Before I say anything else, I have to confess to being a) so uncharacteristically 'with it' that I use a smart phone (well, not very smart as it's covered in beer stains and gouache fingerprints) and b) utterly absorbed with taking snaps with the astounding Hipstamatic 'app'. As they say, "digital photography has never looked so analogue". The software uses the standard phone camera, but turns pictures into unbelievable retro-looking snaps. Just like plastic-lensed cameras of the 50s or 60s. Flaring, blurring, generally messed about with, it introduces an eccentric quality you'd spend two grand a day with a London snapper to get. The next step is that we'll all go back to using Instamatics and waiting for them to be done-over at Boots. And if you think I'm joking, or for once in my life ahead of the game, it's already happening. The Hipstamatic 'films' and 'lenses' have curious Ikea-style names like 'Ina 39' and 'John 'S', and if you don't watch out it changes your settings at random, just for fun. So you can imagine how I felt when these First World War limeburning kins at Barrowden in Rutland, in front of both a raging sky and the limestone village church, were accidentally captured on a film called 'Lucifer' with its burnt out ring of fire. You can find out more about the kilns in this book.
I am a writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)