I spent the beginning of last year visiting the Somme area of France, the area of France most ravaged by the First World War. This is where the fierce fighting happened, and its not difficult to understand that the landscape is still scarred from the conflict 100 years on. I feel passionate about revealing the consequences and lasting effects of wars, through my photography I hope to explore this, in a contemporary yet sympathetic manner.
I spent the first day of my documentary project in a place called High Woods . It was here that I took many photographs on an 1970’s Nikon camera. The problem was that the back of the camera sprang open while I was photographing! Meaning all my photographs would be ruined by the sunlight. I had come all that way and decided to just carry on. When I got back to England and developed the film I was surprised to see that all the photographs were perfect apart from one. The camera back had opened in full sunlight and in theory the whole film or most of it should be ruined! … but it was not.
However this is not the only unexplained thing to happen. I took a photograph of a farmers field ( near where my camera back stung open ) and when I came to print it a halo was over the field. Who knows what it is or why its there, but for me it reminds me that landscapes have a past. Technical fault or the past trying to reach the present? I know what I believe.
Farmers Field near High Woods.
Negatives from 1970’s Nikon camera.