CNN Photos

Sand photos a ‘life-long study’

Images from the Apollo moon landings stick in photographer Michael Jackson’s mind as he heads out to Poppit Sands beach every couple of weeks, his 1970s film Hasselblad camera in hand. Jackson has been documenting the low tide at sunset for almost five years and has never captured the same beach twice.

The U.K.-based photographer uses a simple set up to capture the constantly shifting sands. His settings stay the same, he said, even down to the focus, so he can “concentrate on looking for images on the beach rather than fiddling with the camera.” He uses a 1960s Zeiss 50mm lens, red filter, polarizer, and Ilford Pan F Plus film.

Jackson relies solely on film to photograph the beach scenes and develops the rolls himself.

“I tried digital once at Poppit,” he admitted, “and it felt cold and loveless.” The joy of film, he continued, expands beyond taking the photo. “It is getting into the darkroom, processing it and the excitement of seeing the negatives for the first time.”

And it doesn’t look as if Jackson will ever bore of photographing the sands of the beach.

“I have recently come to the conclusion that the project will never finish for me. I have found that the images seem to be progressing and moving forward, and I have never been to Poppit Sands and not been excited by what I have seen… For me, Poppit is a life-long study.”

- Elizabeth I. Johnson, CNN

Jackson submitted his project through CNN iReport. Share your own photo stories.