“Etch” comes to us from the German ätzen meaning “to eat” via the Dutch etsen. Etching is the traditional process of using an acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a surface to create an intaglio (incised) design on the surface. The word has been borrowed for human application, with it meaning something that is affixed permanently in one’s memory. This photograph has elements of both meanings. The breaks in the heather and scrub are beautiful, lasting reminders of what has come before. The paths on the moors have been etched by the footfalls of generations of Yorkshiremen and, indeed, even us outsiders. Likewise, the scenes captured along such paths, as if created by old masters, have been indelibly etched into my mind.
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