This post was originally published over on the By Duddon’s Side project blog: http://byduddonsside.wordpress.com
Returning from my failed ascent of Harter Fell, I stopped at the old packhorse Birks Bridge (not the more modern one by the car park).
As I snapped away, happily taking photos of the bridge and of the gulley it spanned, I became uncomfortably aware that these images all seemed familiar and that I was just taking the same photos of everybody else; that these were the same images I had already encountered online doing my preliminary reading about the Duddon Valley.
I had very mixed feeling about this. Yes, it’s very picturesque, but as an artist I feel I should work a bit harder to look a little beyond the obvious. Then it struck me. All our photos seem to focus in on the river, but what about if we pay attention to what’s happening perpendicular to this? What happens if we instead think of the thoroughfares that the bridges were built to transport over the water? Suddenly the bridge looked very different!
I don’t yet know where this train of thought will take me, but I think I need to resolve to look beyond the postcard views and look at things sideways on.