The project began at the start of the year when Toby jumped in his van and headed south. As with any good spartan surf mission, his plan was loose, revolving mostly around catching a few waves, shooting some images and immersing himself in any local delights and curiosities that came his way.
His first destination was the Algarve, in Portugal’s south-west corner. From there, over the course of two months, he crisscrossed the coast up to Lisbon to the north, meeting up to shoot with local surfers, including Miguel Blanco, Arran Strong and Luis Perillo along the way. It was while spending time with them out of the water, enjoying plates of seafood in the evening and learning about the integral role fishing plays in the culture of the country’s coastal towns, that the inspiration for the book’s secondary focus emerged.
“One morning I decided to go down and check out the port,” explains Toby, “just to walk around and take some photos and I just loved it. After that, everywhere we went I’d go and look for ports and different areas where I could find interesting characters.”
Inspired by classic photojournalism and the shimmering silver tones from which the stretch of coast derives its name, Toby was compelled to work entirely in black and white, pulling the final series of images together as a flowing photographic reflection on the ever-changing moods of the coast and a document of the people who, live, work and play along it.
Get a copy of The Silver Coast on Toby’s website here.