Revisiting Orford Ness

Orford Ness Wild Landscape
Orford Ness Row of Pagodas

I last visited Orford Ness back in June 2016. It’s a unique landscape in Suffolk that left a real impression on me. On this particular visit, the lighthouse was still standing. In 2020, the lighthouse, which stood for more than 200 years, was demolished due to coastal erosion. All that remains now is just a pile of rubble. My original blog titled ‘Orford Ness: A Startling Island of Secrets‘ documents much of this trip.

Orford Ness Collapsed

Fast forward six years and here I am, back on the shingle. My eye for framing a photograph has changed a lot since 2016, so it was nice to be back with a new perspective. On this particular visit, the pagodas were out of bounds due to health and safety concerns. 

At first, I was disappointed. During my visit back in 2016, these were highlights of the trip. One couldn’t help but wonder what those concrete walls once heard or witnessed back when the site was used by the military.

Black Beacon Monochrome Orford Ness

As a landscape, Orford Ness is very flat and stark. It can feel a real challenge as a photographer to do it justice, and it’s easy to overthink it. In some respects, I found that not being able to enter the pagodas brought a challenge. One where you had to closely observe your surroundings and consider capturing more of what it feels like than what it looks like.

Nature and Concrete Combined
Abstract Wall Texture

These abandoned buildings bring to life this feeling of desolation, and weirdly, with the lighthouse no longer, it changes how everything looks, in that everything feels all on one level. I feel that these images echo the feeling that one has when landing on the shingle.

Pagoda Panoramic Orford Ness
Orford Ness Nature
Orford Ness Lone

All images shot with a Fujifilm X-T3 and X-Pro1 with Fujinon XF Lenses.

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