The Peak District from a toy camera


About the project

Being located near Sheffield, the Peak District landscape holds an allure and affinity, one that I do not share with other landscapes. It is the fondness of the places within it and their adjoining history and social aspects that I am taken by.

As a photographer, I am interested in the ironic and paradoxical landscape of the Dark Peak. Though it appears pristine and natural on the surface, a landscape that is fittingly romanticised in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, it is, however, unnatural. It has been manipulated by mankind from as little as the iron age.

Why use a toy camera? Like the landscape itself, the toy camera is not perfect. It sees the land with unwavering deformity as the distortions soften detail transforming the land to eerie obscurity, while the vignetting and underexposure create a sublime dark image.

These images of the Peak landscape best fit the characterization of the land made by Robinson Crusoe writer, Daniel Defoe: "a waste and howling wilderness". There is a ruggedness to them, however, man-altered and man-made topology can be seen in all of the images.

Mediums used

Ilford medium format film. Toy cameras: various modified and stock Holga's and a Diana. Red filter.