Beadnell’s winter world is drab, on the face of it. The scrub of the dunes is now a monotone stretch of yellows, browns, greys, the colour leached from once-vibrant plants whose energy has retreated underground. Hard to believe in the rejuvenation going on beyond our sight.
In perfect contradiction, low-light, as every photographer knows, is where colour emerges to its fullness, a subtle kind of spiritual awakening. A revelation.
Light drains from the sky at around 3:30pm, the sun dipping to dusk with alarming speed, catching me unawares on the yawn of beach. I look around and no-one is there. The dog walkers have vanished. I can make out the edge of the dunes, above them a crow hanging in the thermals (it is strangely warm, the west wind blowing strong). The silhouette of the bird is striking, stock still and zoetic: the flag of winter.