Essex Update

Here are a couple of new salt prints from my Essex salt print project. I’m really enjoying my photo’ trips to essex. Particularly when I’m out on the salt marshes. This first salt print was photographed at low tide and there wasn’t another person around. Just me and few thousand wading birds. Oystercatchers, Curlews and Godwits sifting through the mud for their dinner.




The Tollesbury salt marshes are a unique landscape. A maze of interconnecting creeks that make a snug mooring for the local sailor’s boats. I’m sure it would make a great picture shot from a helicopter.

number 12

Number 12



Essex And The Salt Print

There are two activities that I find totally absorbing and give me great pleasure and satisfaction. One is the printing of my photographs using the 19th Century process of Salt printing. The other is sailing classic wooden boats around our wonderful coastline. Particularly the Blackwater estuary where it is possible to see Thames Barges, Smacks and Bawleys, some still fishing or dredging for oysters. Click on printing information for more about Salt Print making.

When I make a salt print I first need to coat my paper with a salt solution. The purity of the salt used is all important. Ordinary table salt won’t do. Pure sea salt is ideal and the sea salt I use is made in the Essex coastal town of Maldon in the Blackwater estuary.

To celebrate this coincidence I am producing a collection of photographs, that document the Essex coast around the Blackwater estuary. These photographs will be made into hand coated, gold toned Salt Prints. Each print of Essex will therefore have a little bit of Essex embedded in it.

Unlike contemporary printing methods, with a Salt Print, the photographic image is embedded in the papers fibres rather than in a coating on the surface. This gives the print a beautiful, warm toned velvety appearance. The process is virtually unchanged since William Henry Fox-Talbot invented it in the 1830s.

Here is a Salt Print to start the Project. It was taken at West Mersea

L'Esperance. Built in the 19th Century for the Earl of Dunraven, L'Esperance is now a houseboat at West Mersea in Essex.

L’Esperance. Built in the 19th Century for the Earl of Dunraven, L’Esperance is now a houseboat at West Mersea in Essex.

I shall be posting new Salt Prints on a regular basis so why not keep up to date with the Essex Salt Print Project by following my blog. Just fill in the box on the right.

Salt Prints

I’ve been working hard at perfecting my Salt Printing technique recently. It’s a tricky process to get right. The prints need to be toned to protect the silver and help with archival longevity. I’ve been using Gold and Platinum.

Boadicea CK213 and Mary CK252 Essex Smacks dredging for oysters of West Mersea, Essex. A Platinum toned Salt Print.

Boadicea CK213 and Mary CK252 Essex Smacks dredging for oysters off West Mersea, Essex. A Platinum toned Salt Print.

The Garden Gate. A Platinum toned Salt Print

The Garden Gate. A Platinum toned Salt Print

Dahlia 3. A Gold toned Salt Print

Dahlia 3. A Gold toned Salt Print

2 Weeks In Utah.

A few pictures from Richard’s road trip around the stunningly beautiful National and State Parks of Southern Utah.

Bristlecone Pine in the Kodachrome Basin

Bristlecone Pine in the Kodachrome Basin


In the Kodachrome Basin at sunset


Seen in a dried up river bed near Tropic.


The Devils Garden.


The road between Escalante and Boulder.


Desert Road.


Dead Bristlecone Pines above Bryce Canyon.

Bryce 2

In Bryce Canyon.


Clapboard in Cannonville.


A Walk In The Park

I’m very lucky to live in Derbyshire. It is a truly beautiful county and a lot of my spare time has been spent exploring the Peak District National Park. Millions of people visit each year to enjoy the great outdoors, so I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite areas for a good walk.

Running north-south along the eastern edge of the Peak District is an escarpment of Millstone Grit. It isn’t continuous -it is truncated by the odd road and valley- but each section is named. Known locally as “The Edges” they make a great location for a walk.

The photographs below run south to north in order. They start at Birchens Edge near to Chatsworth and finish at Stanage Edge just above Hathersage.

The view from Birchen's Edge.

Nelson’s monument and the view south-west from Birchens Edge towards Chatsworth.

Battleship Stones

Directly behind Nelson’s monument are these 3 large rocks. Each has the name of one of Admiral Nelson’s battleships carved into them. Victory, Defiance and Royal Soverin.

Two climbers on Curbar Edge in the Peak District National Park Derbyshire

Two climbers on a classic Derbyshire gritstone route on Curbar Edge high above the Derwent Valley.

A group of walkers take the footpath south on top of Froggatt Edge.

The path along the top of Froggatt Edge is well trodden and ideal for walkers of all ages.

Carl Wark and Higger Tor from Burbage Edge

Burbage Rocks runs along the southern edge of the Burbage Valley. This is the view from Burbage South, across the valley to the outcrops of Carl Wark and Higger Tor.

Remnants of the millstone industry at Burbage Edge.

Some of the edges were quarried to make millstones.

Millstones left after the industry died

The millstone quarrying industry died overnight and unwanted millstones can be seen lying where they were left generations ago.

A walker approaching Stanage Edge

My partner Sheila on the path up to Stanage Edge.

North Lees Hall. A great place to stay. Just below Stanage Edge.

A great place to stay is North Lees Hall. Reckoned to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre. Just below Stanage Edge and above Hathersage it can be let from the Vivat trust.

All you’ll need then is some decent  footwear, waterproofs just in case, a packet of cheese and tomato sandwiches, a flask of tea and the Ordnance Survey maps to the White and Dark Peak.