About me

In my images I seek to explore the extraordinary beauty that inhabits the quiet, unexpected corners of our landscape; the curious, haunting strangeness at the heart of things; poignant, peculiar, incongruous relationships and implications; the remarkable in the intimate landscape; and the poetry of the empty, neglected and superficially unimportant.

The finely-crafted black-and-white print provides a wonderful vehicle for interpretation, individuality and metaphor, revealing surprises and truths we might otherwise miss amongst the chaotic details of our visual experiences of the world. It's my medium of choice. If done well, its tonality can be subtle and exquisite.

I grew up in West Sussex, then lived in the West Midlands for fifteen years, working as a computer programmer. (Amongst other things, I created some musical instrument software called the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ, which I still develop.) Since 2007 I've lived in the Brecon Beacons National Park, with the dramatic coasts of South and West Wales, including the Gower and Pembrokeshire, not far away. Whenever I have free time I photograph, walk, and explore the countryside.

Living in the Welsh landscape is a great privilege, with a lifetime's worth of subject matter on my doorstep. The countryside and buildings of our richly-historic, but very densely populated, British Isles mean a very great deal to me, and are constantly under diverse pressures. I hope my images might provide some inspiration to others to visit, explore, appreciate, and respect our outstanding landscape.

I primarily use medium-format film, scanned and worked on digitally. I aim to restrict myself to adjustments that would be possible at the printing stage in a real darkroom: mainly tonal adjustments, such as 'dodging' and 'burning in'. I don't add or remove significant elements from the landscape digitally; it's important to me that my images remain, in their essence, true to the landscape – a small communion.

Although I've used digital cameras on-and-off in the past, I've gone back to using and developing 'real', analogue, black-and-white film almost exclusively. I simply prefer the results I can get from it, as well as the quiet, thoughtful, unhurried process of using entirely mechanical, entirely manual, camera equipment. Most importantly of all, I also prefer the types of images that I find myself making.

I've been a serious practitioner of black-and-white photography since I was about ten, in the early 1980s. I was mainly self-taught, learning photography and darkroom skills from reading lots of books on the subject, and from working in a number of darkrooms over the years, including my own.

Some photographers for which I have a particular fondness, and whom I regard as significant influences, include: John Blakemore, Paul Caponigro, Frederick H. Evans, Eugène Atget, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Kenro Izu, Wynn Bullock, Paul Strand, Edwin Smith, Fay Godwin, John Davies, Minor White, Brett Weston, Michael Kenna, Charles Marville, Francis Bedford, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, Peter Henry Emerson, Eugène Cuvelier, Jem Southam, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tom Baril, Gabriele Basilico, W. Eugene Smith and Bernd and Hilla Becher.

I'm honoured that one of my images was selected for a runner-up award in Black + White Photographer of the Year 2015 competition's 'Black-and-white at its Best' category.

You can read a feature about me from Black + White Photography Magazine (June 2016, issue 190) here: Black + White Photography Magazine's Martin Dyde feature.

Thank you for looking and I hope you like the images,
Martin Dyde.

Martin at work, photographing with his trusty SL 66 camera.