Tag Archives: #ynyslas dunes

The Dune Fascination. A way of life.

When I first got into taking photographs, about 20 plus years ago, I was fascinated by the work of Bill Brandt. His Wuthering Heights photographs especially had an impact. Grass! Wild, Gothic, unsettling, bleak.

I was very naive when I got my first SLR and threw myself into how the Pentax LX actually worked. My photography before this was sparse. An old Brownie and a Kodak Instamatic I think. Definitely a Brownie. 50p from a charity shop! I took photos of an old Austin car I owned with it.

After my first excursion to the beach, I realised my wonderful SLR camera had a ‘sticky mirror’. It was a real problem to focus too. The camera was sent away to be sorted and about a month later I got it back.

The first intention was to go to the Ynyslas Dunes and snap away. A themed ‘subject’ project. Black and White was my Mantra. No colour film consideration at all. I’d obtained an old early 1900’s Wetzler enlarger with an Ernst Leitz lens. Bought a load of old photography paper from a recycling centre. Set up the darkroom out back and suddenly it was full steam ahead.

Hard contrast to create a Gothic style, influenced by Bill Brandt, became the focus. Either #4 or #5 single paper choice or multi grade paper with high contrast filter choice became the regime. The Dunes became less of a ‘Theme Project’ and more of a way of life. Whilst out on the Dunes the time spent there was so therapeutic. So it was a fair few years of being on the sands in the VeeDub Bus and 5 or 6 hours of taking time to relax. VeeDub, Guitar, Camera, Books and Cooking. Nirvana.

If anyone out there is invested in walking with their camera, you can’t go wrong taking a Dunes visit and then stopping/sitting amongst the grasses to watch them dance in the breeze. Feel the energy and take some captures. It is a beautiful experience to spend a few hours in this environment.

Below are a few of my favourites of the ones that are expanses of grass.

Please tap on each individual photograph to enlarge.