Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Finding photos where you can

The current COVID-19 lockdown has once again restricted movement considerably. While I believe that short car journeys for the purpose of exercise are permitted (or at least tolerated – given the large number of cars I see parked close to the entrances of the nearby country park), I’ve been sticking to going only to places I can reach on foot. Given enough time, I could venture to a good number of places withing walking distance, although time isn’t always in ready supply due to work and other commitments, so I’ve mostly been staying within a mile or two of home.

The aforementioned country park and the surrounding areas still provide quite a lot of ground to cover though, and while exercise is the primary reason for going out, I’m still carrying a camera with me on these outings – well, with the exception of when I run as part of my C25K plan as, at this stage at least, I have neither the time not desire to make photos while attempting to jog! On days where I just go for a walk though, there is greater opportunity to grab photos.

I tend to find my local area quite uninspiring where photography is concerned, partly due to overfamiliarity, and also because the country park iteself feels a little bland and man-made in a way that open countryside doesn’t (even that land used for various other human activities such as farming or forrestry). However, in these times, “needs-must” takes the forefront and I will have to make do with what I can find. And what I’ve found is that some parts of my over-familiar local area are a lot less familiar than I previously thought, and a walk a few days ago opened up some locations that are full of potential due to my not having fully explored them before.

Even the places I’ve trod many times previously have promise though, and today’s shot is of nothing more extravagant than a tree-trunk stood beside the Trans-Pennine Trail. The section of the trail in question is oft-travelled by walkers, runners, cyclists and dog-walkers, especially at the weekend or in nice weather. Busy locations such as this tend to make me uncomfortable when making photos – I prefer solitude so I can take my time without getting in anyone’s way – but. again, “needs-must” and I shot most of a roll of film while out walking for an hour.

As with many of the photos I make taken in this former coal-mining area, there are signs of industry in one form or another, and in the case of today’s image, it’s the metal fence behind the tree, which prevents access to the railway line ten or fifteen yards beyond. I quite like the fence here though, despite it’s metal utilitarianism. It sets the scene of the place.

Upright spikes of steel
Stand guard against trespass
On train-tracks beyond

Tree near a railway line

Yashica Mat 124G & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 10 January 2021

One thought on “Finding photos where you can

  1. I feel ya. I’ve taken a lot of walks in my neighborhood over the last year, cameras in hand. When COVID started, I had the idea of compiling a photo zine of stuff in my neighborhood, but enthusiasm wilted away. I still dutifly bring a camera, hoping to get inspired. There’s always the chance I’ll see something new or in a different way.


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