Some photographers are lucky. They live in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Lake District where they cannot fail to regularly take masterpieces as a matter of course. Those of us unfortunate to live in more mundane areas are destined to stomp around complaining we have nothing worth photographing whilst dreaming our lives away planning the next trip to some real scenary.

But wait a moment, isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Don't we, as photographers, have a creative duty to bring out the best in the subjects that we have before us? All very well, you may say, but where's the creative potential in Essex? All flat muddy fields, nondescript with no features of interest, a vast intensive farming desert devoid of any possible attraction. And that's just the bits that haven't been built on or concreted over! Where's the joy in that? I'm reminded of the humourous song that Mike Harding used to sing many years ago, "It's hard being a cowboy in Rochdale." Well, it sure is hard being a landscape photographer in Essex!

It's certainly a challenge, but in my view not only a worthy one but one that can ultimately prove very rewarding. Just for one moment transpose yourself to the Lake District. Sublime views waiting to be captured around every corner and you're there every day to take advantage. But hey, hasn't that sunset over Derwent Water from the landing stages been done a thousand times before? And not only by Uncle Tom Cobly but also by Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite, David Noton and a host of extremely talented professionals and enthusiasts who just happen to have the "luck" of being in the right place at the right time more often than you.

Maybe the grass isn't so green up there after all. Just as well, because I cannot forsee an opportunity on the horizon to move there. One benefit of being an Essex based landscape photographer is that there isn't much competition. Look at this image taken two days ago about a mile from my house.


It may not be a prize winner, but I bet it's better than anything Joe Cornish has got of this scene. In fact, it's probably the best photograph of this patch of arable land near Lindsell in existence. I'd bet it's the only photograph of it in existence, and that gives it an exclusivity that Derwent Water sadly lacks!