Oyster man or man of the Oysters Joe Bouchard works for the Jersey Oyster Company in Grouville, Jersey. They run an amazing environmentally minded operation that most people in Jersey don’t know about. He left school and went straight into Oyster farming whilst his contemporaries all went to Uni. His life has pretty much always been controlled by the huge tides of the South East corner of Jersey. He is the epitome of Tidal People and also a really patient chilled out oyster farmer dealing with our mad demands!
To capture his story I wanted to convey the energy of the tides through a mixture of time-lapse, hyper lapse and underway cinematography. This high energy visuals were then contrasted to moments of calm using more traditional cinematography captured beautifully by Will our Jersey based cinematographer. Logistically this was not easy as we needed a perfect combination of tide, weather and availability. So we gave ourselves a three month window over winter. We could have shot over summer giving us more light and warmer seas but the location would look too idyllic! We wanted the harsh edge of winter visually throughout. We went to great lengths to get our shots too not only having to get up really early (and watch Joe eat fresh Oysters at sunrise) in the freezing cold but also paddling out a km at high tide to place a GoPro on a rock to capture the time-lapse of the tide dropping.
We managed though to capture that intensity of the tides and also those moments of calm that really reflect the emotion of Joe’s story.
Thanks to Joe and Jersey Oyster Company.
Also Will Jack Robinson and Henry Myles who helped out with the timelapses.
Written by Philip Clyde-Smith, Tidal Person.