I must be honest and admit I have struggled to find a personal project that I could commit to for a long period of time and which means a lot to me. Well, I have found it.
It has always irked me that Sussex seems to be the poor relation of the south in terms of reputation for beauty and as a destination for tourists. Sure thousands flock to Brighton or Eastbourne every summer day but the Sussex countryside just seems to be this place they have to travel through to reach the sea. It’s the same for commuters too, everybody seems to rush through the downs to reach their chosen destination. To the east there is the “garden of England” (Kent), to the west, Hampshire and its new forest but between is the softly undulating hills of the downs that I dearly love.
So this is my project, to show these rolling chalk hills in all their glory. It has a twofold purpose, the first is to get me out of the rush and noise of the city, to allow me to relax, think slowly and let my creative juices flow. The second is to get me back to a more basic, simple form of photography, to let nature and natural light to tell the story unhindered and unaltered. To ensure this I have set myself a simple set of rules;
- all images will be monochrome
- to keep as natural view as possible by using standard fixed lenses
To ensure this I am limiting myself to taking just 2 cameras when i walk (also cutting down on weight); a Fuji X100 (limited to a 35mm fixed lens) and my mid 1960’s Rolliflex wide (shooting on 120 roll film with its fixed 55mm lens). Basically, chalk and cheese. Documentation and progress might be shown along the way for a bit of fun via Instagram.
The key to this project will be the light and hence the sky meaning that bright summer cloudless days are as bad as dull flat lifeless winter time. My time in hills will be when the sky is at its most interesting, as it was a week ago when I experienced bight sun, rain, hail and then bright sun again in the space of 20 minutes.
Although I won’t post any of the completed project images here until they are all ready, I will be posting regular updates..