Summer Morning, Bexhill-on-Sea

Roff Smith


Roff Smith has spent a career in journalism trotting the globe for one magazine or another, but now, in the age of Covid, Smith finds himself grounded for the first time in his life. With international travel off the menu for the foreseeable future Smith has been exploring the notion of traveling at home, and finding a new appreciation of his familiar old surroundings.To create the images in his Journeys From My Doorstep project Smith is out on road at 3am and carry’s everything on his bicycle. All the images are taken within a ten mile radius from his home, and he is the model and photographer in all of them. Although Smith is the cyclist in the images, these photographs are emphatically not about him. He takes pains to anonymize himself as much as possible, so that these images represent A Cyclist on the landscape – anybody; you, perhaps

  • 2020

  • Can be signed by the photographer

  • Photograph of cyclist and his touring bicycle, taken at dawn, beside an Edwardian seaside shelter on the seafront at the old-fashioned seaside holiday town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.

  • There’s a line in Walden where Thoreau describes himself as a self-appointed inspector of sunrises. I know just what he means. In the course of my daily pre-dawn travels through the Sussex landscape I’ve become as aware of sunrise times, phases of the moon and the state of the tides as any of our local fishermen. I’d wanted to find a way to capture the magic of these early morning skies, but since the
    moon sets and the sun rises on opposite horizons it seemed impossible to include both in the same image – until I hit upon the idea of using sunlit glow on one of the domes on the King George V Coronation colonnade at Bexhill-on-Sea to imply a rising sun while capturing a pale full moon setting over the distant sea cliffs at
    Beachy Head, off to the west. After planning the shoot and doing some trial runs, artist’s studies, I had to wait several months for just the right conditions and then work very swiftly in the rapidly changing light.

Photography,  16" X 20"

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