This is my land…

PK040115004728-12Nothing in the Jungle is permanent… in fact, most of what you see in these photographs – taken less than a month ago – no longer exists. Over the last few weeks, officials in Calais have been fencing-off and ‘reclaiming’ large portions of the camp… in some cases to install ‘semi-permenant’ shelters with shipping containers, but in other areas the clearances are unexplained.

I’m not necessarily saying that some of these relocations are a bad thing… human rights lawyers have fought and campaigned long and hard to get people out of cold, filthy tents and homemade shacks, into heated converted containers complete with running water. I suspect that it’s probably the same left-wing advocates that are now complaining about the lack of windows and overcrowding in the same shelters.

Winters in northern France can be pretty cruel anyway, but given the choice between a flimsy tent and a windowless, heated container, I know which one I’d choose…
PK040115004728-07 PK040116143652-14 PK040116143652-23 PK040116143652-02 PK040116143653-03 PK040116143652-34 PK040116143652-35 PK040116143653-15 PK040116143652-12 PK040116143653-10

PK040116143652-29PK040116004738-03All the images here were made using an Olympus MjuII compact and Nikon F100 with 50mm 1.4 lens. Film throughout (except the last one) is Fuji Natura 1600, an emulsion I’ve never used before, but now absolutely love… pity you can only buy it from Japan.

The last image is of the half-built container village, it’s a 2 minute exposure on Kodak Portra 400 using a Pentax 67.

Expertly developed and scanned at UK Film Lab 


  1. You always leave me wanting more, Phil, not in an incomplete way though… craving more food for my mind and soul. Photojournalism at its finest.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Please try the google translator for
    By the way what do You think about Köln 31/12/15?
    Your Christmas trip to Calais camp was a job, wasn’t it? Somebody payed for for it, didn’t they? Would You tell us WHAT they wanted You to show us? Please, be true.
    Are You going to show us something like this:

    or this:



      1. You tell us so much about You by Your images and all things You write in the blog. I have to confess You’ve become a close friend of mine, just due to Your photoes, Your way of uderstanding the world and human being. (so sorry for my poor English). You are is one of my favorite photographers. That’s why it hurts me to see how you westerns suiside yourself by this fefugees story. Sorry if I hurt You.


  3. Brilliant images. Easily some of your best, Phil. We can only hope these poor refugees who have lost their whole world (and in some cases family/friends) can find shelter (no matter how impermanent) and some food/basic necessities in our wealthy western countries. (note: I live on a very frugal Government Disability Pension and grow some food on my apartment balcony so my life is not exactly rich, but certainly ‘wealthy’ beyond compare to these people).

    Critics like the commenter above have no Compassion and seem to find it their goal in life to focus on the negative impact of refugees and asylum seekers in their lives. How about they tried living in the shoes of these poor families and learning to survive with the threat of death in war torn cities and towns with only building rubble and fear each day.

    Shipping containers may not be luxurious, but at least it’s shelter from the rain, cold and snow.

    The 6th image (with the chair, plate etc) is more telling than some other images. Please include some more in future posts. We, the world, need to see how little they have and appreciate their living conditions far better, than what some of the current Media on TV and social networking sites portray.


  4. Vicki, I do have Compassion for you westerns now. The suffering easterns have earned their Compassion much earlier. Where have you been with your compassion when NATO bombed Iraq, Serbia, Afganistan, Iraq again, Libya and so on and so on. Would you remember Korea and Vietnam? Catch back the boomerang.


  5. That Natura 1600 really is gorgeous. It seems to work really well with all the haze (lens flare, steam, smoke, etc…). I’ll have to try it, but everything is so much harder to get in Canada. Trying to get my hands on a Nikon F100 as an alternative to my K1000. All I can find are ebay auctions based in Amerika and Japan. So frustrating. Since you’ve mentioned buying cameras on ebay, how have you found ordering from Japan? Any tips to avoid getting burned?


    1. One of the reasons I buy second hand from Japan is that sellers, generally, are very honest and honourable – I’ve bought maybe 9 secondhand cameras and countless film and misc items and I’ve never once had a problem.
      I got a Pentax 67 a few months back, it had a fault with the shutter – I contacted the seller and without any questions or hassle he refunded me the £175 repair bill.

      Liked by 1 person

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