Mapping the landscape

Drawing and sketching allow you time to explore and memorise places, but my sort of photography requires a more methodical approach. To deal with the East Anglia Fens I started with Ordnance Survey maps and my own large drawing of the area.

I paid particular attention to local names and to the rivers and drainage systems. Ely Cathedral 'The Ship of the Fens' was my focal point, seen on the horizon in many of the photographs. From it, I marked out a 20-mile circle which I sub-divided into 12 sectors by points of the compass.

This made it easy for me to explore the area in detail, understand how sun and weather pass across the landscape and anticipate the changing direction and angle of the light.

I soon had a good mental map of the area and began to tease out the differences in farming patterns, crops and rotations that mark out each area distinct and give it a particular character.