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Today’s feature is a beautiful long exposure film photography series from Joel Biddle. Using a 1930’s folding film camera and black and white film, Joel captured the British coastline, creating imagery full of tranquility and calm. Here is more from Joel about this series…
My latest work is about attempting to create something sacred. The romantic ideal, something unobtainable and timeless, is something I find difficult to avoid in my photography. It is something I have found only when I avoid any color in my work. Using monochrome seems to allow me to see clearly and focus on composition.
On first glance, the work appears to focus on the coast and sea stacks as a subject, but this was something that came about naturally rather than being the intention from the beginning. There’s a graphic quality to using something with harsh edges and high contrast whilst being surrounded by a plain of smooth water. The graphic quality, use of monochrome, and choice of subject all add together to produce a work that is basic and complicated simultaneously.
The greatest difficulty with producing this work has been ruthlessly discarding so many photographs that miss the target of the project by millimetres. A small change in the weather could be enough to warrant removal. Repeated visits to the same location has been a necessity to produce a cohesive series.
The feeling I look to establish depends on the viewer. Some see the subjects I photograph as lonely and isolated, discarded, whereas others see a subject that stands alone and interprets that as a sign of strength. I try to capture something ethereal and timeless, with context reduced, sometimes to the extent that even scale becomes unclear. These concepts seem to instill a sense of tranquility and calm, maybe because the compositions are clear of clutter so the mind becomes clear as a result.