The ferry from Dover in the UK to Calais, France, is not the fastest way to travel. But it is one of my favourite things to do at the end of summer. With memories of taking the boat on day trips to France with older friends, now passed away, I was so happy to be on board again.
As the engines started up, I just wanted to be on the deck, my face in the wind, breathing the sea air and watching the wake form behind.
This was the first time I had been on the cross-channel ferry in years. A lot of things were familiar, but one thing was different – I brought my new soon-to-be released novel on board. Those who have served as advanced reviewers of Ahead of the Shadows will recognise that there is a scene on the deck of a boat doing this very same crossing. No spoilers, but when you get to that part, readers, you can tell me if I’ve adequately described the sensations of being aboard, with all the worries and anticipation of that character in the moment.
I can’t wait to share the book with the wider groups of readers, both those who’ve enjoyed Into the Mouth of the Lion and those who are coming to my writing for the first time. The story is about the intense relationships formed while working in humanitarian contexts, and the challenges faced by a bright, artistic, and unconventional boy. I hope it resonates.
As a photographer and a writer, I am always thinking about landscapes: how they shape us, and how we frame them.
On another boat ride, this one near Honfleurs, in Normandy, I could not resist taking dozens of photographs of this beautiful piece of engineering. The Pont de Normandie is a spectacular cable-stayed bridge, at one point the longest in the world. It is also the last bridge to cross the Seine before it transforms into the ocean. I was so lucky to be on the water on a perfect, sunny day with contrasting clouds and dramatic shadows.
Those who have followed my career for the past two decades will know that I found my first success as a black and white photographer. Some of my best photos I’ve ever taken – and perhaps ever will take – are in black and white. This trip was the first time I returned to the medium in years, and I am thrilled with the results.
I love the way that the bridge turns into abstract shapes, like an airplane’s wing or a ribbon.
I continued taking black and whites for the rest of the trip, in the old town packed with 16th-century warehouses, and of modern buildings as well.
These photos from France, along with copies of Ahead of the Shadows, will be available soon on my website shop, at www.abkyazze.co.uk/shop. I can ship anywhere in the UK; if you are somewhere outside the UK, please drop me a line on this contact page and let me know what your needs are.
If you want to see them in person, keep in touch on my mailing list here for updates about photography shows and book events. I will be selling photographs at the Lee Green Open Studios event at Lochaber hall, SE13 on 12/13th and 19th/20th November 2022. Please stop by, have a chat, and you can see the photos framed in real life! If you came last time, please do stop by again and say hello. You’ll find new work from New York, London, and other places, as well as stacks of books.
What do you think of the new black and white photographs? I’d love to hear your views.