Photographer profile - Guy Carpenter
PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 February 2020
Richmond photographer Guy Carpenter’s book, Dalesfolk, celebrates the lives of those who live and work in the Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire is place of contrasts. From people, to views, to rugged landscapes. Photographer Guy Carpenter was inspired by this diversity to document the Yorkshire Dales in a photographic portrait book, Dalesfolk.
The book aims to show that, although remote, the Yorkshire Dales is an incredibly human place, with thousands of people choosing to live and work there.
'Everywhere you look, there is the sign of human life. It's just as much about the people who live there as well as the landscape. I wanted to get away from any possibility that people may have a rose-tinted view of the Dales,' he says. 'I wanted to show that life isn't always easy up there.'
Carpenter covered the seasons of the Dales to show people that it is open for business all the time.
'In summer, the hay meadows are out, but it's fantastic to visit at other times, especially in winter, when it becomes very quiet,' he continues.
The book is all about the community spirit of the Dales.
'It's quite organic how people came to be in the book,' says Carpenter. 'I had a rough idea of a dozen or so people that I wanted to include. A lot of the subjects came from suggestions from others though, and it became a bit like a dot to dot around the Yorkshire Dales. It's such a big geographical area but to a certain extent, everyone knows everyone and it's a pretty close-knit community.'
The book includes a diverse selection of people, and it's not just the usual suspects. 'There are so many different types of people including the Swaledale post lady, the Reeth fire crew, cave rescue teams and mountain rescue, the hunting set, award-winning dry-stone waller, a 15-year-old farmer and many others,' he says. 'I've got a pizza takeaway owner in Wharfedale which was a fantastic find as it's not really the type of place you'd expect to find a boutique pizza restaurant.'
It became a bit of a sociological project, and one of the big themes that came up was the departure of young people from the area. 'I made sure to get a couple of young people in the book, so there are representatives from the next generation talking about their place in the Dales and what their future looks like,' Carpenter adds.
What he learned is that everyone always has an unexpected side to them.
'There is one man in the book, Rodney Beresford, who lives up at Newby Head which is a pretty high, bleak road. He and his son help clear all the snow between Hawes and Ingleton and it snows a lot up there! The reason I went to meet him was because he's got this role in the Dales, as well as being a sheep farmer, but it transpired that not only that, he also works with refugees in spring time so that they can see what life is like on a working UK hill farm. He told me that they are fascinated by life in the Dales!'
He hopes the book captures a snapshot of history.
'The essence behind my photography is that it's truthful. I try to capture the real feeling in the photograph. I hope that the book will be worth something in the future, something that in 20 years from now people will look at with interest and see what the Dales was like in the 21st century.'