Some photographers can have a small influence on your work and others can quite obviously feed into your image making so with the upcoming Norfolk trip looming, it seems fitting to write about the book that gave me the idea to document the county of Norfolk; the book is called Photographers Britain, Northumberland by John C Tordai and was published in 1993 by Alan Sutton Publishing.
I actually bought this book for two reasons; the first being that I like John Tordai's work in Palestine featured in the book 'Into the Promised Land'. The second reason was Northumberland which has always been a magical northern county full of castles, windswept beaches and rugged landscapes. It is a photographer's paradise!
The idea behind the book was to document the county that you were connected with, a sort of look at the county you know intimately. There was to be a whole series of these books by different photographers but i can only recall seeing this and another; I can't remember the photographer for the other book though. I do recall that it was for one of the home counties.
Tordai looked at the various areas of Northumberland from the streets of Newcastle to the rugged areas near to the scottish borders. Many images dealt with the changing social and environmental issues facing the north east of England during the late 20th century. Everything was shot in black and white with details about cameras, lenses and film used. Even the aperture and shutter speeds were noted in the book's notes section.
I decided to start a similar project back in 2004 and choose Norfolk due to its variety and location. The fact i don't live there didn't really matter; Tordai lives and works in London but he did grow up in Newcastle upon Tyne.
This year i continue the project and the images will be displayed on the blog and the website gallery. Colour has never played a large part in the project but this year it will, capturing the colourful county in all its glory. I usually go around the same time of year so the images are captured during a similar period each year in Norfolk's summer.
The first of my new images will be posted online in mid July and the gallery will follow in August.
John Tordai's book on Northumberland is currently out of print but if you can find a copy via the net or a second hand book shop, I would recommend you buy this book.
Top Image: Photographers Britain - Northumberland : J C Tordai (ISBN 0-7509-0100-4)
Centre image: Holy Island, Northumberland : J C Tordai
Bottom image: Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk : R Flint