The quiet dialogue

06/08/2014 - 21:24





"To know fully even one field or one land is a lifetime's experience. In the world of poetic experience it is depth that counts, not width. A gap in a hedge, a smooth rock surfacing a narrow lane, a view of a woody meadow, the stream at the junction of four small fields - these are as much as a man can fully experience."

(Patrick Kavanagh



Of any piece of prose that I have come across, the words above echo my reasons for the urge I feel to return to further explore certain places time and time again. There are many rural locations within a few miles of my home in South Devon that beckon such a compulsion.


These include:


  • the rolling hills, distant moorland views and isolated groves around the ancient drover’s trackway known as Glazegate Lane, every changing in the seasons and in agricultural planting cycles.


'Rypen Afterglow' - remnant afterglow light filtering through the canopy of the Rypen Clump, near Berry Pomeroy.






'The Fugagious Effulgence' - early evening transient sunlight gracing the undulating slopes of the valley below Glazegate Lane. The isolated copse of trees on the rounded hill is called the Rypen Clump.




'Evanescence' - transient stormlight puddles breaking through the April showers on the eastern side of Glazegate valley above Berry Pomeroy (South Devon) with Dartmoor National Park in the far distance.





'The Hollow Way' - a tunnel section of Glazegate Lane, near Berry Pomeroy.



  • another place I have returned to many times is the River Aune valley, as it runs alongside the green lane known as the Cobbly Walk at Avonwick



'The road less travlled' - the ancient green lane known as the Cobbly Walk at Avonwick



'Eternity in each moment' - a resurgent standing wave in a whitewater section of the Aune at Avonwick



'The Smile of Autumn' - late on an autumnal evening, as the waters of the Aune pass through the old bridge in Avonwick, South Devon.



The list could go on and on…


It is for me about developing that ‘sense of connection’. I like to think that a bit of my reverence for such places adds into the mix of the process of making a photo. My visualisation of a photo begins as a multisensory immersion, the flow of a stream around my Wellington boots; the smells of damp moss on granite boulders, the heady scent of ramsons or bluebells; the sounds of water descending falls and gurgling through boulder chokes; the visual and tactile exploration of myriad natural textures and form: the hues and the nature of the light....


If these things work together, then comes subtraction (what elements really need to be in my composition, what detracts?)... what shape will the photo be ( square, 3:2, panoramic, 5:4; vertoramic...?). Sometimes it feels subconscious, other times conscious thought prevails. If I feel that connection to a place and time - that is when the desire to use the camera tell a story becomes compelling.


Borrowing' sums up my ethos well, pretentious as it may sound I prefer the idea of 'making' an image about something than the phrase 'taking a photo' ... Semantics one may say, but one can't borrow time and space if one talks of taking.


Time spent in contemplation before even getting the camera out of the bag, for me at least, makes a opportunity to build a dialogue, metaphysically at least. A different time may be needed to 'tell the story', but in that quiet contemplation I slowly gain that knowledge.





'Up & Under' - the Aune at Avonwick








Add a Comment


Email (not displayed):