Category Landscape

Under the Dome

The dome may protect against the hell outside, but that doesn’t mean you are safe….

Under the Dome is a mini-project that I have wanted to undertake for quite some time.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the necessary equipment as it took longer than anticipated to construct a time machine. However, once complete, I was able to use the machine to travel 200 years into the future to a time when we have poisoned the environment to the point it can no longer sustain human life for any except the few who live under the domes. But even if you are one of the lucky few, life is far from safe. Maybe you will be this year’s human sacrifice in a neo-pagan fertility ritual.

The horns are blown to symbolise the start of the harvest.

The horns sound to signal the beginning of of this years choosing. If you are one of those selected you can try to hide… but they will hunt you through the bushes and undergrowth and eventually they will find you. Your blood will feed the hungry plants that give life to the dome… a place of safety…. but at a cost.

Close up photo of a sculpture at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK.
You can hide but eventually they will find you.

I realise that my (tongue in cheek) post apocalyptic view of the The Eden Project isn’t what most people experience when they visit. In fact in a world filled with war, pollution, poverty and inequality the Eden Project acts as a small beacon of hope that there are people who care about the planet (and their fellow man).

plant photo
If there is no water it will make do with blood….. Your blood.

The facility, in Cornwall, England, comprise a garden and a pair of biomes (bio domes) which house a Mediterranean garden and the worlds largest enclosed rainforest. For more info on the educational projects that the Eden Project undertake check out their websites at http://www.edenproject.com

The Gin Drinkers Line

It can often be the case that an intended photo opportunity doesn’t pan out. Maybe the light isn’t right or a potential subject turns out not to be as interesting as you had hoped. It is equally true that if you look around you can stumble upon an alternative opportunity. This was the case with my latest Hong Kong photo walk/drive, which was initially intended to be a landscape shoot around the south of Hong Kong Island (Cape D’Aguilar, Shek O and Stanely). Unfortunately the sun was particularly harsh and the views we found were uninspiring but, while driving, we came upon the Sai Wan War Cemetery; an allied war cemetery dedicated primarily to those who died during the defence and occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. By a strange coincidence my fellow photographer on this photo walk is a former serviceman whom, just that morning, had received, in the post, his veterans pin from the Ministry of Defence.

The Battle of Hong Kong

It must have been particularly hard for the commonwealth soldiers tasked with the defence of Hong Kong. The territory was considered by the British government to be an outpost, likely to be indefensible as it could and would be quickly cut off from possible reinforcement.  The soldiers tasked with its defence were largely untested in battle and (in the case of the Canadian forces) also under-equipped. It’s the sort of stuff that movies are, and should, be made of. Soldiers surrounded and cut off, without hope of reinforcement or relief, doing their duty.

The Gin Drinkers Line

As mentioned in my last photo walkabout post, the territory of Hong Kong is made up of a number of islands, as well as an area of mainland China known as the New Territories. With typical British humour the defences constructed in the New Territories, just prior to the war, were christened The Gin Drinkers Line. A network of bunkers, artillery positions, reinforced machine gun nest and trenches stretching from Gin Drinkers Bay in the west across the Kowloon peninsular to Sai Kung in the east. The aim of the defensive line was to stall any Japanese advance for several weeks. Unfortunately a lack of manpower and resources meant that the defensive line was ineffective and was overwhelmed by the Japanese on the 10th of December 1941 (just two days after the commencement of hostilities) and, following some intense Japanese artillery bombardment and a Japanese landing on Hong Kong Island, the allied forces were forced to surrender on 25th December 1941.

Given the impromptu nature of this shoot I was surprised how emotionally powerful it was. War and death are never particularly pleasant but seeing the large number of graves to unknown soldiers “known unto god”, plus the mix of young and old killed in the conflict was very thought provoking. I normally don’t add titles to my images as I think a photograph should speak for itself but in this case I felt they were appropriate.