John Constable is one of the worlds most well known painters, born in 1776 and past away in 1837 at the age of 61. He is most well known for one of the most well known paintings and probably as well know in the world second only to the Mona Lisa is the Hay Wain. I have the great pleasure of not living far from where this image was painted. Flatford Mill near Dedham on the Essex boarder. Needed a break in the camper (needs a name) we headed for Dedham on Friday evening last. It’s was a scorcher, th e UK is having some wonderful and much needed sunny weather as if late and we decided to enjoy the countryside. For me as always it was about deciding the choice of lens. Landscape traditionally for the wide I decided to leave the 23mm X100 and the 18-55mm at home. I’m growing very fond of the Fuji X-E1 and the 35mm I chose TI stick with it buck the trend and shoot some landscape. Yeah I know its wrong but hey ..it might work
Dedham Vale is nationally protected as “an area of outstanding beauty” and I can confirm it truly is. Arriving mid evening we parked up and settled in for the night, cooking up a spending Thai Salmon dish, (a favourite on mine) oh and of course a bottle of wine we then took a stroll thought the beautiful village of Dedham. The evening sun was warm and providing good light for photography.
The properties in this little village are really quite stunning. Take a look and more of the Dedham Vale and Flatford Mill.
Very majestic and not to mention valuable properties in abundance here are a couple I caught.
Waking early next morning we took a look at the route maps and decided on a 2 hr circular walk along the river taking in the Mill and Locks and returning across the open fields back into Dedham.
By 11am the numbers of visitors was growing. Particularly popular was the boat hire from the local pub and Resteraunt aptly named the “Boat house”.
Following the river we past 50 or so rowers with interesting levels of ability in travelling on the water. Most entertaining. Moving along the Stour banks we were soon met with a bridge over the river into Flatford.
Taking in the surrounding and doing the full tourist bit and viewing the very spot where John Constable himself would have been sat to actually paint the Hay Wain was a pleasant expire nice. It’s a beautiful Mill. At this point your will be expecting a shot of that very place but I refrained from taking one. Why well because this image is immortalised and magnificent what possible point would there be to me taking a shot, no cart and water levels 3ft higher instead I turned directly round 180deg and made a photographic image of what was behind John Constable as he painted.
John would have sat just in front of the Mill and slightly to the right as the mill waters edge, he would have been looking out to the image bottom left where the Cart would have been crossing the ford. Quite something eh!
Heading back over the bridge to continue to follow the river I was able to take some shots of the rear of the Mill and mill buildings.
The last images of the river before the direction change across the fields we watched the environmentally friendly electric pleasure boat returning rowboats for its queue of next customers.
Great to see technology working to preserve beautiful environments.
We headed back to Dedham for the evening oh and another bottle of wine. Deciding on a route back to Ely in the morning. I was as always these days happy with Fuji-XE1 and the 35mm. Ok it’s not the norm but I enjoyed manual focus and having to take care on the composition due the the relatively narrow field. It’s was challenging but I think the results worked well and I really like the images. I’m sure some land scape photographer purists would have something to say and I would not really take serous fine art shots this way. I am looking forward the wide zoom from Fuji later this year and to the new firm where updates to the focusing that are due the end of this month.
Looking forward even more to the next trip out in the camper.