A Patient Man

Sandy Beaches, Ben Dolman 2016 : 8x10 Colour Negative - Cooke 311mm

The photographs in this post were taken last year in July and put into a storage box to await processing when I had enough colour negatives to do a batch. Due to the cost of 8x10 colour negative film it took eight months before these photographs saw the light of day again and it was worth the wait. The small images on this blog do not do the 8x10 colour negatives justice, the detail is exquisite, the three dimensionality of the colour and tone is beyond anything I have seen done digitally it makes the high cost and effort required to do 8x10 colour photography diminish each time one cast a glance across their surface. The photographs have not been fully colour graded, this will happen later as I always like to leave a photographs a while before making the final edit to allow time for reflection - this is slow photography and I am a patient man.

The photographs are from a project I have been working on at the northern part of Spurn Point on the Holderness Coastline which has the highest coastal erosion in Europe. The images from this location continue to evolve in the meaning and context for me, initially they were just a need to capture the awe of the power of the sea against the fragile coastline that later developed further when witnessing the people who would want to live in such a vulnerable place, a place that is tragic but also beautiful at the same time.

Since the photographs were taken the world has changed, the turmoil in the middle east seems to only intensify with each passing day unleashing new waves of mass migration of people to Europe seeking refuge from war who were initially embraced by European countries notably Germany but now many europeans see the refuges as a threat as the numbers seeking refuge has dramatically increased. The sense of threat has been drummed up by certain elements of the media and by nationalists, nationalism has seen a resurgence not only in Europe but also in other countries from America, China to Russia name a few as politicians and vested groups seek to exploit peoples concerns about terrorism, job insecurity and the erosion of cultural and religious values. In the UK we are going to have a referendum to decide if we still want to be part of European community or to pull up the draw bridge and ferment in our delusion of our past self as empire in a new feudalistic state.

All future border controls are futile, trying to control our borders will be just like trying to hold back the North Sea along the Holderness coastline and it will be doomed to failure. Human population is increasing beyond what can be supported by the worlds current natural resources and as water and useable farming land becomes scarce wars and famine will spread across large swathes of the planet and populations will migrate.

The only hope I can think of is science will find solutions to replenish our exploited planet and we seek to work together, share and consume less, a lot less - though I do not hold out for much given past and present human nature.


Sandy Beaches [Sentinel], Ben Dolman 2016 : 8x10 Colour Negative - Cooke 311mm

Sandy Beaches [Sentinel], Ben Dolman 2016 : 8x10 Colour Negative - Cooke 311mm

Sandy Beaches [Sentinel], Ben Dolman 2016 : 8x10 Colour Negative - Cooke 311mm

Sandy Beaches, Ben Dolman 2016 : 8x10 Colour Negative - Cooke 311mm

Sandy Beaches, Ben Dolman 2016 : 8x10 Colour Negative - Cooke 311mm