on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Original Landscape Workshop

Remembering Fay Godwin & Paul Hill

Ed Hannam

My first camera cost me 3 quid from a workmate back in the late sixties, followed by a Yashica Minister 3 rangefinder from one of the ladies at work`s mail-order catalogue a short while later This cost me the grand sum of, as I remember. £39, paid for in instalments. Then the bug bit and I have been hooked ever since, going through various Pentax SLRs, a Mamiya 645, Hasselblad 503CW, still being used and on to various Nikon DSLRs. My latest acquisition is an Ebony 5x4 large format camera, so it is apparent that my film days are well and truly not over yet!



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.

ap1985

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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