Revised Research Proposal

It has been only a few days since my last discussion of my research proposal, however prior to our next session, I have made numerous updates to further refine this process.


  1.  Overview/Topics of Interest(s)
  2. Introduction/Research Question
  3. Aims and Objectives
  4. Rationale
  5. Previous Research
  6. Qualification and Restrictions
  7. Specialist Needs – Equipment access, workshops etc
  8. Bibliography


For this body of work, I intend to develop and expand further upon the contextual themes and visual approaches I established during my recent video project.

In this, I started to document the environmental impact of human development upon the British landscape (agriculture, industry) and in turn, the resulting changes within local ecosystems and their natural inhabitants, as well as this, I [HS1] began to validate the power and endurance of natural life forms and wildlife, dominating and surviving amongst the fragile remnants of man-made constructs.

I intend to add to this ongoing process, through the consideration of my previous research of documentary landscape photography such as national and contemporary environmental issues and relevant practitioners, as well as undertaking new areas of research as a means of refining the development of my ideas and intentions for this series.

In particular, I want this to progress my knowledge and image development of wildlife photography, including related concepts, potential sites/ locations, nature photographers and contemporary issues within this field of practice.

My chosen theme relates to the subject of water titled ‘Britain’s Lost Waters: The Ripple Effect.

I have chosen to highlight this issue because water, or more specifically fresh water is a life source to humanity and almost all other life forms and is sourced through nature. It is essential to our basic survival, our health and mental wellbeing.

“Humans rely on the way ecosystems services control our climate – pollution, water quality, pollination – and we’re finding out that many of these regulating services are degrading,” –  Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and co-chairman of the NEA.

I would like this series to discuss how even one seemingly small change or disturbance can cause other widespread issues such as the attempted domestication and breeding of minks, after they escaped into the wild, this resulted in a critical threat towards water voles, a native species. However, through the protection and/or restoration of popular wildlife sites, there has been a significant increase in otters, which then in turn has restored more of an ecological balance through reducing mink numbers.  I want this concept to underpin my project, and in a sense expressing the ripple effect both literally and figuratively.



Firstly, I have started by revisiting previous examples of relevant research and determine what aspects I need to progress upon further, or which areas I may have initially neglected to explore within my previous projects.

From this, I can begin to explore new research that will further refine and expand upon my knowledge of various contextual and aesthetic concepts relating to both landscape and wildlife photography. This research will further explore the work of landscape and wildlife practitioners I am acquainted with but in greater depth, in particular, those visual proved very influential within my video project such as Pål Hermansen, Fay Godwin and Jem Southam.

In addition, this should allow me to progress towards new influences of both wildlife and landscape photographers. This process will likely involve a variety of media formats relating both to conceptual and aesthetic aspects of relevant visual work such as books, journals, websites and potential exhibitions (if available). This is especially important in regards to wildlife, as this was relatively undeveloped compared to landscape influences.

From these influences, I want to find further inspiration by continuing my research of contemporary environmental/conservation issues, specifically, stories relating to freshwater issues that demonstrate the signs of human neglect upon land (budget cuts, pollution, exhaust of water, loss of water based wildlife) or reinforce an interest in preserving it or want to allow for independent recovery (community-led conservation efforts to preserve rivers and wetland, campaigns against urban development) or draw an emphasis to a particular area or multiple areas in which natural elements are ‘reclaiming’ privately owned rural land or urban areas.

As a result, this should allow to determine various rivers, wetland and/or marine sites of potential photographic interest that could form the basis of one or multiple visits, depending upon the scale and quantity of intended sites.





Wells, L (2011). Land Matters: Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity. I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.


Moving away from some of her general critical studies of photography (Photography: A Critical Introduction) I decided to concentrate towards Wells’ insight into issues relating to the subject of land and landscape photography. Within this, Wells discusses how photographers engage with concepts relating to land, in particular, its idealisation and representation. From this, the perception of land as a landscape, influences our political, national and environmental attitudes.


Sterry, P (2008). British Wildlife: A photographic guide to every common species. London: Collins.


During my initial research, I started to consider potential sources of reference and classification in terms of recognising wildlife. This simple guide gives nature enthusiasts an outline of common species of British wildlife, including each ones physical attributes, sightings etc…

MACK. 2013. The River Winter by Jem Southam. [online] Available at:


For this, I revisited the work of Jem Southam but focused upon a series I haven’t previously consider in any great detail. Upon this page, I could gauge a sense of the cohesion and display throughout the printed book format of this series.


Rivers on the Edge. 2013. [e-book] WWF. Available through: WWF


This is a e-book of a recent publication by WWF that discusses one of their latest conservation projects relating to threatened British rivers and in particular the need to preserve chalks streams.


O’Hagan, S (2013). In the Realm of Nature by Paul Martineau – review.


Whilst considering potential influences from nature photographers, I came across this book by Paul Martineau upon SOLAR. I don’t currently have access to this yet but to gain a understanding of its significance, I found a review upon the Guardian website, in the Observer by Sean O’Hagan. This not only began to discuss the published work itself but also of Martineau’s influence and inspiration to others in his exploration and conservation efforts during his interaction with the American landscape.


Ross, D (2013). Lottery fund gives £3m to restore remote landscape and help wildlife.


Whilst researching contemporary news relating to land and/or wildlife issues or events in the UK, I discovered an article within the Scottish Herald. This discussed a recent £3m funding effort from the lottery fund ‘as part of a landscape partnership project covering 150,000 acres of this part of Ross-shire and Sutherland’. This highlighted quite an optimistic action towards national and cultural awareness of the need for the restoration and protection of both land and wildlife.

Barton, B. 2013. Why is Europe failing to take the energy-water connection seriously?. The Guardian, [online] 4 November. Available at:


This is an article featured within the Observer highlighting the concept of creating renewable and sustainable water supply such as constructed wetlands. Barton especially reinforces this as a major issue in European countries including the UK, as we haven’t started to consider the seriousness of in the exhaust of water as a resource.


Benyon, R. 2013. Water is too precious a resource to be squandered. The Observer, [online] 17 November. Available at:


This is an article featured within the Observer that discusses the scarcity of water and the how UK governmental policies regarding water need to change otherwise we will suffer further losses of wetland habitats and eco-systems that are needed to maintain the natural balance that regulates healthy water flow to connecting rivers, preventing potential droughts and flooding.


Boccaletti, G. 2013. Wind in the Willows river ‘risks running dry’ if new water bill is passed. The Guardian, [online] 25 November. Available at:

This is an article featured within the Guardian that emphasises environmental issues that will result if the latest changes to the UK water bill are pushed through, focusing in particular upon the river Pang and its resident water voles which acted as the inspiration for ratty, featured in the Wind in the Willows. The water bill would allow private licence owners to sell drained water from our exhausted British rivers to supply our ever increasing population and thus compromising wetland areas inhabited

Brandt, N. 2013. End of Eden. The Independent on Sunday, [online] 20 October. Available at:

This is an article featured within the Independent on Sunday reviewing the creative work of photographer, Nick Brandt. In this, he raises worldwide issues relating to destruction of natural habitats and the hunting and decline of wildlife. Brandt’s images make a very bold statement about this subject, one image shows the mounted head of a lion being placed in relation to its natural environment.

Carrington, D. 2013. England names 27 new marine conservation zones. The Guardian, [online] 21 November. Available at:

This is an article featured within the Guardian discussing the recent classification of marine conservation zones, an area often lacking in interest and priority when considering conservation sites. Of the 127 recommended zones suggested by government consultants, only 27 of those were acknowledged.

designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2013. edward burtynsky water photography – designboom | architecture & design magazine. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured within Architecture & Design magazine earlier this year, featuring a review of Edward Burtynsky’s latest work, water. This series focuses upon water deficiency, using large scale aerial images and video from across the world to reinforce the nature of water, its vulnerability, capability, and power and how it is used.

Harvey, F. 2013. Water shortages may make fracking impractical, industry says. The Guardian, [online] 27 November. Available at:

This is an article featured in the Guardian highlighting issues with water shortages and the controversial process of fracking which requires a large demand upon water supplies.

Hull, S. 2013. Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2013 – Dublin Institute of Technology – BA (Hons) Photography. [online] Available at:

This is an article that featured within source magazine’s online page and discusses the work of Jonathan Higgins, a recent photography graduate from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Six Feet Over is about a raised bog that is now designated as Special Areas of Conservation and aims to reinforce the importance of honouring the country’s heritage and traditions as well as protecting our landscape for future generations.

Hull, S. 2013. Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2013 – UCA Rochester – BA (Hons) Photography (Contemporary Practice). [online] Available at:

This is an article that featured within source magazine’s online page and discusses the work of Robin Albrecht, a recent photography graduate from UCA Rochester. Explored examines man’s relation to nature, highlighting the question, ‘how far do we actually need to go to reach a place where we can rid ourselves of all signs of mankind to be able to connect with ourselves on a deeper level?’

Hull, S. 2013. Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2013 – Hereford College of Arts – BA (Hons) Photography. [online] Available at:

This is an article that featured within source magazine’s online page and discusses the work of Ben Herron, a recent photography graduate from Hereford College of Arts. The featured work focuses on an area in the Peak District Padley Gorge.

Lees, J. 2011. Wetlands: constantly changing, always photogenic. The Guardian, [online] 2 December. Available at:

This is an article that featured in the Guardian that focuses upon the aesthetic qualities and photo opportunities of wetland areas and their ability to be a photogenic subject.


Carwardine, M (2013). How to be a professional wildlife photographer.

Of recent, I have a found a great deal of advice and inspiration from Mark Carwardine, a zoologist, conservationist and wildlife photographer, amongst numerous other fields of expertise. Within a wide variety of published articles, I found this particular example to be quite engaging and constructive in offering an insight into practical considerations and approaches when aiming to work within the field of professional wildlife photography. (2013). Bees, birds and hedgerows at risk: public must act to protect nature on farms.

Another example of a contemporary issue relating to land and wildlife in the UK, is a story published upon the Wildlife Trust’s official site. It discusses a political dispute relating to budget cuts in farm environment protection schemes, implemented as a means protecting local wildlife. ‘The Government has given only 28 days for the public to have their say on how 69% of the English landscape is maintained and how farmers can be financially supported to deliver the environmental benefits that underpin sustainable food production, healthy ecosystems and rural communities.’ This draws an emphasis to the ongoing ethical conflicts between cost-cutting governmental measures and the preservation of environments that are needed to sustain local eco-systems and in turn, wildlife.

BBC Nature. 2013. Restoring Britain’s wildlife vision. [online] Available at:

This is a photo story/gallery featured upon the BBC Nature site that describes the restoration of British wildlife and an ongoing project enlisted by 20 wildlife photographers to capture the ‘2020 vision’ for habitat restoration and its connection to our own well-being.

BBC News. 2013. Biodiversity plans ‘too simplistic’. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the BBC science and environment site and explores the simplicity of governmental biodiversity policies and how they need to be reconsidered if they are to actually achieve their intended goals.

BBC News. 2011. Nature ‘is worth billions’ to UK. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the BBC science and environment site and discusses how profitable nature is within the UK for the purposes of food production, water, clean air as well as cultural and health benefits that are often taken for granted because they appear almost unlimited. 2013. Chris Jordan – Midway. [online] Available at:×24.

This is a reference which was discussed during a recent feedback session relating to a series of wildlife images by photographer Chris Jordan that highlight the issues related to waste disposal, consumerism and consumption and how this has negatively impacted the feeding behaviours of various wildlife, particularly birds, often causing in the death of their young. His bold and almost grotesque images reinforce the significance of mass consumption and human development in the disruption and demise of elements within the natural world.

Geographic, N. 2013. Unusual Pictures: “Calcified” Birds, Bats Found at African Lake. [online] Available at:

This is a photo story featured upon National Geographic’s site, which offer a more specific insight into a series of work by Nick Brandt, looking at his series of Calcified birds based at Tanzania‘s Lake Natron.

Geographic, N. 2013. Freshwater Initiative | National Geographic. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon National Geographic that discusses the importance of fresh water and emphasises the significance of restoring rivers and reducing our water ‘footprint’.

Jones, C. 2013. Autumn-A Mosaic Of Colours. Craig Jones – Wildlife Photography, [blog] 27 October, Available at:

This is a blog post featured upon the wildlife photography site of Craig Jones. It simply highlights a series of his autumn wildlife images featuring red squirrels, deer and short eared owls. 2013. The natural world: Earth, Wind and Flight.. [online] Available at:

This is the homepage of Maxwell Law, established British landscape and wildlife photographer whose work I discovered during a recent workshop upon ‘Earth, Wind and Flight’ at Martin Mere Bird Festival. 2013. Natural England – Wildlife Management and Licensing. [online] Available at:

This is the wildlife management and licensing page featured upon Natural England’s site, this will prove to be a useful resource when refines potential freshwater wildlife subjects. 2013. Natural England – Water voles. [online] Available at:

Similar to my previous example but more specifically focused upon water voles, a native mammals whose rapidly declining population is starting to recover due to the rising otter numbers in the UK. As I will be focusing upon rivers, I will most likely need a licence in case I come across a regular water vole habitat or wish to photograph them. 2013. Exhibition and tickets – Wildlife Photographer of the Year. [online] Available at:

This is promotional article featured upon the Natural History museum’s website that discusses the current wildlife photographer of the year exhibition being hosted there until March 2014. 2013. River to Ridge – Celebrating the natural beauty of Britain’s wild places. [online] Available at:

This is the main home page of writer and landscape photographer Garry Brannigan and his gallery of images based in the exploration of wild places in the natural world. 2013. Aln Estuary recommended Marine Conservation Zone | The Wildlife Trusts. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the Wildlife Trust website and refers to a recommended marine conservation zone, Aln Estuary, which is currently under threat and is one the of nearest marine focused sites. 2013. Water and wetlands | The Wildlife Trusts. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon the Wildlife Trust website and emphasises both the significance of wetland areas as a ‘living landscape’ as well as some of the conservation issues relating to such areas. 2013. Key freshwater issues. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon the WWF website and highlights concerns and issues related to the threat of human pressure and demands for freshwater resources. 2013. Why are chalk streams special?. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon the WWF website based upon their rivers on the edge project and discusses the importance of chalk streams for wildlife and their ability buffer the effects of flood and drought. 2013. River Hull Project | Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust page and draws an emphasis towards a project based around the River Hull an SSSI due to its chalk stream features. 2013. Living Went Project | Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust page that highlights on their most recent environmental projects, the Living Went project based around the areas of River Went and the streams, becks and wetlands that flow into it throughout Featherstone and Pontefract in the Wakefield district. Also known to have sightings of water voles.


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