5.2.3 Wish You Were Here: Norfolk by the Sea

The Norfolk Coast is an area that is only an hour’s drive from Cambridge and a place that I go frequently for days out and short weekend holidays at different times of the year. It is more remote than places like Aldeburgh that are closer to London and the tourist industry is based more on ‘wilderness’ the flat landscapes with sandy beaches and lots of bird-watching. It also has a long history of aristocratic domination – being the site of Sandringham.

Hunstanton: New Year



5.2.2 Wish You Were Here: Orford Ness

Orford Ness

!!project in process exploring narrative options as on-line gallery, photobook and slideshow.

I have produced the first draft of a colour photobook: A Very British Day Out on Orford Quay and Ness uploaded to Adobe cloud.

See: Orford in Colour – unfortunately the pdf is converted to single page view by Worpdress. To see spread layout – for juxtapositions and meaning – download pdf and open in Acrobat with view set to 2 page.

My first set of photos of Orford Quay have been accepted as editorial stock images on Shutterstock: SeeShutterstock: Orford Quay

This set of photographs of Orford Ness is currently being developed, but need permission from National Trust to publish commercially.

5.2.2 Wish You Were Here: Orford Black and White

Orford Ness

!! Project in process exploring digital black and white processing to produce a visual narrative of Orford Ness as a slide show and Photobook. This still needs a lot of work. Getting the amount of detail and tones to work together as a professional stylistically coherent series is a challenge, and I need to think through the narrative more. Probably adding some more photos. I also need to get permission from National Trust for non-personal use.

5.2.2: Wish You Were Here: Orford

Orford Ness

The second area of work in the ‘Landscaping Britain’ series focuses on Orford in Suffolk, East Anglia. Orford is a very old town surrounded by Orford marshes, dependent partly on the fishing industry. Orford Ness – reached by ferry – is a very unstable spit of land and shingle with unique wildlife, currently under threat of disappearing into the sea. It used to be a defence and nuclear weapons research place and is still linked to the nuclear industry. As a National Trust property with EU funding, it has been developed as a popular day trip destination.

Orford is ‘on the edge’ in a number of ways:

  • the extreme vulnerability to the encroachment of the sea has halved the land originally occupied by Orford Marshes and Orford Ness – currently generally held at bay with barriers and groynes, but threatened in the longer term by global warming.
  • Orford Ness was an important national defence site during World War 1 and 2. More recently it has housed a nuclear weapons research facility.
  • there are serious tensions in relation to Brexit between the local hard Brexiteer fishing industry and the more EU-supporting tourist industry and environmental agencies.

This new work from photographs taken in autumn 2018 produces three different photo series in different software and formats:

  • Orford Marshes a web-gallery and slideshow of experimental images exploring monochrome, duotone and split tone effects for a range of traditional film photography styles in AnalogPro
  • Orford Ness Black and White: a photobook of images exploring Black and White effects in SilverFX and produced in Lightroom inspired by urbex photographers, ‘late photography’ and work of Chinese and Japanese landscape photographers
  • A Great British Day Out: a Martin Parr-style documentary photobook bringing together photographs around Britishness and Brexit processed and produced in Lightroom

The series of photographic narratives explore a range of moods and approaches to develop my photographic communication skills. In particular different ways of processing processing in Lightroom and NikFX suite of software and different forms of narrative presentation in SMUGmug and Adobe Lightroom: web galleries, screen slideshows and books.

Although the works vary in mood – some ostensibly happy – there remains an underlying ‘edginess’. The main linking narrative are some of the tensions between:

  • Photographer and subject: the photographer as voyeur ‘shooting’ images of
    issues and themes that are not necessarily the same as the subjects of the photo.
  • Is the image showing how things are, or how the photographer want things to be? or how the audience wants to see them? Selective editing and erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins)
  • Different focus and viewpoint – is the photographer directing the image or leaving interpretation open?
  • Present, past and future – places change over time – even over a few seconds – short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – the past is always present but maybe the message is for the future.
  • Exploration and deepening understanding of tensions and contradiction of reality over time

The focus in this assignment is on improving the technical quality and range of possible conceptual interpretations of the photographs, and the ways these can be enhanced by the different ways of processing in different software. The assignment only starts to look at narrative presentation. It is envisaged that all the projects will be further developed – hopefully linked to National Trust among other organisations – as part of Assignment 5: Presentation: ‘Wish You Were Here’. This will include developing more professional photobooks and slideshows in After Effects and InDesign.

5.2.1 The Great Aldeburgh Escape

This project builds on:

A bringing together of the above together with new images and my own diary text as a humorous/semi-serious look at life, art and tourism in Aldeburgh. Looking particularly at ideas of ‘Englishness’ – particularly in the context of Brexit.

‘Moot Tales’ ???

  • Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes
  • Crabbe: The Brough
  • Wild Man of Orford
  • History books and memoirs

5.2.1 Wish You Were Here: Aldeburgh: Morning Light

The second type of narrative is time-based from a series of photos from a morning walk in July 2015. This is the nearest to a ‘flaneur’ treatment. I had just got my first iPhone with something approaching a reasonable camera – I thought. So I set off full of enthusiasm and the new freedom of being able to take photographs without looking too much like a photographer. I also enjoyed experimenting with the square format that was not possible with my normal cameras. Unfortunately when I got back and viewed the pictures on my pc, the quality was not as good as promised in the iPhone adverts.

Slideshow of my iPhone images

Nevertheless, with a little processing in Lightroom they do produce a sort of narrative of Aldeburgh early morning light and life.

The square format could also be interesting as a new digital format book printed at a small size – roughly the size below as a mini-book if I could find a printer.

Aldeburgh: Morning Light first draft (to see book layout change the file to 2 page view in Acrobat Reader)

5.2.1 Wish You Were Here: Aldeburgh Carnival

The first type of narrative is a simple time narrative series of an event. I took the series of photographs I took for Illustration 2 Project 4.3 Paper Circus – the only photographs I had taken of Aldeburgh with my DSLR camera. I edited into two time-based narratives of the carnival rides and carnival procession. Using this as a focus for exploring traditional editorial processing of colour photographs in Adobe LIghtroom.

Photo series 1: The Great Aldeburgh Escape: Carnival 2016

Looking at different narrative considerations in different formats in terms of length and sequencing.

I started by selecting and editing my photos and ordering them to make a narrative. How to do the captions?

I experimented with Lightroom slideshow module. Here are single images and need to stand inj their own right. The issue is sequencing, particularly vusally. But limited memory on content. Should the viewer control or not?

Edited down further and set to music. This is still too long. There is not enough control in Lightroom itself. But useful for very quick slideshows instead of inbuilt Jetpack carousel. It is possible to add the captions, but very limited layout and looked really cheesy. No control over audio.

And with the Lightroom book module. Here there is much more time. Issue is juxtaposition.

Great Escape Photobook

Photo series 2: The carnival procession

Sent to Shutterstock

4.1.3 Bridge

The second part of this assignment extends my work further to documentary photography, exploring narratives around a second bridge along the river Cam. This is not only a transition between town and country, but also socially.

The River Cam in Chesterton has long been dominated by the University rowers. Recent high tech development and the new railway station at Cambridge North mean that the area has become very upmarket – a place for joggers and walkers. Over the railway bridge it transitions to countryside with a Traveller site where many seasonal migrant workers as well as the traditional traveller community stay.

I started to explore some of these social tensions in a book called ‘Bench’ for my OCA Landscape Photography course, looking not only at the natural environment, but the interactions of people and place.

For this project I work with photographs in Black and White. Drawing on issues in ‘late’ photography and inspired partly by the book ‘Edgelands’.

4.1.2 River Reflections

This first project in Assignment 2.1 focuses on exploring and developing my photographic processing skills in black and white and colour, to develop an effective workflow between different software: Adobe Lightroom, NikFX and Adobe Photoshop. Exploring in detail the best uses of each software for different types of images and purpose.

Using a set of photographs taken between 2009 and present day I start by looking at the content and technical requirements of stock agencies like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. These that need to be well-balanced and well-exposed. The types of saleable image are generally more ‘picturesque’ images with a theme like ‘seasons’ or emotion. Abstract images are also popular.

I then re-evaluate these as more expressive ‘art’ images.

River turbulence


Mist and fog

Frost and snow




Meow Gallery: The gallery is empty.