Category Archives: Project 3 – A Sense of Place


These 3 photographs have been taken of how the landscape has changed dramatically in Bahrain.  A small island joined to Saudi Arabia by The Causeway Bridge.  The first photo was taken inside the Old Fort, I tried to capture a little bit of the fort comparing it to the new buildings of Bahrain in the distance,  The second photo was taken from the old town of Bahrain, this is an area that has seen unrest with a growing divide of the rich and poor.  The third photo is showing some of the archeological parts of The Old Fort, again with the new high rise buildings of Bahrain in the background.

I love these three landscape pictures of my favourite places, the first one was taken high up on a rock formation on Dartmoor, I tried to capture the beauty of the forests and moors but also the small tree growing from the rock caught my attention and glad I was able to include it.  The second picture was taken at one of my favorite places to visit – Winterton-on-Sea.  It was taken approaching the beach and I just love the landscape that includes the famous black beach huts of Winterton and some fresh spring daffodils.  The third photograph although a bit on the dark side, was taken whilst driving back along the A47 in Norfolk, the sky was beautiful and it showed a stunning back drop to the many wind turbines that can now be found in Norfolk.

These three photographs have been taken where I live in Saudi Arabia.  The first one has been taken from one of the Jebels (hills) that I like to climb, the landscape is mostly of a rough terrain but it is an area that reminds you of how the landscape used to be in the area instead of the houses, oil wells, office buildings and road networks that have taken its place.  The second photo again has been taken where I live, it is part of an old golf course that had been built without a proper ‘green’ in sight.  I have no idea how this boat go there but I love the landscape and palm trees in the back ground, it was taken on a very dusty, storm brewing day.  This third photo was taken because the tree caught my attention, it was a tree that had been damaged in the storms and seemed to be coming back to life with small pockets of leaves coming from its trunk, and just felt the landscape made it stand out more.

On reflection of this project I have really enjoyed learning about the famous landscape photographers and how photography has change so much from when they first took photographs.  So much equipment was needed for landscape photography.  It has really made me look differently and landscapes and how they are changing with new housing developments, office buildings, stadiums and road networks.  I thought that I preferred the photography style of Henri Cartier-Bresson, ‘The Decisive Moment’, however I have now also seen how many of my photographs have been of landscapes.  I have really enjoyed Part four – Photography – and it has certainly made me think that I have a certain preference in photography like street and landscape.  I get excited at the thought of finding new places to photograph and I hope to take the level 1 photography course  that will help me to learn more about photography as a whole.


In exercise 3 we are asked to make notes in reference to 2 photographs of different landscapes and asked to compare if they were to be taken from ground level perspective, or to be viewed as a map or pictured from Google Earth.

Derek Trillo – The Cheshire Plain from Beeston Castle, 2008


In this photograph it looks like the photo has perhaps been taken from a hill-top or helicopter as it looks to be an aerial view rather than from just a window.  It is a view of 3 separate fields, one looks to be grass that has been mowed in stripes, the other is perhaps a field that has been sowed as it too is in stripes and the third is a field of dried soil that is bare apart from a round area containing bushes and white soil.  There are trees sparingly dividing each field from each other.


If this photograph were to have been taken at ground level, you would perhaps see the trees looking more majestic in height and the eye would look further to the horizon seeing more fields or trees, perhaps a tractor would come into view.  The perspective would be in length and width, with a lot more to see.


Photos courtesy of Google maps (accessed April 3, 2019)

The first picture is of a road map on how to get to Beeston Castle with no greenery or pictures of the scenery.  The second is of a satellite picture showing a lot more greenery and how the areas are divided out, perhaps by borders that contain trees, bushes or fences, it isn’t clear, but what is clear is there are borders, perhaps just by what has been planted or not planted.  Or whether the greenery is a field or trees.  I’ve never studied a satellite picture before and have found it very interesting.

Peter Mansell, OCA Student – No title


This picture looks to have been taken from a height but not quite an aerial view like the first one.  Perhaps from a window in another building.  It is a black and white photo of a built up area in an industrial town, the buildings look to be office blocks with  warehouses in the foreground, perhaps housing in the distance towards the horizon, with a couple of tower blocks in between.  There is a road dividing the office buildings and warehouse buildings and the only sign of life is a bus on the road.


If this photograph were to be taken at ground level, perhaps from where the warehouses are, then a lot of the buildings would be out of view as there are some tall buildings which would obscure the view beyond, the road would also be in the way and therefore the lower level buildings wouldn’t be seen nor would the buildings on the horizon.  You may only get a portion of the buildings in the camera view depending on how far away the photo would be taken.


As the photograph didn’t indicate where the photo was taken, I had a look at some photos of an industrial area in Norwich, Norfolk, to try to get an idea of buildings, warehouses and a road, taken at ground level.   I then zoomed in on Google maps showing both the road map and satellite images.

As you can see from the satellite picture , there is a lot more to see than the actual ground level view.  There appears to be some greenery surrounding the shop units with a much larger road network running along side.    This is showing what happens when a picture is taken from a different angle, and height that you can’t see what is further afield when taking a photo at ground level, at the same time there is much more detail in what you can see when closer to the object.


14-Agecroft - John Davies

Courtesy of John Davies, Gallery Photos found at

This image by John Davies Agecroft Power Station, Salford 1983 is very dramatic, like four giant monsters towering above everything, how where they built and why where they built there when there is obviously trees and fields around.  I can’t help thinking if they were built there or transported there, how much land and trees must have been destroyed.  I wonder if the football being played is being played by the employees of the power stations, as you can’t help thinking nobody would be living in the surrounding areas having to look at such ugly buildings.  The smoke billowing from the towers also feels a threat to the environment.  If the photograph was taken at ground level and closer to the power stations, then all you would see are the parts of the power stations, the human side of the photograph would not be there I don’t believe the photograph would feel or look quite so dramatic.

On further research I discovered that the power stations were demolished and HM Forrest Prison was built in its place, which is surrounded by a wood and Drinkwater Park.  This leaves me feeling much happier.

(accessed April 4, 2019)


The following websites are various sites that have been researched for Project 3 and can be found in the Research Tab on the home page.


This Guardian online newspaper article was written by Sean O’Hagen and was mainly about an exhibition containing over 168 black and white photos of landscapes that were basically boring, showing eery empty streets or buildings, pictures of office walls, German Cooling towers and billboards, to name but a few mundane pictures.  William Jenkins was the Curator and at the time the exhibition, held in 1975,  was not received well.  However, the photographs took on a new meaning, truthfulness of what was happening to the American landscape (accessed April 1, 2019)

NEW TOPOGRAPHICS – Description by The Tate Gallery

“New topographics was a term coined by William Jenkins in 1975 to describe a group of American photographers (such as Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz) whose pictures had a similar banal aesthetic, in that they were formal, mostly black and white prints of the urban landscape”. (accessed April 2, 2019)


(accessed April 2, 2019)

“Robert Adams has photographed the landscape of the American West for more than forty years, particularly in California, Colorado and Oregon. His vision is inspired by his joy in nature’s inherent beauty, yet tempered by his dismay at its exploitation and degradation. Adams uses photography to express his love for the landscape and to understand how urban and industrial growth have changed it, all the while insisting that beauty in the world has not been entirely eclipsed”.


(Accessed April 2, 2019) Part of the 10 Photographers who took part in the 1975 New Topographic exhibition about banal landscape photographs that actually told a story about how nature was being destroyed by man.  Robert Adams was a teacher turned photographer after becoming disillusioned with teaching.  His photos are black and white pictures of various landscapes, mostly trees, quite morbid and depressing in some cases, where he described the uprooting photos of trees like corpses.


(accessed April 2, 2019)

An interesting collection of photos from Mitch Epstein – showing everyday landscape photos with large power stations in the background or wind turbines, man-made dam going through the Arizona mountains.  Photos showing how man has intervened with nature and taken away some of the most beautiful and natural landscapes.  He was born in 1952 and helped to pioneer fine art colour photographs in the 1970s.  It has made me think about the country I live in – Saudi Arabia – and how this country has had its landscape completely changed by oil wells, tower buildings, water towers, road networks in such a short space of time, the beautiful Arabian Desert has slowly been taken over.  I have not really taken much thought about how things once were.  It has made me think about how much this country has changed in the ten years I have been here and how the people perhaps haven’t had much say in the environmental issues that perhaps are now being highlighted.   The same as Bahrain which has moved forward much quicker than Saudi Arabia, laws are less stricter with regards to alcohol, women not having to wear abayas, no prayer times in the shopping malls, however there is a divide in the country clearly seen in landscape photography which I will attempt to convey in my next blog post.


Fay Godwin was born in Germany but settled in England in 1950’s.  As a keen rambler, she fought for people to have the right to walk anywhere in the British countryside and brought attention to harm being done in the environment by taking photographs which then resulted in the project ‘Forbidden Project’ – Looking at her amazing photographs, makes me think of my own photographs I have taken in the past, my favourite being of Winterton-on-sea, the landscape scenery is beautiful, with wind turbines seemingly floating in the sea, far in the distance.  I’ve also started to take photos of the landscape and architecture of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and am fascinated by the incredible artwork and beauty of both countries and how the landscape and architecture is changing dramatically into expensive, high-rise buildings, banks, petrol stations, oil wells It makes me want to highlight the adverse changes and I can’t wait to continue to take photos whilst I can before Saudi Arabia becomes a tourist hotspot and its ever changing rules and policies.


Photographs by Fay Goodwin, landscape photographer (accessed April 2, 2019)

ANSEL ADAMS – BBC DOCUMENTARY (accessed April 3, 2019)

Born in San Fransisco – 1902 – gave up being a concert pianist to be a photographer.  When he saw Paul Strands negatives in Mexico made him convert fully to a photographer.  The interviewer asks him if being a musician and photographer are these  two things related – he said the writer …. says that  “All artists are expressionists of the same things”.  Some of his photos he would change in the dark room by making them darker or lighter – different method to Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment’ where he believes the photo shouldn’t be changed.  Did a project for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington DC, the theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the US National Parks.  However, project was halted because of World War II and never resumed.


Davies explored the different landscapes that were being turned into large-scale urban cities and investigated the disposal and privatisation of public open spaces.  He was one of the first photographers to be commissioned by the Museum of London in 2001 – “to explore the major arterial road links which run through the capital”

“These photographs are made deliberately in an un-sensational and often understated way to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions and to avoid imposing my own view of urban change” John Davies.



In Exercise 2 we are asked to look back over holiday photos and to try to remember your motivation for taking them.  I have so many that I have taken and so many that mean a lot to me for various reasons.  On looking back through some of these photos I have started to realize that I do like to be ‘A Decisive Moment’ type of photographer, I don’t tend to take a lot of photos of the same scene or scenario, but take one or two and move on.  Having now discovered Henri Cartier Brensson, I have got extremely excited to realize that perhaps this is my style of photography that I didn’t realize was a style.  A lot of my holiday photos are spontaneous and quirky, I love to take photos of strangers and unusual objects or situations that you don’t normally find in a travel guide.  It feels great to be inspired by amazing photographers of the past, but most certainly Brensson has captured my attention.  The following are some of my photos that are of the ‘Decisive Moment’ kind or what I call quirky, they remind me of the place I was on holiday and I know they mean something to me.

These three photographs remind me so much of one of my favorite places to visit on vacation in the UK.  Winterton on Sea, I have so many that I love and not sure why I chose these three, but I the first photo was on my last visit there.  On walking towards the beach, along a footpath, a came across this very ‘cute’ animal, sleeping, or dieing.  Not sure what to do. I left it hoping it would run into the undergrowth.  On the way back I decided if it was still there I would put it into the undergrowth out of harms way.  In the distance an old man was coming towards us, walking with a stick to aid him.  He stopped at the little animal where he raised his stick and with such force proceeded to hit the animal as it bounced high, and as it landed he kicked it into the undergrowth.  I was so shocked and couldn’t move out of fear, to see the brutality of such an old man and the guilt of not moving the animal when I first saw it will remain with me.  “A rat” he said as he walked past tilting his hat.f  The photo was taken with my iPhone 5 at close range.

The second picture is of one of the round houses you can find on a holiday resort at Winterton, in the background are black huts that are prominent when you reach the beautiful sandy beach in the distance.  It just reminds me of Winterton in all its glory.  I aimed my camera lens so that it showed the cuteness of the round house and its brightness compared to the square black beach huts in the distance.

The third photo I love.  It captures the beautiful long beach at Winterton, with the sand dunes, pathways and reeds, even on a rainy day.  It is such a wonderful place to walk and have the wind from the sea blow the cobwebs away.  The fact my daughter was walking just in front of me, deep in thought, was a perfect shot to capture on such a memorable day.  I knelt down to take this shot, to incorporate the reeds, sandy beach, waves and of course my daughter.

Florence is a magical city.  The people and the architecture are wonderful.   The first photograph I know I’ve not caught the light perhaps as I should have, however I loved this photo of my daughter and her boyfriend with the most amazing view and sunset, it summed up a beautiful day in Florence.  The second picture, is of some graffiti art that you can find all around Florence on the walls, subtly hidden.  This photo when it is enlarged has a picture of a typical Italian moped which I thought added to the mystical stick like, graffiti, would love to know who draws them.  Some would say you shouldn’t be drawing on these old buildings, but to others its Art and adds to the culture.  The third photo, will always remind me of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.  A bunch of padlocks hang on the wall with love notes left by tourists or locals.  I got caught up in the moment and decided to leave my own message, only to be verbally attacked by an English man who said I shouldn’t be writing on the wall of this historic bridge.  Quite right too I thought afterwards, however at the time it wasn’t pleasant as I was just doing what countless others had done that seemed to be part of the history of the bridge leaving love notes.  The fourth picture is of a street that we found walking through the back streets.  This shop was full of Italian bric-a-brac and just loved the high doors and was typical of the long, clean, pedestrian streets.  The final photo is of the famous statue of Perseus with the head of Medusa.  I took the photo as I thought it was just an incredible statue with unbelievable artwork and obviously amazing story.  I felt the photo captures the figure as if it was a real moment.  I love it and reminds me so much of the artwork found in Florence.

Boracay in the Philippines has got to be one of my favorite holidays of all time.  The photo opportunities were amazing.  There wasn’t a day or an hour, even a minute that went by that I wasn’t taking a photograph.  Lots of ‘Decisive Moments’ and too many to put on here.  But all of these photos meant something to me and when I took them I did think of the composition, the background, the lighting and the actual ‘decisive moment’ of taking a photo that perhaps no one else would take the same way as I had done, I tried to take the photo quickly in all these situations.  Some were taken with my iPhone others with my Pentax SLR.  Perhaps there are a million other photos just like mine, I don’t know, but these particular ones I felt I had taken with purpose and either at different angles or viewed through something like the fourth one which was viewed through an old, rotting boat.

The first photo is of a young family on their way to the shops, school, or to see family, you just don’t know, but you can see there is a story just by their lack of fear, no helmets, protective clothing or shoes and the child just wedged between the two adults.   I felt lucky to have got this shot especially as it was raining too.

The second photo, I also feel lucky to have been in the position I was sailing on a catamaran yacht with local boys as the sailors, non over 18 by the looks of things.  It was the most incredible sail out towards the sunset, legs dangling over the edge of the netted wing, spray from the sea catching your face, I had my iPhone in a plastic wallet slung round my neck as I tried to get the shot of these carefree boys.  A memory I will never forget.

The third shot was just beautiful, a 5.00am sunrise (pretty hard for me to be up at that time so quite memorable).  The fourth shot was taken, whilst walking along one of the beautiful beaches of Boracay, I spotted an upturned, small rowing boat, perched in a tree, as I looked through the rotting holes of the boat, I spotted a photo opportunity and was pretty pleased with the result.  This fifth shot was taken with my Pentax SLR, there has been no filter added, I thought it was agreat contrast to the silent bobbing of the old style yachts, this noisy, bright, lights flashing, disco motor boat cruised on by and I managed to get the shot.  This sixth shot reminds sadly of a day out driving dune buggies through dirt tracks and forests.  We started off at an outdoor café/reception and spotted these caged monkies, it was heartbreaking.  I thought if I took the photo, somehow I could highlight its captivity and plead for its release.  Sadly that didn’t happen, but I felt the shot did portray its pleading eyes and I just hoped it was well looked after.  Taken with my Pentax SLR.

The last shot was another sunrise moment, with a young local sweeping up on the sandy beach, the shot was taken whilst walking through a hole in the rocks, with plants hanging down, framing the picture of the young man, again taken with my Pentax.

As mentioned there were so many photographs of this incredible holiday, just too many to share.  I still felt that although there isn’t that fear of wasting film, I still like to try and take a photograph that is a little different in some way, normally I would only take one or two of the same scene, so as not to get boring.

These five photos were taken in Washington DC, each one taken with purpose.  The first one I believe is a ‘Decisive Moment’ shot, young boys pushing a large supermarket trolley around with water bottles to sell to the public, I felt for the boys as it was almost like child labor, kids being used by the man in the baseball hat.  The second photo was taken at the JF Kennedy Arts Centre.  My daughter loves the theatre and she was sat watching the stage as if it were alive with dancers, there was nobody there but I could still see her smiling.  I thought  it was a lovely photo and will always remind me of spending a magical day with my daughter.  This third shot was taken on the Marina, a group of chairs surround an open fire, several times I walked past where strangers would be sitting with coffee chatting to each other, I thought it was a great social gathering place.  The fourth shot was taken at the Famous fish market of Washington DC, another Decisive Moment shot that I can just smell the fish and feel the business of the market, a great reminder.  This last shot, was one of those quirky moments where I saw these bright pink outlets which caught my attention and just reminded me of the quirkiness of Washington DC.


Three simple photos taken on a trip back to the UK, the first one of my daughter taking a photo of the beautiful English blossom, we had gone out for the day with our cameras and it just reminds me of such a wonderful mother daughter moment.  The second photo again with my daughter at Christmas, displaying a rather delicious, vegetarian Christmas dinner that we cooked together, I hope the photo shows how it tasted as good as it looked, another precious moment.  The third photo reminds me of a cinema trip with my daughters to a London cinema, gone are the days of a trip to your locale Odeon with a bag of popcorn and coke.  This was an incredible evening of Champaign, chocolates and very large comfy sofas and blankets on offer too, was fantastic, I thought the shot just portrayed the luxury of the evening, another great memory.

On reflecting over this exercise I really enjoyed talking about my photogs although was aware that I might be talking too much about my own personal opinions on photos that only mean something to me.  It made me think what makes an amazing photo that others would want to see and say wow that’s an amazing shot.  I keep feeling that ‘The Decisive Moment’ shots are the ones that stand out for me as I know there wasn’t too much thinking that went into the shot, no special lenses or set ups, no lighting issues or props, just that moment.  I still think it means a lot to take a photograph like this as it makes it even more special as it is unlikely it can be repeated.  I do think there is a point that photos can be altered later, Bresson doesn’t believe this should happen, I can confess to changing the colour or cropping a photo, I don’t think this devalues it, makes it just more interesting.  Once again am just fascinated with the exitement I feel with photography and just want to keep learning more and more, especially from the great masters.




A group of photos taken by Ian Berry of black and white images of Whitby in North Yorkshire (PLACE).  If there were no people in these pictures it would look quite bleak, the photos don’t seem to have been taken with the scenery as being part of the photo, more to do with capturing the people.  The pictures I would imagine would make Whitby look quite barren, unless the photograph was taken at a different angle and there was a different perspective of what the photo meant.  I’m sure Whitby is beautiful but these photos were not taken to show off the beauty of the land it was more about the people with the scenery as background

Jesse Alexander’s ‘Cathedral’ Box Freestone Quarry, Wiltshire, 2008 – Threshold Zone.

Shows a very dark photo, almost like a cave, possibly with a tunnel leading to it, the floor looks to be full of  diamonds with a hole in the roof also depicting diamonds.


In this exercise we are asked to take two photos of the same scene but one with a zoom and one on the widest setting and compare the pictures.  I have chosen these two photos as I think they are a good example of how two pictures can be so different when taken with different lens settings.

The first photo is a photo shot of the famous Washington Monument (built in memory of George Washington).  This picture taken from a distance includes a tree and magnificent gardens and lake.  I like the way I managed to frame the building with the tree branches and park although what is missing is the girl reading that is the main part of the second picture.  In this one, the Washington Monument is not the main part of the shot you can barely see it through the branches and leaves of the tree.  The girl reading is the star of the photo, I couldn’t help wondering if she lived in Washington and this was her favorite spot to read or was on vacation and had come by the bench by chance.  It certainly is a beautiful spot to ‘read with a view’.  I liked both pictures as they have different points of views and tell a different story just by zooming the camera in and out.