Windblown Trees – East Yorkshire, England

Because of the topography of England, there is an artery of roads running north-south, connecting the major cities.

There are fewer roads running east-west but at a few points there are connecting arterial roads, such as between the city of Leeds to the east of the Pennines,and the cities of Machester and Liverpool to the west.

But move away from these arteries and the feel of the countryside is quite different. Here to the north east of Leeds, off the arterial roads and towards the coast, the villages and small roads have an old-fashioned look to them.

There are hedges and fences and buildings and signposts that have an air of being undisturbed. And there is a quality in the light and the style of the buildings that is particular to coastal towns and villages.

Perhaps there are things that the senses take in that one is hardly aware of. Perhaps it is the grasses that grow by the roadside. Perhaps they are cleaner; not coated with the oil of exhaust fumes. Whatever it is, there is a feeling of having stepped out of twenty-first century Britain.

Near this line of windblown trees there is Flamborough Head, a headland that reaches a long finger of cliffs into the north Sea, and just north there is Bempton Cliffs, one of the foremost sites for seabirds in the country where kittiwakes, razorbills, gannets, puffins, and guillemots roost in their tens of thousands.


Sheep in the Yorkshire Dales

As one gets into the higher parts of the Yorkshire Dales, the dry-stone walls that separate the fields peter out and for the most part the sheep are free to roam over the moors and the high roads that snake across the tops.

Occasionally though, there are post and wire fences and the sheep find themselves on the ‘wrong’ side of them, and park themselves by the side of the road, as here.

From a distance the moors are darker than the green of the lower fields. Then in the late autumn, the heather turns pink and the landscape is transformed.


Virginia Creeper

Occasionally there is something to be gained by laying one photograph over another and blending them together. The Virginia Creeper in this composite shot was growing against the side of a garage in a small town on the south coast of England.

The image is laid over a shot of a newly cleared building site in the center of Leeds in the north of England. In the background, behind the building site, is a building that is emblematic of the new Leeds.

The technique is very simple. Lay one image over another as layers and cut back the top part of the top image (the Virginia Creeper) to reveal part of the image below. It is rather like making a collage, where one image is torn to reveal parts of other images – and from the juxtaposition to make something different from whatever any of the separate images represent.

The Origin Of The Word Collage

Collage comes from the French word coller, which means to glue. The French word in turn comes from the Greek word kolla.

What is surprising is that although the technique is very old, the word collage itself did not come into use until around 1915-20 when it was coined by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso to describe their compositions that included painted elements mixed with scraps of newspaper, bus tickets and other ephemera.

Virginia Creeper