After speaking to my lecturers about my ideas and getting feedback from students in my class during the formative feedback session, I have reworked parts of my project and further developed my ideas and shooting process. One piece of feedback which helped clarify the part of the assignment I was struggling with the most was the issue I had with shooting at many different locations. I was unsure whether including images from lots of different areas of conservation around the UK would be effective or if it was best to focus on just one area and narrow down my research into one particular area.
The feedback suggested that I focus on one area of conservation and use this as an allegory for the problems which other conservation sites are facing on a national scale as well as wider conservation problems which are occurring on a global scale.
Another piece of feedback which helped greatly was that people thought the images I have been producing are strong and they felt that the warm tones in my images gave connotations of global warming.
Taking this feedback into consideration I decided to have my next shoot at the North York Moors. This location is rich in different landforms, scenery, biodiversity and different types of land use. The park encompasses two main types of landscape, areas of green pasture land and then purple and brown heather moorland. The two kinds of scenery are the result of differences in the underlying geology and each supports different wildlife communities.
For this image I wanted to try and show how humans have built a road through the sheep’s natural habitat and that they would not have to cross the road if we did not build the road that runs all the way through the moors. The landscape and the sheep juxtapose the road and I wanted to emphasise how out of place it looks.
This theme of showing how humans have altered the national park and left scars on the landscape and in this area of outstanding natural beauty led me to photograph the evidence of human presence on the landscape. I photographed areas of land which have been worn down by walkers, hikers, cyclists, motorists and even farmers.
Another aspect I wanted to photograph was the heather moorland which the park is most famous for. This heather is burnt off in rotations of 7 to 25 years to prevent it from moving onto the next part of it’s succession and reaching it’s climatic climax in which it would turn back into a woodland. By burning the heather it creates habitats for Grouse which are then shot in the hunting season and it also provides an suitable environment for recreational activities such as walking and hiking. The burning means that the moorlands are a mosaic of different aged Heather and burnt areas where the fires have scorched the land. In the process this has also destroyed many other species of plants, animals and habitats.