Category Archives: Abstract & Motion

Carousel Cherub

Florence, Italy. August, 2008.

Went looking through the archives today and stumbled upon this. There are a lot of photographs from this period that I took and meant to share and never really got around to it.

I imagine there is a land somewhere, populated by the things we meant to do but didn’t, a wind that whispers the things we meant to say, where lost orphaned socks wash up on the banks of the laundry river and keys dangle like dew from the laden branches of trees. A land divided into provinces: the county of regret and the territory of missed opportunity, and perhaps, behind high impenetrable walls, a small but triumphant fiefdom of things-we-meant-to-say-but-it-turned-out-way-better-that-we-didn’t.

The beautiful thing about the land we never got around to, though, is that we can still visit, at least some of the time. I plan to go back soon. I’ll let you know what I find.

Shimoda Surf

Shimoda, Japan. March 2014.

Yokohama is on the sea, it’s true, but there’s sea and then there’s sea.

We took the train this weekend, down to the bottom of the Izu peninsula, to Shimoda, a city in a small town, a place more the size of the one I grew up in, than the one where I currently live.

It felt like sliding into an old pair of jeans, the ones with the frayed hems and the paint-drops and the many-times-laundered stains of a life, the small (unfashionable) tears at the knees. Not respectable jeans for wearing out, but the ones you change into when you’re home and have nothing to prove and know you can stay a while.

I grew up near beach towns. Something about their off-season solitude and in-season crush that makes beach towns themselves ephemeral, permanently temporary. Places where the human endeavours aspire to good-enough-for-now and perfection is left to nature, and the time saved between is spent in lazy appreciation of now, before we pack up and drive home with the sand still in our eyelashes.

I was a windsurfer once, but these days the lick of the wind on my face is pleasure enough, and to sit and squint my eyes and read the swells and watch the surfers dance along the break.

The Night Market

Chiang Mai, Thailand. February 2011.

There is an energy about night markets that is simultaneously soothing and invigorating to me. A rush of things in suspended time. For me, this photograph captures that. Something soft, something kinetic at the same time.

W54th

New York City, USA. July 2013.

New York City remains elusive to me. It has such a distinct presence, such palpable character and yet I find it an extremely difficult city to photograph. It feels as though the scale of it is too big for my camera, like wherever I point the lens, whatever doesn’t quite fit in the frame is so integrally part of the picture, that the photograph I take ends up feeling diminutive, reductive, trivial. One needs either to zoom out and grapple with the full scale of Gotham or to zoom in HONY style, on the faces that make the city’s enormity irrelevant, or perhaps, in a kind of geographical inversion, put it into context. My respect for NYC photographers has grown immensely since I first tried to shoot the city.

I was in New York again this summer, in the midst of my experiments with overexposure, when I came out of the MoMA and took this photograph on West 54th. It offers some interesting possibilities, I think. Some details to focus on, the potential of story in the movement, and maybe a glimpse of scale that implies the bigger picture but doesn’t overwhelm? I’m not certain what I think yet, but it might be worth more exploration. What do you think?