On the cusp of the new year, I wanted to avoid any further musings on 2020 as they might relate to the pandemic, not least because I suspect the ‘new year’ is going to feel a lot like the old one – at least for a while. Instead, I’ve gathered together all seven ‘Lost In Fields’ films as my swansong to a strange, slow year that was not without its simple pleasures and rich in moments of beauty.
Getting Lost in Fields is a series of little films prompted into life by the Kick-About #6, which saw me attempting to evoke the rhapsodic sensations of being out and about with my camera in the fields of Kent during the Spring lock-down. I didn’t know there would be a fourth film – or indeed a fifth, but there’s something simple and satisfying about combining these impressionist photographs with Kevin MacLeod’s evocative musical miniatures. I didn’t know there would be a second lock-down either, and this new film results from two very peaceful afternoons spent walking along the Tankerton seashore at the outset of the new restrictions, with just the sound of the waves for company and the dying of the light.
These are the final photographs, taken as the last of the sun slipped away, and the slopes took on a much more wintery aspect. The metallic filigree effects produced by the sunlight catching in the old umbrellas of the Hog’s fennel was otherworldly.
Okay, so when I said in my previous Tankerton Slopes post that it was my ‘final batch of martime tuftiness’ I lied. Or rather, I went out again a few days later to catch the sunset in the same spot, having left the house too late the first time to capture the way the sunlight was strafing the hirsute undulations of the slopes. My second visit didn’t disappoint, with some amazing displays of colour under pellucid November skies.
A final batch of martime tuftiness from my trip out to Tankerton Slopes at the beginning of the week. I was just thinking how some of these would make for particularly cruel jigsaw puzzles…
Another celebration of the always-surprising subtleties of texture, tone and colour in the everyday scrub of another patch of local wild plants and grasses. As I was taking these images, I could smell the sea at my back and hear the keening of the gulls above me, and somehow the waves found themselves into my photographs anyway, with their crests of froth and spindrift.
More salted, windswept skeins and matted hummocks on the sea-facing rise of Tankerton Slopes.
A short walk along Whitstable’s blustery sea front and you arrive at Tankerton Slopes, a long steep rise of scrubby grass, hog’s fennel and brambles. In the depths of winter, kids sledge down the slopes, speeding down towards the colourful beach huts and the shingle beach. Now, the long unkempt grasses are dry and bleached, and the slopes undulate with texture and light, and with the skeletons of wild plants – in short, a treat for the eye and another impressionist magnet for my camera. More to come.