Workers on the Thames are tough. Life on the water is cyclical and moves along with the tides of the Thames. The watermen and lightermen-families have been working for centuries in harmony with this movement of nature.
Navigating with the current towards high-tide, moving the barges up-river and picking up cargo. Then sailing off and benifitting from the tide pushing the boats back downstream into the sea, towards low-tide.
Work on the Thames comes with moments of action followed by long waiting times and rest. Cyclically repeating over and over again. Staying calm in storms, engine problems and accidents. Staying calm while staring at the river, watching the tides move up and down.
The creation of this project has been finetuned and coached by Magnum Photos during their intensive documentary photography course.
For centuries, people have dreamed of setting sail for an adventure to another place. Plenty of people have chased their dreams by navigating downstream on the Thames into the sea. The Thames brought people into London, and took people on sailing ships towards their adventures in the world.
I could have become a captain. Fifteen years ago, on the day I would sail off starting my studies to become a captain, I changed my mind and pursued a carreer in business. With this project I eventually adventure into the working-life on the water.