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A Line Between the Tides

08 Aug 2017

 

Matt Button (good friend of us here at DR) has recently launched his A Line Between the Tides project on Kickstarter. It's a photographic book, celebrating his 250 mile unsupported SUP journey around the Cornish coast that he undertook in the summer of 2016. It was a pretty tough journey by anyone's standards and he faced some truly dreadful Cornish weather, the Atlantic ocean didn't hold back in what it threw at him. 


I caught up with Matt for a chat about his beautiful photographic project and to find out a little more about the epic paddle.  ~ Sal

You can visit his Kickstarter page here: A Line Between the Tides 

 

What was the inspiration for this trip?
 

Like so many people in this county, every year I say I'm going to do the coastal footpath. We've all done sections but very few of us have done any sizeable chunks.

At the same time, I've always been drawn to the hidden coves and beaches that involve clambering down cliffs to get to. In the summer this is the only option for solitude.

Then on a work day in Marazion, I saw a SUP for the first time and the penny dropped. I could use one to get to ALL the secret coves and spots along the Cornish coast. I went back the next day and tried it with Lawrence Smith at Ocean High and deemed two hours experience adequate for a month long, unsupported, 250 mile ocean paddle and wild camping expedition... simple. 


 

 

I love this photo that you took as you left Plymouth. How were you feeling then?

 

Tired, very tired. I hadn't slept all night. My brother had said to me he had never seen me looking so nervous. I was really scared but I was trying not to look unprepared and as chaotic as I felt, I didn't want to scare him any more than I was apparently doing already. The unknown was so huge I could only focus on each day at a time. At least the first few hours were on a river, bearing in mind that the first hour on the water was only the fifth hour I'd spent on a paddle board. The colours were amazing that morning, but I just wanted to get going... I had no idea what was ahead of me.

 


You had originally planned to make a film of the trip, what happened to this idea?

 

The plan was to film, yeah. I had a little more experience with cameras then SUPs but not much in the way of film making. I couldn't have known just how tiring the paddling alone would be, as each evening I was exhausted and finding the energy to do much more than a quick video diary was a real challenge.

The conditions didn't help. One mount was ripped clean off the board and I lost a Go Pro after hitting a submerged boulder.

 

The whole unsupported thing and trying to film with very little experience along with the terrible weather made for a series of very grumpy video diaries ha ha!

 

 

So is this book project in place of the film?

 

Yeah, the book is something I feel much more comfortable doing.
 

 

Any reason for choosing to use medium format and film?

 

I know it's all a bit hipster now, but I started in film and still feel that there is a difference between digital and film especially when printed out. Instagram is great, I love it but a solid hand printed image in a frame on a wall or in a beautiful book really shows photography at its best, quality over quantity. We live in an age when everyone is a 'photographer' but the result is, as Grayson Perry puts it 'photography rains on us like sewage from above'. Using the best tools to produce the best possible work that I can is important to me and medium format is perfect. Plus I love using it, it slows you down and ultimately you end up taking more careful and considered images.

 

 

Knowing what you now know after this paddle, would you ever have set off in the first place, knowing how challenging it was going to be?

 

Would I recommend someone do a few SUP lessons with qualified staff, get their family or friends together and go and explore the coast (safely) yes most definitely? Would I recommend setting out on 200 plus miles of paddling with no real experience, fitness or clue? Most certainly not! Nope! Never!

 

 

Any final words of wisdom?
 

Be safe. Ask advice and TAKE it. It's a beautiful world out there and the coast gives us so much pleasure so only leave footprints. Do a little beach clean if it's needed and give a little time or money back -to the kids learning, the conservationist trying to keep it beautiful and the RNLI for keeping it safe.
 

You can visit Matt's Kickstarter page here: A Line Between the Tides 

Posted in: cool stuff, pictures

Summer Reading List

07 Jul 2017

The days are long, the sun is (hopefully) shining and the beer is cold, what's not to love about kicking back with a good book on a summer's day? 

 

We've asked our collective what they're currently reading or planning to read over the summer....

Emma Gordon 

 

Just in Time - Harry Buckle

 

"This book has been in my ‘read next’ pile for a while now and after going through a phase of reading a lot of productivity and workflow related books it’s been nice to get into something a bit more fun!

What makes it an especially fun read for me is that the author happens to be my old boss and friend Harry Buckle (I know him as Rod), and many of his characters are based on people I know - I’m told there’s even a reference to our very own Cornish Ketchup Co towards the end (but I haven’t got that far yet!)"

Mike Hayes 

 

The Great War for Civilisation - Robert Fisk

 

"It's a superb book, relevant, heartbreaking, exposes the utter hypocrisy of decades of UK, British, and French foreign policy with regards to the Middle East. A must read. I think it should be on school curriculums. I have had enormous respect for Robert Fisk ever since I started reading his dispatches from Beirut during the war in Lebanon."

Elly Jahnz 

 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 

 

"My friend has lent me a book which I'm planning on reading soon. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It has an awesome illustrated cover."

Sean Gee

 

Caffeine magazine

 

"Starting a coffee roasters (Rising Ground) my main reading recently has been roaster manuals. For a lighter read but still all about the coffee I like to dip in and out of Caffeine magazine. I'm basically filling my brain with coffee figuratively and literally."

Jess Collins

 

I’m reading loads right now but the three I think sum up my summer of reading are…

 

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp - this has been recommended to me for many years and I’m only now getting around to reading it!

 

Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki - I love the concept of living with less and believe a minimalist approach contributes to happiness

 

And finally, Savor by Shauna Niequist - I am yet to start this one but fell in love with Shauna earlier this year, she is the kind of vulnerable storyteller that I adore, I plan to work my way through her entire catalogue. Savor is her newest title and it’s about living the present moment.

Sally Mitchell

 

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher - Timothy Egan

 

"An extraordinary read about the life and work of the photographer Edward Curtis. His photos are incredibly atmospheric and against the odds, he managed to capture a vast and comprehensive portrait of Native American tribes at an incredibly fragile time. Inspiring stuff."

 

Posted in: cool stuff, Collective

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