To The Lighthouse
By Nick Smith
Although everything is far from being back to normal now, being stuck indoors for a few weeks, without the luxury of having a garden to sit in was like reliving scenes from ‘Das Boot’ in a square submarine made of concrete, where catnapping became a repeated daily ritual to maybe get some dreams in that were far more enjoyable than dealing with the nightmare of reality.
Photographer Nick Smith had a different and more productive way to deal with lockdown boredom. Instead of becoming addicted to having a daily siesta, with monotonous daytime TV programmes humming and clanking in the background like a broken fridge – Nick got on his bike.
Nick Smith is probably known to a fair few Buzz readers. The Swansea-based freelance writer and photographer founded 1980’s pop band No Flags Etc and more recently edited ‘BBC Focus’ and ‘Geographical’ magazines. Smith is also the author of the recently published ‘A Camera In My Luggage’ book.
During his once daily lockdown exercise allowance, Smith cycled along the Swansea coastline at a time when there was not a person in sight.
Smith set some rules for taking photos on the deserted coastline.
The only camera he was allowed to use was his iPhone 11; photographs could only be adjusted and edited using the free Snapseed phone app;
Mumbles Lighthouse would be his daily destination; one composition per cycle trip with his bike appearing in shot and at the same time he must comply with lockdown guidelines and legislation.
Well: you might think that Smith was being too harsh on himself, but his imposed self-discipline has helped produce some extremely unique photographs.
Enough to fill a 74pp casebound volume with 31 pictures. The photographs look like they could have been taken on the set of a Stanley Kubrick science-fiction film – in a world that has become devoid of humans.
There is a beautiful starkness to Smith’s ’To The Lighthouse’ photographs that prove that creative magnificence can be achieved with some discipline – whatever the circumstances.
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