The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognised self-declared state (or micronation) located on a British-built platform in the North Sea. Its mass consists of HM Fort Roughs, a former Second World War Maunsell Sea Fort, off the coast ofSuffolk, England, United Kingdom.
While it has been described as the world’s smallest country, or the world’s smallest nation, Sealand is not recognised by any established sovereign state, although Sealand’s government claims it has been de facto recognised by the United Kingdom and Germany.
In February 2013 I was privileged enough to visit Sealand with Michael Bates and his son on assignment for the Sunday Times Magazine. A fascinating day of Photography and Video…
Last month I had the amazing opportunity to spend 6 days in Lagos, Nigeria, on assignment. The main body of work is embargoed and won’t be released for a few months. In the mean-time here’s some portraits I took of some Nigerian Truckers when I had 30 minutes down-time. There is such an amazing diversity of tribes and backgrounds within Nigeria represented by this single queue of driver’s waiting patiently to receive their cargo.
LAGOS, NIGERIA – NOVEMBER 5TH, 2012: Truck drivers from across the 32 Nigerian states wait patiently to fill their trailers with fuel at a tank farm in the port of Lagos. Despite being the world’s fifth largest producer of crude oil Nigeria lacks refineries and as such has volatile availability and prices of oil products. (Photo by Toby Smith/Reportage by Getty Images)
In 2013 I was interviewed by Getty Images and this biopic interview piece was released. It cover the creative and commercial overlap of my Renewables Project shot in Scotland.
The Renewables Project photographed in Scotland was completed through partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy. The project was undertaken in the harsh winter of 2010, with Smith living and working from his converted 4×4 expedition vehicle. Much of the work is shot on large format film with night exposures lasting many hours. Many of the sites were installed and continue to operate in the manner to which they were constructed in a gargantuan post-war labour effort. A living, breathing example of British heavy engineering at its finest that now unwittingly forms a crucial percentage of the larger sustainable energy portfolio of Britain.
The project was supported financially and exclusive access granted by Scottish Southern Energy (SSE) in 2010. Toby Smith worked closely with the communication and operations teams to research and safely access appropriate sites for the project based on aesthetic, scientific, cultural and historical significance.
Ross Easton, part of the Corporate Affairs team at SSE, explained: “We commissioned Toby to capture a selection of our renewable energy projects – from wind farms to hydroelectric power stations. The result was some stunning photography which showed off Scotland’s natural beauty mixed with the majestic beauty of our hydroelectric schemes and wind farms. We have used these photos in a range of corporate communications, both internally and externally. The stunning photograph of an engineer working on top of a wind turbine was featured on the front cover of our 2012 Annual Report.”
A cinematic show-reel combining footage shot over the last 3 years of my career. Many of the clips echo my large format compositions and were captured during personal projects or assignments across the world.
Locations include Scotland, England, China, India and Madagascar. Music is “The Great Drive By” by Funki Porcini and is licensed from Ninja Tune (UK) whilst the edit and grade was done by Daren Nair here in London.
Please contact me for any further information on the projects, assignments or indeed licensing of existing footage. Technically the work is either Time Lapse or HD Video captured on a Canon 5d Mkii.