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Christopher Bickford’s new book pays homage a particular part of the Atlantic Ocean that has become an integral part of American surf culture.
Photographer Bickford has spent nearly 20 years on the Outer Banks, a collection of islands that wrap around the coast of North Carolina. Legends of the Sandbar is a collection of images that honours the individuals that live there.
According to Bickford himself, it is on this coastline of North Carolina that he honed his craft. He says, ‘In the winter of 2002 I found myself on the Outer Banks. It was an extremely cold winter, full of snow and ice and crazy storms. Over the Christmas holidays I borrowed my father’s old Nikon FM2, bought a cheap wide-angle lens and a few filters, and started photographing the dunes, the ocean, the ever-changing sky. I knew my way around a camera, which I’d used often in art settings to create hybrid work, but it wasn’t until I started paying attention to the way the light danced upon the sand-dunes and white-caps and fields of sea-grass of this place I now call home, did the potential of photography as a medium for seeing the world and exploring the world really hit home. Looking back, I don’t know why it took me so long.’
As well as the photos, there are stories and essays that add even greater depth to an area that has become legendary within the surf community. Bickford has covered a great deal of different subjects, with his work appearing in The New York Times, National Geographic and Time. This includes work in post-earthquake Haiti, the Stones of Connemara in Ireland and the Venetian carnival. Legends of the Sandbar, Bickford’s most recent collection, demonstrates an obvious personal connection between photographer and subject, and the result is exquisite.
Legends of the Sandbar by Christopher Bickford (published by Burn Books, July 25th, 2017 in hardback) is available to order online from www.legendsofthesandbar.com/. For more information, please visit www.chrisbickford.com.