Landscapes Around Cottenham

Landscapes Around Cottenham is a new series of photographs by Richard Heeps created as part of the Cottenham Environment Audit.
Distinguished Cambridge photographer Richard Heeps was commissioned by the Audit Group to record a personal view of the land within the parish boundary. Taken throughout one year, his photographs are both art work and document. They reveal the special, and often understated or underrated delights of the local countryside. They show its different uses and activities, and capture its looks and moods through the seasons.
From his first shoot on the day after the big snowfall in January 2003, he has come up with over 30 photographs in which familiar and characteristic features – orchards and hedgerows, waterways, farming, allotments, footpaths, the racecourse - are transformed in memorable and evocative images.

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The Photographer - Richard Heeps

'Working as a photographer for over 20 years, I have developed my own particular way of looking at things - an angle of view, a way of combining the elements of light, colour and structure, or isolating significant things from their surroundings. In the series Landscapes Around Cottenham I have used different approaches and camera techniques, while aiming to make sure the images hang together with an overall consistency.'

'A lot of the best images were made with snow lying on the ground. I think these images work not from a picturesque idea of the landscape blanketed in snow, but rather because the snow highlights and reveals the structure of the landscape - such as a dark hedge etched against a white field.'

'My eye is drawn to those elements of the landscape which show evidence of people's presence. These photographs reflect the human activities in the countryside, as a place of work, sport and leisure. The people themselves are absent, giving the images a particular sense of distance or timelessness.'

Richard Heeps was brought up in Impington, in a house looking across the fields towards Cottenham. Based in Cambridge, his reputation is firmly established as a leading photographer in the area and the region, with work featured in national and international publications. Cambridgeshire and Fen landscapes have been a recurring theme - including a Millennium project 36 Minutes in Cambridgeshire, and a study of Wicken Fen for the National Trust.

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