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And the arms of the ocean are carrying me And all this devotion was rushing out of me And the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me But the arms of the ocean delivered me
Though the pressure's hard to take It's the only way I can escape It seems a heavy choice to make Now I am under
And it's breaking over me A thousand miles down to the sea bed I found the place to rest my head
- from 'Never Let Me Go' by Florence + The Machine
Today I had the honour of shooting Tim Andrews for his project, Over the Hill.
Tim has Parkinson's Disease and has been photographed by over 200 photographers over the last few years, in various states of undress and numerous unexpected places. He got in touch with me a few months ago to ask if I'd like to be involved and I jumped at the chance. The photographs so far in the project are absolutely stunning, created by amazingly talented artists.
Our shoot was inspired by the Florence + The Machine song, Never Let Me Go. I'm no stranger to asking people to do weird things for the sake of art and was overjoyed when Tim loved the song as much as I did and agreed to wade into the sea in his clothes. We headed to Portobello Beach this afternoon and raced the rising tide to shoot our pictures. I was so excited, I had to process them as soon as I got home. There's something truly beautiful about the resulting images looking exactly as they did in your head when you first came up with the concept.
I read about Tim's story on another photographer's blog and it stuck with me immediately. Your capture, albeit very simple as a visualisation, is a beautiful contribution to his project and a powerful image on its own. I love both the determination and the peculiar acceptance in his body language, it embodies the inspirational lyrics perfectly.
An amazing and touching shot- and part of such a great whole as well- such a project. I checked out some of the stuff on his site, and the description he gave of you was wonderful: "I asked Tanya if I could take a photograph of her and she said NO!! in no uncertain terms. So, readers, I'm afraid that I cannot show you what she looked like but I can tell you. She looks like an angel with piercings all round her lovely open face. She is the prettiest person and that is accentuated by the huge amount of beauty within. She is the nicest of people and very gentle and warm and has a sense of humour to match" That must have been so lovely for you to read. This photo also makes me sad, as I've heard a story about someone that lost their will to live and just walked out to sea one day- but it's good to know that Tim is making the most of things
Tim's blog entry about the photoshoot was really lovely. He also put together a video, part of which was the set of photos we shot accompanied by the song that inspired them. I had no idea about it until I watched it and it made me cry a bit
This image made me cry and I don't have the faintest idea why it did. In any case, before I leave my computer in search of kleenex, I'm unavoidably struck by how right something went here. I don't know what or how, but it did. I don't even know if these are happy or sad tears. I think they may be both.
p.s. Back with the kleenex. I didn't read your description, because the experience of this piece was so emotionally rich that it is not something I wish to interpret. I prefer to only feel.
Thanks so much for the amazing comment. That rock was only in two of the photos we shot that day, and only because we had to move to avoid the rising tide (my camera bag nearly washed out to sea!). I'm so glad it ended up being involved in the pictures because it added so much more to my original idea
This is such a beautiful photo. The idea is wonderful and it is as though the poem and the photograph were meant to be together. I love how it stirs emotions inside me. The light adds to the effect as it adds a touch of melancholy. The feeling you get when it is cloudy and you are in your home, sitting by the window, looking at the clouds, thinking, feeling. The poem is so beautiful and it adds another layer of depth to the photo. The fact that the horizon is clear is rather important since it evokes infinity. The endless journey and the hope that one day, the journey will end and the traveler will be able to rest.
Thank you so much for the lovely comment I was so happy about the weather that day. We'd been planning the shoot for literally months and Tim and I were both so excited about the concept. I had the image firmly fixed in my head, right down to the exact colour palette that I wanted and that all depended on a cloudy day. I woke up thinking "Please don't let it be sunny!"
Both the poem and the picture really remind me of my dad's favourite song. It's about a baby boy who gets washed ashore, and someone finds him and adopts him. But all the inhabitants of the island see him as a freak, and in the end he dives back into the sea because he feels more at home there than among all those people who alienate him- even though he can't swim.
Wow, very powerful. I love the way you've captured the action. It seems almost surreal. Gorgeous depth and a really great concept. I love how it seems like time is about to stop, or that;s just my weird thoughts, haha.
Thanks so much for the awesome concept. I love your interpretation of it, especially that you see a potential stopping of time in a situation with so much motion - the sea, the man walking. I really like finding out about what other people see in my pictures