Coming Up For Air by Emyr Payne (Collated Observations 18)
Collated Observations is a series of regular photozines showcasing aspects of modern life through the lens of a different UK-based photographer each issue.
Coming Up For Air is a colourful documentation and celebration of the population of the North Welsh Coast. Taken as the country was emerging from lockdown, Emyr visited the towns of Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Pensarn and Llandudno to capture casual street portraits of the characters he encountered.
"As the first Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in early 2020, our little country rallied together to overcome many tragedies and adversities. The quiet changes this forced upon our lives became just as significant as the bigger ones: using less petrol each week, spending more money on take-out coffee and less on pints of lager, watching more binge-worthy TV box sets, seeing the dogs more than your colleagues and discovering the joys of home-made baking for the very first time. But while the first lock-down became an opportunity for many to explore skills and talents that had lay dormant for years, the coming of the second lock-down felt much more imposing and uncertain.
Coming Up for Air is about the freeing of this obligation, and the feeling we all felt when we could walk the streets again and notice everything around us with fresh eyes. As the restrictions began to ease for a second time in the spring of 2021, I began to walk the streets with my camera again, travelling a few short miles from my home to towns along the North Wales coast, focusing primarily on Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Pensarn and of course Llandudno. What struck me most was the unique character of these towns and the interesting people who live there, almost always caught between the dream and reality of the British seaside. As I came up for air, so did everybody else, and I tried to capture some of the exuberance and document the colourful characters I met on my outings."
Emyr Payne is a practising Learning Disability Nurse from North Wales. He took up photography in early 2019 when his wife encouraged him to attend a short 8-week night course in the local college. Since then he has explored the Snowdonia landscape on black and white 35mm film, and the people and places of the North Wales Coast. Coming Up For Air is his first print publication.
40 pages cover-to-cover, perfect bound.
Limited to 80 hand numbered copies.
Digitally printed on 170gsm silk paper, 300 gsm cover with matt laminate.