For this project I became interested in the UK’s landscape and wildlife and how we are conserving and managing it. Through my wider research it became apparent that there are many environmental issues within the UK that many people are unaware of and I wanted to raise these issues within my work. One of the key issues was the decline in biodiversity and the destruction of habitats due to the clearance of land for agriculture, recreational uses and industrial development. I became interested in how we are dealing with these problems and from here I began to raise questions such as ‘Why are we continuing to develop in these sites of conservation and special scientific interest?’ and ‘Are people are aware of these issues?’. In order for me to raise wider issues and debates in my work I photographed the North York Moors as it is a national park that is heavily managed even though it appears to look natural.
After revisited my lectures notes on ‘What is a Landscape?’ this highlighted the debate of human presence in images and how humans don’t necessarily have to be in the image to show the effects we have had on the landscape. Bodies of work such as Homesteads by Edward Burtynsky and Plume by Daniel Shea also influenced my way of taking images. I am pleased with how my images turned out and how they show the beautiful landscape yet simultaneously show subtle signs of human development.
I became interested in how it is being managed and also the negative impacts it is having on the environment. I believe this passion for wanting to inform people and tell a narrative made my images stronger and prompted me to carry out extensive research into the controversial heather burning process and to conduct interviews to hear the opinions of people who live near the national park.
One area I struggled with was the overall presentation of my work. My original plan was to make the book myself and teach myself the appropriate binding techniques. However having no previous experience in making my own book I became overwhelmed by the technical aspects of it and therefore resorted to designing my book digitally and ordering it from a book printing company. The book is not exactly as I had intended it to be and next time I would like to re-attempt making my own book as this will give me more control of the overall appearance and impact on my audience. I have learnt a lot during this project and feel that my research and development has been thorough and I have learnt how important working it is to make a work schedule.