A Layered Landscape

November 16, 2020

A Layered landscape

I am stood in the gateway of a field in Essex, near to Epping Forest. The landscape is spread out before me. It catches my thoughts and once more I exult in being alive. This is so beautiful.

This is different from fenland; this landscape undulates with hills. The countryside rolls away from me shadows being cast in the valleys and dips. The constant question now is “what lies behind?”

Hedgerows and trees heighten this as they act as natural barriers following the contours of the land, in places dykes running alongside them splitting the fields. In photographic terms lead-in lines to isolated trees. In hiking terms something to jump over and pray there is no water in the bottom.

The sky is alive today with the pale blue covered in places by clouds that range from white to deep grey. The remnants of last week’s storm, they drift lazily across, providing yet more layers and an atmosphere of inclusion. No vison to the heavens just the clouds.


What I want to say is at this moment in time it feels calm and tranquil, peaceful and undisturbed. Despite it being early October, it is still warm but there is this deep richness in the colours that you don’t see at other times of the year. The sun is lower in the sky which warms the colours up.

The huge and diverse range of greens are punctuated by the recently tilled earth. The winter sown crops not yet germinated. The crisp patterns the machines left, softened by the rain.

This is a gut feeling.  A moment in time that will stay with me. A brief 5 minutes in an otherwise busy day. I will stand here again but it will be different, my mood will be different, the weather, the time of day and year. Everything will change, it all moves inexorably forward with the seasons. Winter to spring. Sumer to Autumn a natural cycle.

I too must move forward, but, as if to say goodbye a Robin perches 2 ft away singing lustily.


The question I have is how would I capture this mood photographically, this moment in time. Bottle all these feelings up into a series of images. The mood comes from the collection of individual points. The colours, the clouds, the fields, the trees. Even the point where I am standing. I suppose it would help if I had my camera with me not my phone. The phone becomes a snapshot of a memory. I want to create a mood or feeling, to tell a story. I want to tell you how fantastic this is, how it makes me feel, transport you to another world where the stresses and cares melt away, just for a moment.


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