Trains and Automobiles... but not Planes

The idea of how we move, and what we feel as we get there, fascinates me.

Bringing people together, whether it is for work or play, for love or money;
evokes so many memories it becomes hard to define 'Travel' as a single genre.

The Metro in Paris, The Tube in London, the Subway in New York.

They all have their smell, their voice and their feel.

Paris Metro, 1995

The car was the obsession of the 20th century.
Very few inventions have inspired so much discourse.

From machismo to carbon footprints, Route 66 to the Autobahn, the choice of vehicle often gave the driver their idea of what freedom meant. 
Ad agencies thrived on this.
Boys transitioned to men (sometimes) through this.

Some cars became a statement of what was their country.


Paris and the two side walk Mona Lisa, 1995

To many, an airport has its own magic.
I know those who travel by air regularly see it also as a place where the Dark Magic resides.

This is what flying should feel like, but rarely does.  Scotland, 2009

This is what flying should feel like, but rarely does.  Scotland, 2009

For those souls, the magic is properly revealed as a cunning sleight of hand - a grand promise too easily broken.  It possesses all the bright lights and glittering entreaties of a Casino, with the same despair and desperation, just beneath the surface.

A transitory gauntlet of suffering to be endured before release, only to be revisited, like a recurring nightmare, over and over... and over.  Up, Up and Away.

The Vicious Observer: Photo-documentary

When a photographer turns a lens on the community or the environment he or she inhabits, the results can be sympathetic or uncompromising, sensitive or brutal.

When history looks at these images, if they survive, it often sees a significance in them that may have been missed in their original time frame. 

When we add, or subtract, context to these images and put them into a perceived space, their reality can change along with their message, and their historical integrity.

What do we ascribe to a blank wall? Is it pockmarked from bullets, or age?  Is an old gate a design feature or a safety device?

What do we ascribe to a blank wall? Is it pockmarked from bullets, or age?

Is an old gate a design feature or a safety device?

Is the man in the derelict boat yard what the viewer thinks he is? Or what he chooses to be?

How does the photographer ascribe truth to a picture? Does he distort it through his prejudice or show a version of a truth?

Option A: The truth is the truth... Option B: The truth is a perception...

What is the truth in this picture? The hunchbacked man in the belted coat, hat drawn low on his brow, shuffling away from the Exotic Striptease show and the lurking guy with the camera on a SoHo street.  Is he, observed and shamed into looking into the window of the butcher's shop? Or just buying a half pound of sausages for lunch?

Hong Kong: The Icon

The great thing about having an icon at your shutter finger tip is that your experience is always going to be understood, yet different. 

Different to the next person, even though the street scape and the light and the knowledge of place will be, just that: 'known'...

Known to all and 'all of it' because it is the same.  London Bridge is as known as the Grand Canyon.

The Sydney Opera House is as recognisable to some as the Statue of Liberty is to others. 

The emotion of these is what make the critical eye keener, sharper and more demanding.

How do we capture something different in these iconic places?

Be Truthful. State your own truth. Compose and crate a picture.

Never just 'take a snap'.

Lunch in Hong Kong - Stanley Street, 1997

Then there is the esoteric view of what you might see in a special place.

When you feel that half smile come to your face, you think maybe, just maybe, you have captured what you feel about that place.

You have put your imprimatur on it.  Even if it is only ever seen by you, you have captured something of it; the emotion you felt at that time.

That is the beauty of photography. 

It allows you to distil a complete experience and tell a story with a single image.

Afternoon Off in Hong Kong - Hong Kong 1997

The Colour of Hong Kong, 1997

The Colour of Hong Kong, 1997

The distraction of colour is often the death of composition.

Maybe the photographer and the artist are closer than they both think.

In letting go of the obvious, the truth is revealed.

Seeing life for the first time...

The first time I travelled with a camera was to the UK.  I soon found out that I was actually travelling for my camera.

The light and the difference of everything made me love life more than I thought possible.

People were new and exciting, old and interesting.

The light made them so. It wrapped around them and enveloped them.

There was no such thing as mundane. It was as if the scales had been lifted from my eyes.

Travelling with your camera is different to travelling for your camera.

Fruito, London, 1995

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