BBC Voices. Dibs McCallum: On Photography

Dibs McCallum. On photography. Norfolk on Film. October 2018.


The first of my Norfolk on Film features for BBC Voices is a special one. Beginning with the photography artform, Dibs McCallum On Photography explores the adventurous side of the medium, straight from the photographer's mouth. As well as the visual recount, I've generated a strong focus on the audible; the film works as a soundscape for radio, and will aire on the brand new Sophie Little Show as a regular feature on Radio Norfolk.

I've got to know Dibs for the past few years since undergoing and graduating from our subsequent Masters Degrees. Working alongside Dibs under the safety of studenthood was a great experience, I'd been aware of his work for some time and it's been a huge insight to follow up with a direct study into his personal journey into photography. Dibs is a photographer at heart, it's not just a job for him, it's a lifestyle. Frequently emerging with the break of dawn, seeking the perfect shot, the solitude of the lone photographer on the Norfolk coast. The adventurer within him seeps out of his imagery, there is a loneliness, an eeriness, boosted by the lack of people in his work, and that was my starting point to my study.

Predominantly a landscape photographer, with a focus on the night, long exposure and storytelling, he's an avid shooter. I managed to catch him between schedules, the day before his latest trip. It's obvious to me that this is a guy who loves to work on the field, and I feel his excitement. We met for an interview at his studio, without much prompting, Dibs freewheels his love of image making, expressing a deep-rooted love for the medium, as well as promoting his mentorship of local aspiring image-makers. I was keen to see him at work, so we planned an impromptu to a forest location just out of town.  

 It's half term, and we both have excitable children to fit into our unstoppable working lives. The kids come along, and we make the most of the photo-walk. A photographer myself, I'm always keen to watch other's at work, there is nothing greater than conversing between the spark of creativity. The natural light in early autumn is as stimulating as any, sunbeams fill the path in front of us, and it's not long until Dib's whips out his tripod and camera, complete with a quick filter change and he's off, his workflow has clearly been refined over the years.

As the observer, I cannot help but imagine Dibs out alone, in the wild at all , and that’s the stance I take on the interview itself. Thinking about photography as adventure, as an exploration into the outside world, it’s about storytelling.

To view more of Dibs’ work visit:

The soundscape for Dibs McCallum: On Photography will aire on Radio Norfolk between 7:00-10PM on Friday 16th November 2018, and the full film will be available to stream shortly after.