on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Original Landscape Workshop

Remembering Fay Godwin & Paul Hill

Ed Hannam 1

Ed Hannam

Born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in 1949 I label myself as a ‘Landscape Photographer’ but in truth will make images of any subject or genre that catches my eye. Working(?) with digital and both medium and large format film cameras, I eventually realised that I wasn’t going to be Joe Cornish, David Ward, Ansel Adams or any other accomplished photographer and would have to be satisfied with being myself.

As far as I remember, and my memory is a little faded these days so please excuse me if some of the details are slightly vague, I first came across John Blakemore`s “Inscape” exhibition at Buxton Art Gallery in what must have been the early to mid 90s. I was struck by how the images “glowed” on the wall, something I had never seen in my own attempts at black and white processing and printing. This inspired me to try and move forward with my own work.

john blakemore

John Blakemore

I don`t recall how I then made the connection with Paul Hill. Bearing in mind that this was in the days before the internet opened up the opportunity for us all to research anything and everything, it must have been an article in the photographic press. I remember a publication called “You and Your Camera” in the early 1980s of which I bought every issue and it must have been here that I discovered Paul`s “The Photographer`s Place” workshop programme and also the work of Fay Godwin. Anyway I do remember telephoning him and having a chat and him posting me an application form. Yes, you had to apply to attend a workshop in those days, not that there were many, if any, others to choose from! (possibly the Inversnaid Photography Centre being a notable exception) I don`t recall what the questions on said application form were, but I do recall the idea being perfectly reasonable and acceptable. Anyway, I posted the form off, was duly accepted and sent off my fee. I think it was about £160 for the four days, accommodation included, albeit dormitory style accommodation.


Taking a taxi from Ashbourne town centre to the venue in the tiny picturesque village of Bradbourne, I was greeted by Paul, his wife Angela and their small dog (whose name escapes me), and after depositing my luggage was shown round the establishment. This consisted of the small stone cottage used for accommodation and dining, and then just up the garden path, the wooden “super-shed” that Paul had constructed for classroom and darkroom purposes. All of us participants arrived at various times that afternoon and were then joined by Fay Godwin for our first evening meal, deliciously and lovingly prepared by Angela and served by Paul. That evening must have been spent acquainting ourselves with each other and discussing the next few days, also browsing our host`s not inconsiderable photographic library and studying various original photographs hanging around the walls. I seem to remember there being an original Ansel Adams print!

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