Monday, 10 November 2008

13m from the edge

I have spent some days exploring parts of Norfolk coast that is badly affected by erosion. I stayed in Happisburgh, a small village which has lost most of its sea defences. Diane Wright bought Cliff house on Beach Road in Happisburgh over 20 years ago to run a B&B which she still does but the house is now only 13m away from the cliff edge. From the room I was staying in I could hear the sound of the waves, the windows were rattling in the wind and the rain pouring down outside. Diane has 3 m left to go until she will be forced to move out and the house will be demolished. She has grown used to the idea over the past few years but still feel it is unfair that the government is prepared to protect certain areas but not others. Diane said she bought the house in the belief that she would be protected.
Bryony next door, just moved in to her bungalow in July. 'I bought it in an act of defiance, I don't believe the sea should have the last word' she told me.
My trip was an attempt to try to start the project and get my head around the issues I want to focus on. Unfortunately I managed to take a lot of not very good pictures of subject matters that could have been very interesting. I feel really gutted over how crap my composition is at times, so unhappy with my horizons....I get in to a real state about things like this and end up chucking my negs in a draw, pretending they never happened, until I feel strong enough to face them and attempt to make better photographs. So feeling really quite unsure of the whole project, I haven't got a totally clear idea of how the project will look or how to precede and what is realistic to expect. At times I think perhaps I should focus on another idea I have about residual spaces, this would give me more freedom in terms of what I could include in the photographs. But I feel really quite strongly about the effect of these coastal landscapes and the people who inhabit them.
The project will definitely be a challenge for me, it is a more specific story from what I am used to photographing and is proving quite tricky in terms of how to physically shoot certain things. It is problematic photographing people and their houses on the edge. How to portray it? Only way of getting the houses and the people in would be to stand below the cliff shooting up, but one has to move far out in order to see the bungalows and the people would be tiny...
The broken sea defences look quite dramatic to me and I keep thinking they would look good shot on panoramic format, but I definitely don't want to shoot the whole project that way, mixing formats?... Anyway I put the above pictures up here to give you an idea of what I'm interested in conveying.


Mark Chilvers said...

hi Anna, I particularly like the portraits of people from behind looking out to the sea that may swallow their home. Might make a good series?

Silva said...

Do not be too hard on yourselves. As usual i like the qulity of light in your pictures... the eeriness

Anna said...

Hi Mark and Silva. Thanks for your comments. I like what you are saying about a set of portraits of people looking out over the sea. Aesthetically I like that type of composition but am a bit concerned that it might not comunicate the issue. I think I will bring this up in the tutorial on Friday.