For quite a few years now I have been collaborating on an occasional basis with poet Rebecca Goss, on a web-based project we called the Jupiter Project. It is so-called because we both liked the idea of pictures taken with a Soviet-era 50mm lens called the "Jupiter 8". The actual lens in question was made in 1968, and is roughly the same age as me. We've recently added a couple of new poem/picture combinations, Tall Grasses and The Horses. Although the lens offered me some variety (and two effective focal lengths) when used on film and Olympus digital cameras, and has a look all of its own, we both realised that the lens was less interesting than the ideas we had been exploring. I'm not going to say too much about it just yet, but I thought I would note here that we've started working on a more wide ranging, and hopefully more coherent, project that might just appear in print. I'll have more news soon.
These four images were taken with an Ondu pinhole camera in the Spring of 2016, in the area near to Pelter Bridge on the River Rothay at Rydal, between the outflow from Rydal Water and Under Loughrigg. I have been photographing this small area throughout the year as part of a project responding to the effects of Storm Desmond, which flooded large parts of the Lake District and Northern Britain over the weekend of December 4th-6th, 2015. I've been using several different types of camera--film and digital--in an attempt to capture the physical effects of the storm, but also the usual tranquility of the river and surrounding landscape. I quite like the distortion in these pinhole images.
It is over three months now since storm "Desmond" dropped over 30cm of rain on Grasmere and Rydal in the English Lake District in the course of a single day, turning the usually benign and picturesque River Rothay into a broad and rampaging torrent. This iron fence, which keeps sheep from circumventing a cattle grid, felt the full force of the engorged Rothay and still bears the debris forced against it that day. It has become an interwoven mat of grass, leaves, and branches which mark the levels of the flood's relentless rise.
Over the past few weeks I have begun working on what I hope will become a photobook about the Rothay and these pictures should be considered digital sketches for that project. This fence will probably be like this a while longer, but I was surprised to find, wandering around near Pelter Bridge at Rydal, that the grass, pressed flat by the flood, still showed the flow of the water. Of course this won't last; Spring will make these natural signs of the flood disappear.