Back in April as national lockdown took hold and fear, strife and discontent swept across the nation, Cornish photographer Nick Pumphrey hatched an idea.
Instead of sleeping in and then Netflixing till noon, he’d set his alarm for the witching hour on every morning of May and make sure he was out of bed by the time the first shards of light cut through the pre-dawn. Then, he’d go for a swim with his camera and spend a few hours capturing whatever patterns of light and sea danced across in front of its lens, returning to his van around the time others were just brushing their teeth to share the results on his instagram.
He called the ritual The Dawn Days Of May and the reaction it garnered constituted a dependable and potent dash of positivity in an otherwise constant cascade of anxiety and uncertainty. Not only did people from all over seem to take great pleasure in Nick’s daily dawn pics, but some even opted to take up the mantle themselves.
Here’s a lovely new short by Greg Dennis which tells the story in full: