If you go down to the woods today…

Prepared chestnut coppicing with spend shotgun cartridge in foreground

I’ve been making a series ‘An Industrial Landscape’ and some of the images will be on show in the Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green during April in the ‘Viewpoints’ exhibition along with other Rooftop Collective photographers and invited artists who are responding to our work. Consuelo Simpson is responding to my work and I keen to see what she comes up with.

In the meantime, I’ve been going cabin crazy what with working away and the brief arctic stuff we had last week that has prevented me getting out and harming film of any type. My ‘Room with a View’ series just kept me going  but that is an iPhone series and not on the cards for an exhibition just yet.

Anyway, yesterday winds were light and the sky quite nicely overcast without being grim so I paid a visit to the ‘Scary Wood’ where I began the ‘An Industrial Landscape’ series and finished off the remaining 6 sheets of Portra 400 and then went on to finish off some HP5+ that I have been lugging around.

Luckily for me the Chestnut wood is undergoing a rejuvenation project and mass felling is taking place after being left to get out of hand for many years, and even luckier the woodsmen and their dog were on hand  yesterday along with Peter who was my able bodied assistant and local guide as he lives on the edge of this wood.

The Kodak Portra is now wending its way down South from the labs of PEAK Imaging so I have that frisson of excitement to wait for tomorrow when 10 negatives drop through the letterbox. In the meantime I got the developing gear out and processed the HP5+ in Rodinal 1:25 (I opened this stuff in 2011 and it is still working well). I downrate the ISO 320 to give better latitude. I’m pleased with the graphic nature of the results and the Woodsmen and their small dog, Flint, agreed to pose for me. You don’t often see people in my work, especially my landscape work.

I’m looking forward to a dramatic look to the vantage point of the crossing trunks on the Kodak Portra as they have now been razed. I’m pleased to see this industrial woodland being put back to use.  I ‘m not sure the locals are too pleased but as a means of habitat expansion and management it will be superb.

Woodsmen with the spoils of coppicing

Woodsmen and their terrier 'Flint'

These images were made using a relatively fast (for me) shutter speed of 1/15th second at F27.

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