Club Walk No 10, Northumberlandia - Tuesday 28th July 2015.


The tenth walk on the Camera Club Summer Programme was held on Tuesday 28th July 2015 as we visited
Northumberlandia, the huge land form sculpture of a reclining female figure near Cramlington. This unique
piece of public art has slowly blended into the landscape with its curves softening as the grasses, wild flowers
and water plants establish themselves. Walking around it you see different angles, shapes and lines as the
light conditions change, making it a good subject for photography.
It is all too easy to allow the weather to dictate the outcome of our plans and I have said from the first club
walk many years ago that no matter what the forecast it should not deter us from enjoying the outdoors and
taking images. A little bit of rain was not going to put me off and fortunately three other like minded members
joined me as we made our way to the highest point for panoramic views of............more rain.

A break in the clouds saw the rain stop for a few moments and several images were taken of the surrounding
area. From this viewpoint the most noticeable feature was the changing landscape of the Shotton Surface mine
to the West. Since our last club visit two years ago, the volume of earth moved and the depth of the open cast
operation has changed dramatically. New areas have been opened up, loading/coal handling sections have been
expanded and plant and machinery workshops have been erected. When the project ends in 2018 six million tons
of coal will have been extracted and the site will be returned to parkland and agricultural use.
The original concept of the walks programme was that we would enjoy long summer evenings taking photographs
of the landscape bathed in golden light and it seemed a long way off as we walked around the four miles of
footpaths in pouring rain, even the ducks seemed to be sheltering amongst the reed beds, now growing in the
ornamental ponds on the south side of the " Lady of the North".
As different parts of the sculpture were explored the search for images continued. Conditions made you take
a close look at the things around you, certain colours stood out and textures and patterns became more visible.
Despite or should I say because of the weather, a bit of (dry) humour and some eternal optimism " its getting
brighter ", (as the rain obviously got heavier) and the fact that we had done something a bit daft made it an
enjoyable evening.
            Davy Bolam.