on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

In Celebration of Projects

The River Path

Darren Lewey

Darren Lewey took up photography in 1981 with a home darkroom and then subsequently attended art school, college and university to study photography and film. He’s a passionate photographic educator running workshops in Morocco and Spain. He currently manages his photographic life by having several projects active and has become a leading image maker for an obscure forest next to his house.


Returning once again into my local forest has provided new inspiration. I had been preoccupied with cut down trees back in 2016 but aesthetically the range of images seemed finite at that time. However, the mandatary ‘lockdown’ of March/April 2020 enabled me to look again very much closer to home but this time venturing in a different geographical direction, one that followed sandy narrow trails, quite at odds with the rocky greater forest around them. These paths are referred to by locals as the old river, a gathering basin from the shallow slopes either side.

The slightness of a northwards river track, perhaps no more than a metre wide at its core, is a useful source of fire materials for the local villagers. Felled and left to dry for months and years, branches and trees render a two-tone colour palette for a photographer’s eye. The trees species here at variance to the forest just a few metres beyond it. My attraction was drawn to recently cut material which still held some colour.

Shapes and form as always become paramount and photographing in overcast conditions is a necessity to reduce overall contrast. These river paths extending from the village and within the greater forest of 125sq kilometres offer a unique exchange between flora and man’s intervention.

Darren Lewey- River Path 1

Projects are good, it’s finding a new friend

A relationship which can be great at the start with perhaps a difficult middle period and then a common understanding of limitations and finally acceptance. We often have high hopes for new work at the beginning so what seems initially interesting then becomes less so once we gain some objectivity through time.

Learn to embrace the more mundane and ordinary at first glance. It can sometimes take quite an effort to overcome your instincts but the advantage is you can make it yours.
Returning to a location many times in a short time takes a particular resilience so spacing out visits may be beneficial. Our projects are part of who we are so I always allow time to look back on them with affection. Take time to reflect on your previous work, enjoy looking at the images and learn from them.

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