For years I just assumed that it was different to the landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the Suffolk Sandlings where I had spent most of my time before, but there is more to it than difference – there is a certain vibe here. A rural gothic, perhaps.
When it's January and the wind is howling in off the North Sea, and all colour is leached from the land, and the wires hanging from crooked telegraph poles are swaying, you can feel it. When the horizon is a grim line defined by flail-cut hedgerows and flooded fields, it's there. When you pass sign after sign saying 'NO ACCESS' and 'KEEP OUT', when a stunted ash tree has tried and failed to grow out of a mound of decaying hay bales, when you see the withered skeleton of a fox impaled on the thorn tree by the farmer, you can feel it powerfully. And it is there perhaps most of all when you turn your back to the sea but you can still sense it – that future time (perhaps not so very far in the future) when the sea will breach the defences once again and reclaim the land that was once marsh.
It isn't beauty, and it isn't exactly ugliness either, but it is a fierce and hard-edged kind of reality. And I think my local photographs are strongest when they lean into it.
Without further commentary, here are a few images from today's walk through the Croftmarsh. (Header image from last weekend up in the Wolds, but it is a perfect example of the aesthetic.)
And just to finish, one more from last weekend.
Alex Roddie Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.