Artists & Illustrators and a photographer

It may be just a small picture and a hundred or so words in total, but I think I’m the only photographer featured in the October issue of ‘Artists & Illustrators‘ magazine.

They asked me if I would send one of my photos of the Thames Gateway, “an industrial site rather than greenery” and 50 words on what attracts me to photograph the city, along with a portrait of myself.

© 2003 Peter Marshall
The Channel Tunnel Rail Link construction and Fenchurch St – Grays railway looking West, Dagenham. June 2003

The image I sent them of Dagenham did have some greenery, indeed it contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the ditch at the left (the Gores Brook) but also has an industrial quality and shows the Channel Tunnel Rail link under construction in 2003, as well as the railway line from Fenchurch Street to Grays.  If Boris hadn’t cancelled the DLR extension to Dagenham Dock last year (see London gets what it deserves. Unfortunately) that would have changed the view a little when it was built, and if common sense eventually prevails may still do so at some later date. Like quite a few from this series it was taken using the Hassleblad Xpan with the 30mm wide-angle lens using ISO 200 Fuji colour negative film.

I think I can now get similar results with digital, using the Sigma 12-24mm at around 18mm and cropping down to the same format, which results in about a 7.5 Mp image,  4256 pixels wide, which can give excellent prints up to around 20 inches wide, and certainly on the A3 or A3+  sheets on which I normally now print the Xpan files.  One made with a longer focal length hangs behind me and technically it’s hard to fault.

© 2006 Peter Marshall

You can see the Dagenham picture rather larger (though I think I made a slightly better scan for the magazine)  along with some others images in my Thames Gateway project on the Urban Landscapes site (it is of course in the ‘Essex’ section.) You might even be able to see Canary Wharf on the horizon.

And the 50 words I sent? Well, they didn’t really relate to this picture, but to my interest in the city in general, and it was really impossible to say all I wanted to say in such a limited space. But here they are:

Involvement in grass-roots planning campaigns in Moss Side in the 60’s led me to document urban realities and processes when I went into community photography in the next decade. My first major urban project was in Hull, where a similar vast clearance was under way. Since then London’s post-industrial landscape and new developments have provided plenty of material.

The magazine also mentions a couple of my web sites and my forthcoming show with Paul Baldesare, ‘Taken in London‘.

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