.
The variety of flora and fauna is vast in the English countryside. This section is devoted to it.
The various seasons bring different aspects to document. Winter has bare hedgerows and trees with angry skies.
Spring is a time of colour and re-birth.
The Summer is full of wild flowers of every colour. There random existence is fascinating Autumn a time of bright colours, crisp mornings and the rise of mushrooms and fungi.
I use various ideas to create an image. Hedges and the plants that surround them very structural. I take the colours down to two or three to simplify the image and draw out the detail. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was drawn to nature as a distraction from the industrial revolution. They were pioneers and used the latest technology in photography and processing. They created various two colour images in shades of yellow, purple and brown. I have used there influence in my work.
Thanks to all my backers. I have finally made it. But the door is not shut I welcome any other backers who are interested in this project
10 Photographers who are Influences and what they have brought to my photography
Martin Parr- colour, detail and variety of subjects
"Don" McCullin, - humanity
Mel DiGiacomo - If there are any rules break them and the integrity of being close
Holmer Sykes- English tradition and the study off
Benjamin Brecknell Turner – a sense of place and time
Bailey – going back to my roots in London
Mark Neville- the purpose of community photography
Bill Brant- a tradition to up hold
Jem Southam – study, environmental detail and patience
William Christenberry - project focus and determination
10 Artists who are Influences and what they have brought to my photography
The Dutch Masters – the study of lighting
Hockney - design
Turner- the freedom of flow
Goya- Darkness as a creative force
Caravaggio - iconography
Monet - softness
Dali – Taking you to the edge
Pre-raphalite brotherhood - Englishness
Picasso – Colour and Structure
10 Songs which are Influences and what they have brought to me
New Order- Blue Monday - Electro rhythm rhythm rhythm
Joy Division -Atmosphere – Sadness and elation in the same measure
Peshay -Catch It - Freedom of expression and true originallity
Velvelettes -Neddle in a Haystack - Mechanical and Acurate Flow
MPV’s -Turning my Heartbeat up- Pride from the heart and spins from the soul
McCarthy –Red sleeping beauty- An extremely melodic piece…….. thanks John Peel
The Cramps -Thee Most Exalted Potentate of Love– The joy of language over a tribal beat
Sonny Cole -Robinson Crusoe Bop - Blue-bop-a-lula, he must have got around
'Cause a-blue-boppin' women are rockin' the town
DCL Locomotive -King midas in reverse - Where music meets Dada
Adonis feat The Endless poker - The poke - Deep deep House Music…………….. a true inspiration
As we enter the second week of my Kickstarter Campaign. I thank all of my backers
Walk Diary 7/12/15
Ashdon Road Disused Chalk pit
I walk most mornings locally and explorer many old industrial sites. One of them is Ashdon Road Chalk pit. I do not venture within the site as it is very unstable. But by looking around the general area you can get a feeling of the Industrial activity of the years gone by. Many relics are left to this day.
From the archive
The Scarecrow has a mystical reputation. It is a throwback to a slower time in farming. The form of a man placed in a field is still used by many farmers in my area. They keep a long tradition alive.
Little Walden Aerodrome 2015
Dark, what is that all about?
This picture took me along another path. I realised that my pictures need not only be taken in the golden hour. Imperfections could actually add to a pictures interest. Growing in confidence I found I did not need to follow holy trinity of Landscape photography.
I could follow my own path. I call this style Dark.
Middle Park 2014
10 Books that you should read
Don McCullin- In England
Martin Parr- Think of England
Benjamin Brecknell Turner:-Rural England Through a Victorian Lens
Christina Hole-English custom and usage
E. P. Thompson-The Making of the English Working Class
John Woodforde-Truth About Cottages
Chris Steele Perkins-TheTeds
David Campbell-Saffron Walden Through David Campbell's Camera: 1945 - Present Day:
Richard Allen-Punk Rock
Stanley Wilson-Saffron Crocus
Thanks to all my backers so far
Catons Lane is one of the many rural lanes that surround Saffron Walden.
They are gateways to different areas. Some are woods, some are waste ground and some are fields. But all are of interest to me. Catons Lane is named after the owner of a dairy farm that was located in the surrounding fields. Now those same fields are being used for development of housing or arable farming.
Also located down the lane Saffron Walden Football Club’s ground. It is called The Meadow. To the south is Bridge End Gardens a formal garden that was created by a local Quaker family called The Gibsons.
There is a short cut in between these two places. Over the years a path has been formed through wasteland near The Slade. It is important to see some surviving areas of land left to nature in the town. Many have disappeared in recent years due to development.
This part of the book illustrates the changing use of land and gives examples of the landscape Pre and Post Enclosure.
Burnt Woman Close 1758
It’s nearly the last seven days of my Kickstarter Campaign. If you are thinking of pledging go for it. If you have any questions let me know.
As a background to the Owner section of the book I have collected information on many local traditions
Here are some unique to the Saffron Walden area. Some have died out. Some are still going strong
Jan- Balsham Ploughmen
Feb- Bishops Blaize procession
Mar-HMS Lapwing reunion
April- Thurston’s Fair
May- Rogation Sunday procession Little Walden
June- Churching of the Mayor
July- Saffron Walden Carnival Queen
Aug- The Common car show
September- Audley End Steam Gala
Oct- Great Chesterford Steam up
Nov- Roundtable fireworks display
Dec Littlebury Christmas Tree Festival
Overcast and Raining
This time of year the weather is Dark and overcast in the mornings. Lots of the local fields are flooded and the trees and hedges take on a stark look. This is ideal for black and white photography.
A medium really allows you to enhance the mood and texture of an image. Clatterbury Lane a track in Hadstock in Essex has got some great Vista’s. Here are two.
Lens Path Hadstock
10 more songs to listen when looking for photographic inspiration
Elvis- Burning Love
The League Unlimited Orchestra- Things That Dreams Are Made Of
The Damned- New Rose
Missy Elliott - WTF (Where They From) ft. Pharrell Williams ...
The Who- Love, Reign O'er Me,"
Acen- Trip 2 The Moon Part 2
Link Wray- Rumble
The Chantays- Pipeline
Tony Clarkes- Landslide
The last section of the book is Fringlands.
These are areas where man and nature are fighting for control. It could be a piece of rural waste land or an old industrial site that is being taken back by nature. I am interested in the aesthetic of the site. Sometimes these areas are beautiful and sometimes not so. But they are all important and have a place in our culture. They also have an environmental and historic importance that is not always obvious at first glance.
Duntfalls Little Walden
Thank you for the continued support. If you like to help my project go to
Whilst walking locally I have notice a phenomenon. I put it down to the human spirit. An unofficial network of random pathways has been created. In context of rising land control it is encouraging to see free spirits taking the path that ‘they’ want to take. Dog walkers are the boldest. But soon others follow and a pathway is created. Some become permanent; some disappear as quickly as they were created. They are not mapped but they exist. I decided to document them where ever I see them.
I shall add them to local maps were possible as a record of this practice.
Thanks to all my backers. The project has been successfully funded.
I will post updates on this page in the next few months and let you know how things are going!!!