To Black Cap again, and darker than ever

I am constantly drawn back to this place. There is something that I find inspires me and yesterday, although I went with no plan, my mind took the landscape as its prompt and as a result two new images have just been added to the elemental collection of environmental nudes on this site

I returned to the mountain bikers trail that I had discovered on my last visit to Black Cap. There’s always a chance of somebody turning up in this area to disturb the shoot. This makes me a little more nervous, I’ve never yet had to explain myself to anyone but there is always a first time and like my shoots, I have nothing rehearsed.

It pays to look around to see if somebody is following behind you, and that is what I was doing when I spotted this location. I was drawn to the somewhat desolate feel of the ground. It will not show as well in the image but to me there at that time it almost seemed cratered by war.

Untitled (2014)
“To another place”

I set up the camera and as usual strode naked into the scene, sometimes striking poses, sometimes behaving naturally. Just before this point, I did not feel that I had anything particularly interesting so, aware that I had set a slow shutter speed, decided to stand as still as possibly, looking straight at the camera, but moving my arms up and down. The result you see here, a naked man with head slightly raised and arms dissolving into the environment, Reflecting the ethereal feel, I entitled it “To another place” implying perhaps something mystical.

And I did move on. I remembered a nearby location from my previous visit where people had been abusing this environment and its easy access from a nearby road by dumping all sorts of human manufactured debris that really belonged at a recycling centre. I was thinking about finding a way to dump myself amongst this mess but with some glass on the ground I thought better of it. Then in a bowl in the landscape I spotted a small lone and quite dead silver tree which stood out in a glade. I connected that tree to Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane, the notorious scene from the poster where Sebastiane was tied to a stake, naked, and his body peppered with arrows….

Untitled (2014)“Bound, lost, abandoned”

It turned out that the tree was in a small hollow. I would have preferred to have seen my feet in the image but the mess in the landscape in front of me was more important. It also turned out that this dead tree was leaning backwards, hence the recline in the pose, and my weight against it was making it lean more. It would have toppled with me on it had I stayed longer – with my legs crossed to feign being bound at the ankle and my hands held as if tied behind the trunk above my head it certainly was not comfortable. But I had this image out of it. The binding is not rope but elements of the landscape cloned into place.

In titling the image “Bound, lost, abandoned” , I wanted to highlight that this unfortunate soul, now a small element of what was dumped into this landscape, is not lying on the bank but is joined to that silver tree never to escape…


I decided that if my 26 year old VW Westfalia camper passed its MOT then I would take a slight detour on the way home and head to my much visited haunt at Ashcombe Bottom in the South Downs. It passed. But I also took a walking diversion on the way never got there. I stumbled upon a really interesting location and captured these images…

20140618-img_0584 Broken (2014) 20140618-img_0622

From Black Cap
From Black Cap

20140618-img_0674 20140618-img_0696 20140618-img_0698 Under Black Cap 20140618-img_0757

The Sapling

A cleared area in a Forest in Limousin, France, replanted in 2013 with tiny saplings midst the previous destruction. This follows a theme you may come across in other images of mine, the nakedness and vulnerability emphasise how hopeless those of us that seek to protect our environment can feel. I feel that the relative fragility of the model (it is myself) for once works to add strength to the image.
Naked self portrait in forest clearing with fragile sapling

“Rite of Spring” – Evoking naked ritual?

A post from a shoot in March 2011 which had lost it’s connected image on flickr. I have spotted quite a few like this that will have to be fixed. Very irritating but a chance to promote forward a few images lost at the back of this blog.

This was the first of the images from my first collaboration with Ada Sancerre. For the record, it was 10 degrees C. and windspeed up to 35 kph and it had rained continuously overnight. Yes, the British spring had arrived.

Naked out-takes and naked dogs at Ashdown Forest shoot


Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Out-takes at the Ashdown Forest shoot with Jess
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Necer mind the sticks, where’s my dress?!
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Naked forest happiness
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
The chance of barking to warn of approaching humans was zero
Out-takes at the shoot
Naked water divining?
Out-takes at the shoot
My look out was not sticking to her job!

Out-takes from Ashdown Forest shoot

Yes, we took Jess’s dogs along. In retrospect this was a mistake. When naked in a busy forest you might need to be able to reach for your clothes and get dressed quickly. As Jess discovered, not quite evident in the photos, this is not always possible if your dog has decided that it would be tidier if your dress was carried away somewhere else.

At one stage I did try a more conceptual shot using myself as a model. It didn’t really work that well….. Contrary to the perceptions that these images might give, I am wearing clothes almost all the time when shooting.

Jess’s dogs are called May and Stompy by the way. They have no problem with clothes.

Copyright Scott H. / Allablur. Reblogging is cool – please credit the source.

Birling Gap

Abandoned (2010)

Although it may not look it there were a fair few people around at Birling Gap.  In this part of the beach however they were mainly naturists so the only thing to be self concious about was the rather odd activity of moving around and dumping oneself in short lived and rather odd positions for sunbathing, all done in the name of art of course. I kept the camera itself relatively discrete behind a rock because let’s face it, clothed or unclothed, the process of being observed taking self portraits is just a little embarrassing!