Early in 2016, I joined a collaborative project to photograph the Yorkshire Dales National Park, using a grid-based approach. The project is the brain-child of Tom Marsh of Yorkshire Photowalks and detailed information is provided on his website, linked below. Over the Christmas break, I took the last of my shots for the project.
The project is thought to be one of the largest in the world, with projects elsewhere focused on smaller urban areas. The Dales grid project covers 134 sixteen square kilometre areas, with photographs at each of the 16 OS map grid intersects within each area. One of the early grid projects was in Portland USA, started in 1995 by Christopher Rauschenberg, dividing Portland into 98 squares. That project has continued to the present day, with new photographs showing the changes in places over time. In the UK cities with grid projects include Bradford and in Birmingham.
Aiming to photograph from points where OS map grids cross in the open countryside presented some challenges – some required long walks to reach and pin-pointing locations on open moorland is tricky! In the end, I used the ViewRanger iPhone app to guide me to the spots, which saved time compared with fumbling with a map and compass. I the process, I discovered some wonderful less often visited spots in the National Park and got some good exercise.
Click to view larger images.
I initially found the constraint of having to photograph from specific points on the map limiting – it always seemed that there was a better spot 10 or so meters on! However, I came to enjoy the limitation and process of looking closely at what I could see around me, perhaps taking photos that I may not of otherwise even considered worth taking. It became a lesson in the discipline of looking.
I must now wait to see if any of my work is selected for the exhibition planned in the summer of 2017, to be hosted at the National Park’s new HQ.
Bradford Grid Project [website]. Available from: http://www.bradfordgrid.co.uk/intro.html [accessed ]
The Grid Project [website]. Available from: http://www.birmingham-photographic-grid.org.uk [accessed ]
Portland Grid Project [website]. Available from: http://portlandgridproject.com/content/about [accessed 3.7.16]
Available from: http://yorkshirephotowalks.com/gridproject/index.html [accessed 30.12.16]