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Photo essay: Ruth Grindrod’s contemplative Norfolk landscapes

PUBLISHED: 13:34 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:34 25 July 2017

Bacton, north-east Norfolk; Winter sunset over the fields

Bacton, north-east Norfolk; Winter sunset over the fields

Archant

Photographer Ruth Grindrod used to be a teacher in London’s tougher boroughs. Now she pursues a rather less regimented way of life

Burnham Overy summer dawnBurnham Overy summer dawn

When Ruth Grindrod’s alarm went off at 4am on a cool May morning she was tempted to ignore it, turn over and go back to sleep. But she didn’t.

She got up, gathered her equipment together and went out into the crisp Norfolk dawn to capture beautiful images like the ones gracing these pages.

“The sun was up, the land was cool and the mist was lying,” she said of her latest dawn patrol. “One of the things I love about it is being out and about in the landscape. It can be a howling gale, pelting rain, blistering sun, but being in the landscape is a wonderful source of relaxation.

“I have been taking photos since I was in my 20s. I just remember looking in a magazine and seeing a black and white shoot; landscapes, people and I was inspired.” Her inspiration ticked over for years as she took photos and developed her own black and white prints, but it was always a hobby.

Mundesley beach dawnMundesley beach dawn

“Work got in the way for years,” said Ruth. “But five years ago retirement came along and my photography has gone from strength-to-strength.” Indeed her work has been recognised with success in a number of competitions, including winning Best Of England’s East Anglia landscape photography award.

Ruth’s working life could not have been in greater contrast to the creative world she now inhabits. She was a teacher in inner London schools in Hackney and Deptford, a headteacher in Newham and then a schools’ inspector and is, she admits, glad not to be involved with it as much, though she still does a small amount of consultancy work.

Essex-born Ruth has long had a love of East Anglia. She went to university in Norwich and has had homes here and in Suffolk for 35 years; she is now settled near Loddon.

Her two favourite bits of Norfolk are the north coast - “but out of season when we don’t have London-on-Sea” - and the north-eastern part of the county around Happisburgh and Mundesley. She finds the county’s flatness captivating, though she does also have a great love for the Scottish wilderness, trekking miles into the rugged terrain in search of beauty to photograph.

May cow parsley - Norton Sub courseMay cow parsley - Norton Sub course

She doesn’t see the explosion of images which has deluged the internet and social media as a threat to the serious photographer, more a complementary field.

“We can all record postcards - we all have cameras on phones and some amazing photos have been taken but I want to portray something different and something that prints well.”

You can see more of Ruth’s beautiful photographs at www.ruthgrindrodlandscapephotography.co.uk

May mist, Pyes Mill, LoddonMay mist, Pyes Mill, Loddon

Twitter @RuthGrindrod1

Facebook ruth.grindrod.1

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