what's this about?


Most of my pictures are about the sea and coast. So this explanation is mostly about those sort of pictures too. But I take other stuff, explore other topics and ideas.  The only thing you won't find much of in my output is people. I am not sure why this is but it may be influenced by the current commercial emphasis on pictures of people, here there and everywhere, now that just about everybody carries a smart phone.  I like investigating industry, architecture, lighthouses, dereliction, agriculture, trees, mood, mystery and pattern. (not a complete list!). And I prefer a camera to make images.

For a long time now my principal stamping ground for the coastal pictures I like to make has been the long range of upended carboniferous mud and sandstone beds that make up the west-facing coastal cliffs of North Devon and Cornwall. These rock beds, laid down under ancient seas 350 million years ago, twisted, looped, fractured and tilted by geological events, are now exposed in the sea-cliffs and are being altered  by the power of the sea, gravity, rain and sometimes frost.

Where the strata now meet the sea, the rock types respond in different ways: some materials almost dissolve, others wear and resist in curvaceous sweeps and twists. Some series fracture into razor-edged blocks and sheets, slumping and collapsing, fuelling the sandstone pebble foreshores characteristic of this coastline. Often cliff stumps extend well beyond the lowest tide levels;  pebble drifts, sand-filled bays and strands — all reveal how long the erosion of the land here has been in progress. It is this theatre of change that intrigues me, with its wonderful colours, shapes and situations. I get the same sort of buzz about most rock formations that put up against the sea. There is always something to wonder at . . .  for example, the bands of seemingly blood spattered mudstones just below Hartland Point (as illustrated by the two pictures here; you can see more on my album called bleeding sandstones on flickr).  What are they, and why are they like that? And elsewhere, how is it that granites can stand so long, yet succumb so smoothly to wave, water and wind?


My enquiry into the these aspects of coast continues: I've been exploring this coastline for more than twenty-five years, recording things first in colour transparency film and now digitally. What I find on the littoral feeds into other ideas too, as I hope this blog will demonstrate as I get on with it. My objective here is to cultivate and exercise my writing a bit more, find a channel where I can bring my thoughts and images together.

I don't think a blog may neccessarily be the best way to see my pictures, and there are always more than I can show here, so I do hope I can tempt anybody reading this to take a trip to my flickr page. I am providing links to the albums there.

Please see photographs on my flickr site.