I’d been waiting two years for snow at Chorlton Ees. Prior to that there were other photographs to capture at other seasons. I see the potential in my mind but not yet in reality. Low afternoon light, glistening grasses, lingering colour from autumn. You interact with a location imaginatively, anticipating what it might be.

Most of the time it’s otherwise. You take your camera and respond to what you find. There are decisive moments in outdoors photography – the Cartier-Bresson term – occurring in the quiet of place. Not the drama of people interaction, but a geometry where someone is positioned within nature.

I’ve pondered the difference. Cartier-Bresson photographed political leaders, people in the street, cafe drinkers, prostitutes. Slices of city life. Emotions captured. Much of his work was ostensibly documentary, but crafted like an artist. In later life he returned to painting, and said he’d always been an artist.

One difference between outdoor photography and street photography is that of immersion. You don’t want to engage with people in the street; you want their picture. It’s sometimes called candid photography. Photography of place is the opposite: you engage with the rhythms and environmental changes. The walkers in my Chorlton Meadows project are comparably anonymous. The invitation however is to identify that feeling in yourself, and with me, in regard to nature.

 

Chorlton Meadows; Snow Path Walker

Wednesday January 20, 2016