on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Fieldwork by Finn Hopson

Book Review

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Finn Hopson lives in the south of England, very near to the South Downs a range of rolling landscape that ranges from Winchester to Eastbourne. The land has been farmed for many generations, definitely as far back as the early Roman occupation and almost certainly going back to times just after the ice age. He’s been visiting the area since he was a child and has got to know the land intimately.

If I’m guessing correctly, Fieldmarks is a project that started even before Finn knew about it. You can’t help but collect images of places you love and visit often and this intimacy comes through in his work. Later, I imagine Finn returning to revisit ideas and places, adding to the range of images.

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So what is Fieldwork about? Before I looked at the book, I thought it might be a little one-dimensional, but upon opening it I realised I had misjudged. As I browsed through the book, I was surprised at the quality and variety of images. Moreso, I was impressed at the flow of the images through the book. From early pictures which, as you might expect, portray the typical field pictures as shown on the cover, to later pictures that explore the variety of seasons, harvesting, mist, animal life, etc.

Finn Hopson's compositional skills are spot on time and time again as well. These images, redolent of Eric Ravilious's paintings of the south downs, exhibit a strong graphic style while avoiding the types of extreme minimalism that has become common in photography.



Throughout the book are scattered South Downs slang or out of use expressions for the land, weather or farming. These break up the sequence of the photographs, creating a variation in pace of rhythm. I particularly liked the word "Grattern" for a stubbly field.

A version of the book was originally released by Kozu but Finn has reprinted it in hardback and the print and paper quality is excellent.

You can buy the book from Finn's website, brightonphotography.com for £39. Finn also has offers of prints with the book as well.

I'm always happy to be pleasantly surprised by a book and Finn's has just done that and will sit proudly in my landscape library. Highly recommended!

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