2.5 A Very British Day Out, Orford

Orford in Suffolk, East Anglia is a very old town dependent partly on the fishing industry centred on Orford Quay and surrounded by Orford marshes on either side of the Ore Estuary.

Orford Ness – reached by ferry – is a very unstable spit of land and shingle with unique wildlife, currently under threat of disappearing into the sea. It used to be a defence and nuclear weapons research place and is still linked to the nuclear industry. As a National Trust property with EU funding, it has been developed as a popular day trip destination.

The Ore Estuary and Ness are is really fascinating for its ‘tourism of decay and dystopia’. Orford is ‘on the edge’ in a number of ways:

  • the extreme vulnerability to the encroachment of the sea has halved the land originally occupied by Orford Marshes and Orford Ness – currently generally held at bay with barriers and groynes, but threatened in the longer term by global warming.
  • Orford Ness was an important national defence site during World War 1 and 2. More recently it has housed a nuclear weapons research facility.
  • there are serious tensions in relation to Brexit between the local hard Brexiteer fishing industry and the more EU-supporting tourist industry and environmental agencies.

In VCAP I started to work on coloured and black and white photographs of the National Trust nature reserve at Orford Ness that continues the theme of ‘Tourism of Decay’. I drafted two potential narrative series for further development as photo books and/or on-line slideshows. But I needed a Photography Permit from National Trust to fully develop and promote these photos in published form. I had intended to use this material as part of VCAP Assignment 4: Audience, further developing a body of work with printmaking and sketchbook work. But then the COVID pandemic intervened.

Orford in Suffolk, East Anglia is a very old town dependent partly on the fishing industry centred on Orford Quay and surrounded by Orford marshes on either side of the Ore Estuary.

Orford Marshes lie along a public footpath from Orford Quay along the side of the Ore Estuary. It is quite a desolate, exposed place along the inland edge opposite the National Trust Reserve of Orford Ness.

Orford Marshes

This landscape reminds me very much of the work of Peter Henry Emerson and Dutch landscape paintings.

Photographic experiments from walks in September – October 2018.

In this series of images I was interested in how I could develop interesting textural photographs in colour, monochrome and split tone through digital processing in Lightroom and Silver FX. I was particularly interested in exploring the range of traditional film photography styles in AnalogPro and how these affected the reading of the image.

For the images of Orford Marshes accepted as stock photos on Shutterstock see Shutterstock Orford Marshes gallery. The last tinted image above was my first ever Shutterstock sale – all of 0.25c – to someone from Isleham in Suffolk.

A series of textural landscapes processed in Lightroom and Silver FX Pro as colour, black and white, tinted, split colour and vintage effect (after the style of East Anglia photographer Peter Emerson). Influences: Peter Emerson. Dutch landscape and watercolour. Can I get the skies to come over the top?

The images I find most interesting are those I developed in Silver FX antique plate filter. The filter needs quite a lot of adjustment, but through reducing the white vignette, altering its centre point and then adding control points to darken and add contrast and structure on focal points to guide the eye in, some interesting ‘nostalgia images’ can be created from quite ordinary colour photos.

Other potential treatments In Silver FX are:

Tonal tinted images in cyanotype and sepia with varying degrees of grain, tonal colour, value and range that produce different moods and references to different film types and photographic periods.

Colour-tinted and split-tone images that give a more illustrated or ethereal feel.

Orford Quay

This images of Orford Quay were processed as saturated colour images, after some experimentation with Black and White and different levels of saturation. They focus particularly on the ubiquitous pro-Brexit signage on the fishing huts around the Quay. And my own feeling of sadness – as an EU-supporter – at the way that debates were going. But I tried in these images to leave things open for the viewer to make up their own mind.

My first set of photos of Orford Quay have been accepted as editorial stock images on Shutterstock: See Shutterstock: Orford Quay

Orford Ness

Orford Ness – reached by ferry – is a very unstable spit of land and shingle with unique wildlife, currently under threat of disappearing into the sea. It used to be a defence and nuclear weapons research place and is still linked to the nuclear industry. As a National Trust property with EU funding, it has been developed as a popular day trip destination.

The series explore a range of moods and approaches to develop my photographic communication skills. In particular different ways of processing processing in Lightroom and NikFX suite of software and different forms of narrative presentation in SMUGmug and Adobe Lightroom: web galleries, screen slideshows and books.

Although the works vary in mood – some ostensibly happy – there remains an underlying ‘edginess’

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2012/jul/08/untrue-island-orford-ness-macfarlane?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Orford Ness Black and White

Orford Ness Black and White: a photobook of images exploring Black and White effects in SilverFX and produced in Lightroom inspired by urbex photographers, ‘late photography’ and work of Chinese and Japanese landscape photographers.

Orford Ness

A Great British Day Out

A Great British Day Out: a Martin Parr-style documentary photobook bringing together photographs around Britishness and Brexit processed and produced in Lightroom

https://zemniimages.info/3d-flip-book/a-very-british-day-out/