Inside this issue
On Bredon Hill
A Photo Hiking Project
I’m primarily a landscape photographer though that does encompass almost anything I find whilst out hiking. I particularly enjoy my photography when it’s building a body of work or project such as hiking The Thames Path or The Cotswold Way or Bredon Hill throughout 2016.
Throughout 2016, over the course of 52 outings, I hiked a total of about 300 miles with my camera on Bredon Hill’s 50 miles of public, permissive and concessionary paths. The hill covers about 15 square miles within its encircling country lanes and is located on the western edge of The Cotswolds in south Worcestershire, just a few miles from my home. I hiked there at all times of the day, often starting well before sunrise and often finishing well after sunset - though only once did both of those
happen on the same day! I was interested to see how familiarity with a location and the things I find to make images from were influenced by differing weather, time of day, season, and not least my own frame of mind. On completion of my project, I concluded that I was completely unable to discern how all of these variables worked. Some days I found many satisfying images whilst on others I almost drew a blank. The how and the why still beats me.
Bredon Hill is a gentle dome rising to just shy of 1,000 feet at an iron age hill fort on its northwestern ‘corner’ overlooking the more or less flat River Avon and River Severn valleys. Its northern and western slopes are steeper, more wooded than the southern and eastern slopes. It’s mostly given over to arable and sheep farming with areas of deciduous and coniferous woodland, orchards, a National Nature Reserve, a few small streams, a good scattering of isolated old trees and lines of old Scots pines and at least three iron age hill forts. Some areas are managed for pheasant shooting. There are no public roads onto the hill. It’s encircled at its base by country lanes where there are to be found several very attractive Cotswold
villages, all of which could be photographic subjects in their own right - but not for me on this project. All of this, coupled with the variety brought by visiting throughout daylight hours in all seasons, offered me the chance to get to explore its photographic potential to the full. I had planned a couple of night visits for sky and meteorite photography but was thwarted each time by forecasts of full cloud cover.