My first idea for “my” square mile was the shopping streets in the centre of Maidstone, a short walk from home and full of details and people. I never quite got there because I first had to cross the Medway, and found myself spending an hour and two rolls of film there instead.
The area that I have chosen is the Medway as it passes through the centre of Maidstone; there are four bridges and two riverside footpaths, surprisingly well used even on a stormy, cold Saturday in February. There are anglers, joggers, dog walkers and people simply using it as a route from A to B.
Quite a lot of the buildings annoy me, and I think it shows in some of the contacts. There is a semi-floating restaurant barge, which looks like a glorified Portakabin, stuck right in front of the Archbishops’ Palace and interfering with the view of the historic buildings from across the river, and an appalling Travelodge which is now the most prominent building in the centre of town.
Technical details: These images were shot on HP5+ film in an Olympus Trip 35. The choice of camera was partly influenced by my current year-long project, 12 months – 12 cameras, in which I had selected the Trip for February and partly because my take on the brief is for a snapshot approach, for which the Trip is ideally suited.
Given the weather, this set of images gives a very gloomy impression of my square mile. There will be a second session with sunshine (when that eventually occurs) and my final selection of images will be drawn from both sets.