There are lots of old jokes about elephants.
One of them poses the question “How do you eat an elephant?”, and the answer is simply “One Slice at a Time”.
This came to mind this morning when I was contemplating a photography project that has been slowly coming into focus over the last few weeks.
Those of you who follow my twitter feed will have spotted that I’ve been buying a lot of Ordnance Survey maps recently, mostly of northern Scotland. Aside from a long-standing desire to have a full set of OS Landranger maps of Scotland, I'm planning to use this as an excuse to explore some of the bits of Scotland I’ve not yet got to, and to revisit the ones I don’t have any decent photographs of.
Any project with quite such a vague goal is going to appear somewhat daunting. I can plough through my existing photograph collection and pick out the places I’ve been to already. This is inevitably going to be heavily biased around places where I regularly spend time, and isn’t really going to help me pick out the places I’ve not been to recently (or indeed at all) or help me know when I might be able to declare the project finished.
This is where the OS maps kick in - they are going to be my framework. There are just over 80 OS Landranger sheets covering Scotland and my aim is to have one image from each sheet. I’ve got about half the sheets, and I think I’ve probably also got relatively recent photographs from about half the sheets too (after last weeks shopping trip I’ve got a few sheets without photographs, and I know I’ve got photographs without having the relevant Landranger sheet).
I need to set myself a few rules for the project.
- An image needs to be representative of the sheet (i.e. not generic interior images - this rules out images from my extensive collection of Premier Inns, Costa Coffee outlets and motorway service areas)
- An image can only represent one sheet - I’m looking at you sheets 11 and 12, which almost completely overlap - I need to find a unique image for each sheet!
- All the images need to be taken in (and be of) Scotland - will need to do some detective work on sheets along the English border.
And rule four, I’ll be talking about Sheet Club. You can expect blog posts.
So, to paraphrase the first paragraph. “How do you photograph Scotland?”
“One Sheet at a Time.”
|HP 607 197 : Sheet 1 : Shetland Yell, Unst & Fetlar|
|HU 571 635 : Sheet 2 : Shetland Sullom Voe & Whalsay|
|HU 206 785 : Sheet 3 : Shetland North Mainland|
|HU 408 094 : Sheet 4 : Shetland South Mainland|