Monday, 22 February 2010


They say a photo is worth a thousand words. Last week I heard of a competition being run in my department. This was to photograph our time on our degree course for one category, the other to photograph our time in the city, views of the city and wider university.

Neither of these are easy, lots of design and planning may have to go in to this. I did not intend on entering this competition. However, it has set my mind churning, churning to find a photo which represents my subject and its wider context. This could not be entered in to the competition, but if I had to create a photo of Environmental monitoring, modelling and reconstruction or Geography what would the photo be.

When I did my undergraduate course I was in Canterbury, Kent. In this time I went on many a walk with Sam (friend and housemate). These two photos have him in them. I happened to look through my collection and came upon this photo and have made some simple edits. These photos sum up geography in many respects.

In the first instance, the colour one. It was not designed to look aged, but due to the light balance and October morning mist across the farmland, grassland, barracks area. It appears to be 1960s a bit. This photo shows a man not just looking, studying his surroundings, binoculars at the ready. Prepared for bird watching and spotting any form of wildlife that we may pass. He stares to the left wondering what is down the way. The rural idyll that geographers talk of so much and prescribes the general public's want for a perfect countryside is seen here.

Agriculture in the foreground, woodland in the background. He stands studying the complexities of the local geomorphological processes, the conservation issues and weather at the site. Standing completely still he awaits the natural habitat to open up for him on this cold and misty morning.

In the second version. I have made it black and white and adjusted the balance. Its purposely aged. I tried to get a 1930s-1940s feel, but without giving it a yellow staining for real this looks slightly new. The sharp black of the scarf around the neck, with the foreground sharpened; the background still in tact but making you wonder what's going on it still hides the big secret behind the mist. The field disintegrates before reaching the tree line at ground level and yet we know there is a woodland out there.

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