Hawes – The community

Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

Project Details

The town of Hawes is surrounded by hills and nestles along side the banks of the shadowy River Ure.
Many footpaths and areas of open access allow one to explore and see a rich assortment of subject matter.
I have been visiting this town over the last 10 years. I take my Xpan camera which has a letterbox viewfinder, loaded with out of date film.
Using the film process I slow everything down. The act of consideration and thought is different to digital.
When the light fades I use HP5 to capture black and white images. Even after the image is exposed there are decisions to be made in editing the strips of film.
Rejection rates can be high and image selection based on variables such as density, exposure or relevance.

The physical aspect of the landscape around Hawes seems to transform with the light and the weather. Making the area grand and sublime.
The other day bright and warm sunlight was combined with hailstones.
How extraordinary.

The camera can only evidence what is put in front of it.
Being constrained to so few exposures per roll the pressing of the shutter requires more of a motive.

The heavy wooden boards at the side of the village green Green cover a rectangle of soft clay. The stout metal rings make no noise when they are thrown and land into the clay.
The commitment to the events in the town involves all generations. I never feel like an outsider.

People are taken aback when I cannot show them images on the back of my camera. It is
surprising, and a little sad, how quickly analogue photography is falling into memory. I enjoy the exhilaration of the wait before seeing the images revealed as the fixer drips off the wet black and white negatives.
Colour film has its own intrigue where the age of the stock I use effects the final image with casts and unbalance.