For this Assignment I was tasked to imagine that I was asked to illustrate a story for a magazine with a front cover and several pages inside.

The subject that I chose was the construction of a unique 3 compartment yurt structure designed and built by my partner’s brother-in-law, Kevin, for use on his woodland campsite.  The design was inspired by ‘Bag End’, Bilbo Baggins’ home in the Tolkien ‘Hobbit’ story.   Family and friends assisted with the preparation and the construction of the triple yurt and it was completed just in time for the first guests’ arrival.  The construction took many weeks as it involved making all the components from raw materials and involved a great deal of trial and error as there was no prototype to go by.

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OCA Part 5 Narratives - Assignment-1 copy

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The planned structure comprises a large central yurt linked by circular short passageways to two smaller yurts each with doors to the outside.  It is intended that the central structure will house a wood burning stove and provide a cosy sitting and relaxing area whilst the two smaller yurt structures will provide a double bedroom and a twin bedroom respectively. It is not known if 3 yurt structures have ever been linked in such a way so the success of the venture will depend heavily on the viability of Kevin’s original design and the accuracy of the construction and assembly of the various structural elements.

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Work gets underway in the workshop with Kevin taking care of some small element of construction.   Attention to detail is essential if the complex design is to work in practice.

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Two shots of Vaughan hard at work on one of the linking internal doorways.  As this was a completely new design, great skill was required in putting Kevin’s original plans and ideas into effect and many new techniques had to be devised to achieve the shapes and finishes that were required.

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OCA Part 5 Narratives - Assignment-5

A complex piece of construction, the crown for the large central yurt, stands waiting for its finishing protective treatments.  The holes around the edge where the roof poles will fit can be seen. It is the crown and the roof poles that will give the whole structure its shape and stability.

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A spell of fine weather allows the preparation work to move outside where space is available to spread out and start cutting and sewing the material for the yurt’s wall coverings. 


Garry, who runs his own yurt and tepee campsite, lends a hand with marking out and cutting the sheets of canvas (left) while Kevin (below) gets down to sewing the pieces together.


Meanwhile, Matt, Kevin’s son, and Ed, a friend, construct parts of the flooring for the camp kitchen (above left) and take time out to check the plans with Penny the dog to make sure that they are on track (below).




The time has come for the many components of the structure to be transported from the workshop to their final location at the far end of the campsite.  This is not a time to drop or knock them or the work would have to be done again!




The process of laying and levelling the floors of the 3 linked structures begins.  The circular lattice of planking keeps the flooring off the ground and prevents dampness and warping whilst also providing field mice and voles with dry nesting sites!


Thank goodness for dry weather!  Matt helps with positioning the different sections of the structure in their approximate final places prior to joining them together.


A crucial stage in the construction process!  The crown has to be held up in position while the roof poles are slotted into the holes and secured to the top of the vertical walls.  It is at this moment that it becomes clear whether the measurements and the design will work and the structure will be stable.









The structure is taking shape with the roof poles and crown in position on the nearer small structure, the walls of the larger central structure up and the doorway for the further structure in place.


A significant moment as the roof canvas goes on over one of the smaller yurt structures.  The roof is held up by the tension created between the roof poles and the wall which is held in place by a wire running right round the top.


Roofs are on, walls are up and it’s looking good!  The nearest unit needs the wall canvas fitting and will be the double bedroom. The central structure is the living space and the unit beyond is the twin (children’s) bedroom.  


The chimney of the wood burning stove is ready to be pushed up through the rubber sleeve in the roof of the living area.  Kevin looks in from above as he waits to receive it.

OCA Part 5 Narratives - Assignment-3-2




All the wall coverings are on, the chimney is in place, the door is hung and the details are starting to come together.  It’s beginning to look like a finished article rather than a construction site.



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The furniture and internal decor have been installed and it now feels like home – for a Hobbit or a family of holiday makers!  

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And there it is, looking as though it has always been part of the landscape!  Kevin can breathe a sigh of relief and relax at last.  Now where are those first visitors?

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I enjoyed this shoot which was spread over a few weeks as the development of the structures took place.  I believe that my experience and learning on this course enabled me to successfully explore more types of shot  and subject and to be more varied in the way that I viewed and treated the subjects.  I have also used the opportunity to further explore post-production techniques via Photoshop and Lightroom.

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