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Wind on the Withers
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Wind On The Withers
Project 2014-06-24 22:36:31 +1200
How 'Wind on the Withers' happened
The Wither Hills are an iconic feature of Blenheim and Marlborough with their barren golden brown colour for most of the year, however there's a lot more to them than first meets the eye.
Growing up and living most of my life at the foot of the hills, I've had plenty of opportunity to explore them, even before the Wither Hills Farm Park became as extensive as it is today. I remember my father getting permission from the local farmer, walking about on the top of the hills in the mist before there were tracks, and getting my feet muddy in thick, stinking grey mud half way up a hillside as a kid. Now as a father, I'm taking my daughter into the Farm Park and passing the wonder of the place on to the next generation.
I've had an interest in photography since my teen years in the 80s, however in the film era my photography was limited by cost, and mostly it wasn't particularly good. In my high school years I was interested in writing, particularly poetry, but it has taken a back seat to an IT career.
Late in 2003 I acquired my first digital camera, and over the subsequent ten years, my photography has steadily improved and I've captured some unique images along the way.
In January 2014, I pulled out a notebook and going through digital photographs of the Wither Hills from the last 10 years I began to write.
The result is here: Wind on the Withers - a ten year Photographic Journey on the Wither Hills (Marlborough Online is a website I've maintained at my own expense for many years.)
The Book Project
If you can see the photography and read the poems online, why pay anything?
The internet is a very ephemeral beast. Web sites come and go, content changes, and at the blink of the eye things can be lost. There's nothing quite like holding a real book in your hands.
Both photography and poetry can be very subjective art forms. Beyond a certain basic technical level, whether something is good or not depends a great deal on personal preference. By giving you the opportunity to view the images and the poetry online, you can decide for yourself whether this is a project you'd like to support before you pledge any money.
In addition to the poems and photographs which will make up the bulk of the book, I also intend to include a short introduction with a brief history of the Wither Hills, how the Farm Park came to be, and what and where you can see things. While I'm sharing some of my perspective on the Wither Hills, I'm also hoping to inspire you to go and make your own discoveries and if you already think you know the area, look at it in a new way.
What do I need the money for?
I've had a quote for an initial set up and print run of a soft cover edition, and I need to cover this cost. Once set up, the printer can produce both A5 and A4 size books. My target will meet the setup cost, assuming I do the book layout myself. If I pay for professional layout the cost will be a bit more. If I can raise enough money over the target I'd like to investigate getting a hard cover edition printed which will cost more.
I need to look at ways to promote the book. I already have some ideas, but having a marketing budget might open up more opportunities.
I'd quite like to be able hold an exhibition with photographic prints and maybe a recitation of some or all of the poems to launch the book if it's sucessful. Obviously this would involve the cost of prints and getting them mounted, and finding an exhbition space. (If you're Marlborough based and have a venue, let me know. It's not just money that matters)
Finally, if I make some money from the book, it will be an incentive to do more of this sort of thing. Cameras and lenses cost money and better equipment means more possibilities. The Wither Hills are on my doorstep, so I don't need to spend money on travel, however while my time might be my own, it doesn't magically put food on the table, so unless writing and photography can pay for themselves, they take second place to geeky IT work, even though I have plenty of ideas. I'd love to have the time and money to revisit some of the locations with a medium format camera, and be able to wait in a spot to capture the perfect light, but that doesn't happen by accident.
How else can you help?
Apart from money, I'm also interested in ideas. I have more images I've considered but haven't written poetry, for. Some images I feel are perhaps a little weak, or I'm tossing up which variation to include. I need to think about how to order the poems and images. Any constructive feedback would be most appreciated.
You can also help spread the word about the book.
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