The title comes from an excerpt of 'Sea Watching', a poem by RS Thomas:
Grey waters, vast
as an area of prayer
that one enters.
The statue is one of the 100 cast iron figures on Crosby Beach in Merseyside, created by the sculptor Antony Gormley, purportedly depicting his own body. At the time this image was captured the statues were pristine, having been in place for less than a year; they are now covered in barnacles, seaweed and funny hats.
From the interior of a very old rural church in Kent. That's all I can remember of this place. It was the first time I'd used film kit for at least a year and I quickly came to realise one important difference in approach between digital and film photography. Before 2008, when I shot only film, I'd usually keep a small notebook handy to jot down the location, frame number and technical details of each capture. Handwritten, what we now call EXIF information. There's no need to do this with digital; the EXIF file automatically tells all. Except, that is (sans GPS widget), where it is you're at. So I was bumbling around with a kit bag of film gear, and I never thought to keep a record of which particular old church I was photographing among the several I visited that day.
It's become a bit of a cliché for photographers to head down to Dungeness for a day's shooting. When my wife told a guy from the same village as us, who's also a keen photographer, that I was away in England, in Kent, he apparently rolled his eyes skyward; he knew exactly where I had gone. But this boat graveyard really is a special place, though the boats and sheds are deteriorating fast. It's not exactly "England's only desert" as described by the ever-hyperbolic 'Daily Mail' a couple of years ago, but certainly one of its most unique and atmospheric, quiet and unromantically beautiful places. It's hard to imagine from these images that just a kilometre or so to the right as you look out at sea, there's a godawful ugly concrete nuclear power station.
I'm told that a million people a year visit Dungeness. If so, they must all go together in summer. The crunch of my feet on the shingle and the squeal of seagulls was all I heard in March. I was fortunate enough to get an appropriate mackerel sky on one of the days I visited but I would have eagerly traded that for one the famous mists that drift in from the sea. That would really add to the eeriness. Maybe it'll happen next time I go all clichéd. More of my images from this location can be found here
A traditional thatched cottage somewhere in the Cotswold region of England. I borrowed the title of this image from a poem by the late Cotswold poet Frank Mansell. I'm not generally a fan of sepia toning and this is one of my very few images where I've bothered with it because it does seem to occasionally work when emphasising age and tradition in iconic English scenes such as this. Even so, I sometimes look at this image and think it's overbaked. A short but popular essay written by myself and expanding on Mansell's views concerning the social and cultural impact of second home ownership can be found here