Milton Creek Photography Project – A Work in Progress?
It’s been nearly two months since I attended my last City & Guilds photography class at Morley College, London and, after two years, it feels quite strange not to be preparing for a new term. Much of the course was based around our own projects, which gave us all an opportunity to work on something for a while and to get some feedback as things progressed. The projects were diverse and between us we covered a wide range of photographic genres.
For my second project, I decided to focus on urban green space and, more specifically, Milton Creek Country Park. Described as Sittingbourne’s ‘green heart’, the park itself is relatively young, but set in an area with a long and varied history. The creek for which the park is named played an important role in the oyster trade and, later, in the development of local industries, including paper, brick and cement. The park itself was a former landfill site, capped in 2003. The Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway runs through it, and there are also two fishing lakes and a number of natural habitats to encourage wildlife.
There were a number of ways to approach the project, but ultimately I decided to adopt a documentary style, photographing the park as I found it. I visited at least once a week for a couple of months, trying to vary the time of day and to dodge the rain! I was left with many, many images, and with a little help, managed to whittle these down to a final selection of 30, which I presented in a book.
As part of the written work, we were encouraged to evaluate our efforts and to think through our options for developing the project. Whilst I am tempted to consider the work finished and leave it alone, the perfectionist in me wants to go back and re-shoot a few of the images that could be better… and if I am going to do that, then why not return throughout the year, and capture the park as it changes season by season?
Here are some of the images from the project; clicking on any of them will open the gallery should you wish to take a closer look. And if you want to visit the park for yourself, you can find it between Milton Regis and Kemsley, in Sittingbourne, Kent. See you there!