A friend put it to me this way: “You can’t compare Kent with the Lake District or Scottish Highlands you know!” He was questioning my passion for researching and scouting the county for great landscapes and compositions.
We (mostly he) went onto to discuss the merits of Kent1continuing to refer to itself as ‘The garden of England’. Surely, no longer the case, what with the high rate of new house building and (so-called) development “destroying” the county’s land. Also, the fact that Kent isn’t exactly known for its majestic peaks, valleys and great lakes. Kent’s highest point is just 255 metres above sea-level. “Let’s be honest, Epic isn’t the word that springs to mind.”
Whatever your own opinion on the subject, my friend’s thoughts unwittingly got me thinking about what Kent truly has to offer photographers. That’s not to say they were a key driver for the book. If you’ve read my previous blog pieces about photo books, you’ll know I believe that sharing photographs in printed form is the most valuable thing photographers can do. Sharing printed photographs with viewers is much more tangible and beneficial to the viewer – drawing in their senses beyond just sight, than simply having them scroll through images fleetingly on social media. But his views certainly prompted me to evaluate what was attractive about photographing in Kent. Also, personally, what photography itself really meant to me. This debate within myself was what led me to try to distil my thoughts and related photographs inside a small, accessible photo book.
Without giving away all of the book’s contents, Kent, England A personal view comprises three elements: first and foremost a selection of photographs from across the county, north-to-south, west-to-east. Secondly, a guide on what I believe Kent has to offer visiting photographers. Thirdly, a few words about what photography truly means to me as an outdoor photographer.
The book’s 29 photographs show rolling landscapes, ancient woodlands, diverse coastlines and waterways, strategic county bridges and old cobbled streets, captured from sea-level up to (near) the highest point of the North Downs.
Regarding what Kent offers visiting photographers, this can be summed up in one word: diversity and the book’s images illustrate this well. What Kent lacks in high mountains, deep valleys and great glens, it makes up for with beautiful rolling hills, diverse woodlands and a spectacular and varied river, sea and channel coastline. Moreover, Kent is fantastic for other genres of photography, such as architectural and maritime history. And for street shooters, Canterbury, Rochester and Kent’s coastal towns like Faversham, Margate and Broadstairs offer tremendous opportunities.
As for what photography means to me, well, without getting too deep, it’s my way of recording my thoughts and interests where words prove inadequate. As you’ll have read above and in my previous blog pieces, I’m not a good writer. You may not think I’m a good photographer either and that’s fair enough. But I’m better at sharing my interpretations of scenes through my images that I am with words.
If interested, you can preview Kent, England A personal view in full on the printer’s website2.
To read my other blog pieces about curating photo books, please go to the links below3.
1. Many Kent residents, businesses, local institutions and tourism offices.