Please excuse the dust

Are we counting this as the first issue? I guess we are, even if this series is zero-indexed. The developer in me just couldn’t help it!

Welcome the first — wait, we’re definitely calling it the first? — issue of “High Tide”, what will be a semi-regular newsletter released roughly every fortnight. There’s a lot that I want to write about, but it’s too soon to stick a single label on what this will become.

As for who I am…well I’m a designer that never worked as one, a software engineer that’s suffered from burn-out too many times and a photographer that isn’t keen on a career in photography. I don’t sound like much use to anyone, but I’ve found that these three skills, combined with writing, makes for an interesting ability to independently create photojournalist-style stories. Think LIFE Magazine…but run by one guy…on the internet…without access or experience. Anyway…

Everything has its time, and rushing to an arbitrary deadline is counterproductive, so launching whilst there’s only the faintest hint of a plan might seem odd. But, this was never going to be a grandiose launch to fanfare. This is still the phase where there’s a gaping hole between my talent and my taste, so best get it over with.

The blank page haunts writers everywhere, but a blank page with a hazy brief is petrifying for a newbie writer like myself! The only solace is that this issue will be going out to approximately zero subscribers — not even my Mum! — and only the most ardent of future readers might venture this far into my back catalogue, at which point I probably don’t need to worry about putting them off.

It’s a good job that future readers won’t be able to see the site in its current state. Wow, I’ve left it in a mess! There’s broken bits here and a missing chunk there — the wonders of that artificial deadline everyone. I have plans to tidy up, pull in more words and spruce the place up over the next few weeks.

The site itself is built with Zola and is a port of a custom Ghost theme that I developed. The current CSS file is a mess, and would be renamed shame.css if Harry Roberts caught wind of it. I’ll be refactoring it along with my templates, all in the open. The codebase will be open-sourced, as will much of my future development, once I’ve worked out how to freely release the code, whilst protecting my words and images.

Plans for the site include beautiful typography from Klim but I want to see how the design and content evolves before I settle on a set of typefaces. I’ll be adding art-direction to the existing two photo stories in anticipation of my biggest, most ambitious digital & print project yet (I’ve already done the first shoot, but there’s many more to follow). I have plenty of writing from forums and past blogs that I want to bring under one roof, in addition to over a terabyte of images, across 15 years that I need to hew a cohesive portfolio from.

As you can see, I’ve lots to do, and don’t want to drag ”Hello World” out any longer than I already have. À la perchôine1


The friendly “goodbye” said in the traditional language of my home island, Guernsey. The language was called “Guernesiais” or Guernsey Patois, and is rarely spoken now outside select phrases such as this.

If you've read this and liked it, have feedback or any interesting points you think I missed, I'd love to hear from you at hello@jamiedumont.com.