When the sun begins to set lower in the sky and the wind courses through the dunes; when the van selling mussels has pulled up its shutters, and the ferris wheel spins no more, the coastal towns of these Isles slow but do not cease.
Kagoule'd couples cuddle, albeit for warmth, and their dogs, unleashed, run free. The 8-ers we skim could reach France, with practice, and the fairy-lit pier in the blue-hour'd twilight warms the shivering hearts in the depths of our fleeces.
Staring into the abyss, in a rare moment of meditation, the waves crashing around me, I'm reminded of nature's sheer potential, and how, like the specks of sand at my feet, we are just bundles of atoms in an impossibly large universe.
London's buildings and alleyways, the very fabric of the city, provides perfect camouflage for secret rendezvous and illicit encounters. The fluorescent light is bright and harsh, creating pools of shadow into which we secrete. Above ground we scurry, faces illumined by our pocket daemons, disconnected, isolate. United, we embrace then break bread, secure in the glow of an other.
Orkney has played an important role defending British soil from invasion and the coastline is littered with the remnants of more troubled times. At Hoxa head, in beautiful raw, unfiltered summer light, the World War 1 and 2 Batteries seem completely out of place. How could somewhere so beautiful house machines whose purpose is so ugly? Elsewhere, high above the crashing waves at Marwick Head, while carefree couples canoodle on the grassy banks, towers a memorial for war hero Lord Kitchener, whose body was lost but never found in the sea below.
You don’t have to venture too far into the forest for it to become a twisted hall of mirrors. Tree forms juxtapose and repeat, lurching and peering at you from every turn. The seasons bring yet more variety. Spring mornings see faeries dance in the dew; the lens can but catch only the nascent sun glittering in their sequinned dresses. In summer, families seek refuge whilst sunbeams pierce the canopy, illuminating the bracken. And who doesn’t love Autumn leaf? Golden fire, spreading across the valley bringing joy and melancholy in equal measure. When Winter blasts, all modesty is stripped. Awkward limbs are laid bare and a sprinkling of snow provides scant cover. Here’s to this ceaseless movement, the myriad shapes and colours and rhythms of the forest, this never-ending dance of the seasons.
Good street photography is not easy. There’s so much competing to get in the frame it can be hard to pare it all back and communicate something meaningful.
Fortunately there’s so much going that there is plenty of opportunity. Whether that be a chic Parisienne smiling in the rain, an Orwellian electronic billboard spying on your whatsapp chat, or a hip couple changing the tyre of an absent bicycle, it’s all there, playing out like theatre right in front of you.
We often rush past without noticing the buildings of our cities. They simply form the walls of the corridors that usher us to work or play.
But at a certain time of the evening, they bloom suddenly and briefly, their windows ablaze with light, their form stark against the indigo sky.
Slowly but surely they dissolve, once again forming the tunnels down which we city rats run.