Inside this issue
Ripples in Time, Harlech Beach
A long association with photography means that I often reach for a camera as my preferred means of expression. Having felt that many of those attempts seemed to lack something I’ve concluded that I value the experience over the creative result. Although I wonder if I use this as an excuse for my, sometimes, questionable output. Photography continues to teach me to see the world in a more fulfilling and deeper way. It is a tool of creative expression that has led to many adventures, opportunities and friendships, as well as more than a few frustrations.
A gift from the sea is how I feel about sand ripples. Each tide leaves, in infinite varieties, a signature of wave energy. Some are a work of art in their own right, it almost feels like plagiarism passing them as my own work. It fascinates me to think that most will never be seen by human eyes, many carved and erased during the hours of darkness and on far flung remote shores. At times I’ve stood in awe of their complexity, as if all the mysteries of the universe are written in the sand, a mystical, algebraic formula, defying and redefining the laws of physics.
A favourite holiday haunt of mine is Harlech Beach in North Wales, its vast expanse of sand seems to be the perfect canvas for these water hewn artworks. For the photographer, the miles of sand means that many remain pristine between tides. Nothing is more jarring than a set of size 10 wellington boot prints amid geometric perfection. I have often found myself alone on the beach, especially during winter months and at the end and beginning of the day. This serves to enhance the immersive and contemplative nature of our craft, leading only to further wonder of the elements and the transience of this oceanic artistry. These images represent a small selection of my collection, one that grows with every visit. Close-up studies are favourites as well as these more expansive views, the memory of their making still vivid in my mind. All are portrait format, as is the way I seem to mostly see the world within the confines of a rectangle. Something that’s been questioned and discussed at length, along with some good-natured banter by photographic colleagues. It is always reciprocal.
Ultimately, for me, the experience comes before the image, the image must always be born from that experience after all. Although, as far as experiences go, time spent on a shoreline is never wasted, irrespective of the photographic outcome.