A walk with Tobias Beach-wyld

It’s June 2019 and time for a walk with someone, so let me introduce you to Tobias Beachwyld.

tobias & phlogger selfie

Tobias is in his early thirties, a very keen film photographer, likes alternative processes, teaches photography and currently undergoing a masters degree at Falmouth.  He has a passion for real life, which shows in his documentary photography work.

The day

We began talking a few months ago after I met his wife at a school in Lincolnshire.  After reaching out we discussed photography after it became clear both of us were interested in film and education.

shot of the old dock by tobias
shot of the old dock by Tobias

Many Instagram chats later we penned a date and a location – Hull.  It’s cool meeting people for the first time, even though you’ve probably seen photos of each other on profiles.  There is this anticipation of will we get on, which is stupid of course, because we’ve been chatting for months. With all our gear packed and ready, we had pre-booked the sunshine, so we were all set.  We quickly sorted driving arrangement and Tobias parked up close to our destination – the old docks of Hull.

Inside one of the buildings (by Tobias)

Documentary photography

The location is part of an expanding shopping estate, full of those large retail units.  But within a hundred yards lays the history of yesteryear. We know enter the domain of Tobias and his knowledge and passion of documentary photography.

Detail found on the floor by Tobias

Tobias is actually working on a project involving the old fisherman of Hull, looking back at the history, the changes and where this all took place.  He’s got some lovely ideas and is very open with his progress of this project. It was nice to have a personalised view of something that’s obviously important to him.  We walked around the small campus of buildings, which are huge buildings just left to the elements and vandals of course. Like any photographer with a keen eye, we looked around for any hidden detail without risking climbing and entering any unsafe areas.

Projects

We had previously discussed both our film based work and thought the docks would suit both of us.  The idea of using old industrial buildings to support my ongoing “desolation” project was fascinating and something completely different to my other shots.

Mobile phone shot – note children on the roof (by Phlogger)

We had a good walk around and both shot film in and around the building and dock (including help in the form of the torch facilities on our smartphones).  It takes time and practise to learn composition, so we didn’t rush around and kept looking for that angle.

Luckily Tobias had done some research and found a street in Hull which had obviously been bought as some sort of compulsory purchase situation.  The street appears to have been abandoned and left right next to other similar local housing. It’s must be quite daunting for the rest of the residents having properties at the end of there street just left.  It felt like this row were just left to rot.

Looking through viewfinder of the Bronica (by Phlogger)
Looking through viewfinder of the Bronica (by Phlogger)

The cameras

It was nice to see Tobias is all about the image and not the gear too.  I had sensibly taken the decision to only take one camera, Tobias had brought a few along to show me.  I have never seen a Leica in person, so it was nice to see these little rangefinders in action.

Tobias has a range of cameras for different purposes including his trusty Leica, a Mamiya with a zoom and even a trusty Olympus XA!  We discussed the pitfalls of carrying our medium format around and our love of the format, but it was nice to hear positive things about the little XA, so might have to try one.

One of modern twists was a gimbal for his smartphone that allowed him to take a panoramic stitch of the abandoned street we visited.

Smartphone shot using gimbal (by Tobias)
Smartphone panoramic shot using gimbal (by Tobias)

Photography

Of course as photographers we have to talk shop too, so we discussed people we’ve learned from.  I apologised for my lack of education and talked about Chuck Jines and his previous street work. Tobias told me how tough Newport university was and how strict the lecturers are, but for good reasons.  Because of his work (teaching photography) he has access to good facilities, but also he likes to work with alternative processes like salt prints too. This is intriguing to me so we are trying to do something like cyanotypes on our next meet up.

inside one of the buildings
inside one of the buildings (by Tobias)

Conclusion

It was a damn pleasure to meet another person who is a good person, knows his stuff, is very grounded and teaches this art we call photography.  Sharing this amazing passion for photography is in both of us, so im sure there will be something collaborative on the horizon.

Please keep watching Tobias on Instagram (link here) to see his projects unfold over time, we wish him all the best in his masters degree.  Hopefully a book or zine will follow with his fishermen project.

If you liked this article don’t forget to check out a walk with Luke Flisher too and many more to come. Fancy a walk with the Phlogger, then get in touch!

Until next time, keep shooting and stay true.

PS The film images will appear in due course.

6 comments on “A walk with Tobias Beach-wyld”

  1. Emma Beach says:

    Very interesting phlogg! Tobias is an excellent documentary photographer and his passion for his subject can clearly be seen in his work. Through his MA work I am learning so much about Hull’s fishing industry and its decline. Seeing the empty buildings, filled in docks, bits and pieces just left lying around is almost like seeing a ghost town. If you shut your eyes you can almost see, hear and smell the busy-ness of the men & women, the machinery,the trawlers, the fish etc.

    1. andrew walmsley says:

      Thank you so much for your comments, the passion is very evident and his teaching results are verbatim. Thanks for letting us hook up together.

  2. Ted Doherty says:

    Loved it and thanks for this ,i met Tobias a while ago and funny we were supposed to go out and do a shoot ,i am a very keen into photography but only a amateur my camras are both canon the old T90 command back film and a 1300 digital lens inc a 50/500 nifty 50 ,a 28/300 18/55 couple wide angle and a 70/300 macro nowi just use the 50/500 very good hand held but at almost 75 it gets heavey but i have a shoulder strap so its not as bad as it couldbe

    1. andrew walmsley says:

      Hey Ted, thanks for commenting. I only use 2 cameras and 2 lenses in total, nothing I own is expensive. All you need is time and practise.

  3. Ted Doherty says:

    I was a fishermans son all my family were fishermen from Hull friends of family from deck hand to skippers from greasers to chiefs engineers from being a small child picking my family up in a cab ,i never got to go to sea ,my father spragged me with all the runners and owners on St Andrews and i hated him for it we never spoke for a number of yrs ,and on his death bed he told me why he did it number one my mother and as he said it would be some mountain to climb not been able to bury your first born

    1. andrew walmsley says:

      Hi Ted, thanks for adding this personal information. I feel for you and your situation, sometimes we will never understand those before us and I’m no-one to judge either. I believe people Tobias are doing photography for the right reasons and get awareness in place and bring change if possible to whats needed. It’s why documentary photographers are so important and hope to achieve this myself some day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.