Responsible Perception

October 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment



I made this image at the Rise Up October Police violence protests in New York City last weekend. As I worked on a treatment for the final image I couldn’t help but notice how a small change in the processing of the photograph had potential to affect how it is could be received by the viewer. The officer's demeanour can be perceived in a number of different ways simply based on how I chose to present the image.
It reminded me of how responsible artists are for how information is conveyed and received. It made me think of how selective mass media can be in its reporting on events - and how their reporting can, and does, affect individual attitudes and behaviour. For many, this can be extremely frustrating as they are being intentionally manipulated and misled and it is harder and harder to access the truth.
Quite often George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 is referenced when discussing citizens under surveillance and fear of the omnipresent Big Brother. But the issue the novel addressed that resonated with me the most was the manipulation of information and the constant writing and rewriting of history.
I am passionate about equality for everyone but I have to be sure to check myself and not allow this passion to skew how I photograph and present my work. This is a responsibility I take very seriously.

The Day After

July 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment




I was a bit conflicted over whether or not I should publish this photograph. I made this photograph several years ago during one of the most difficult times for my family. My younger cousin had just passed away from cancer. She was the second to succumb to cancer before the age of 30 among her 5 sisters. In the shot are one of her surviving sisters, mother and niece a day after the funeral. Further in the background are two uncles.


As often happens, I forget about photos taken years ago and discovered this while cleaning up an old folder on an old hard drive. I understand why I would not have published it back then as it is deeply personal and the pain was so very raw. 


Time has now passed which somewhat dulls the pain. But I also now believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to share his/her work with the world - for there may be a connection a stranger makes with the work that proves to be therapeutic in some sense.


When I viewed it I felt a rush of emotion - deeply connected to the family. However, as objective as I can be, I do believe that a story is held deep within the shot that the viewer can appreciate and maybe that connection can be made.


Please feel free to share your thoughts or any comments.


Never Forget to Remember

September 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I went to bed a couple of nights ago thinking how tired I was and how I didn't want to get up early the next morning to get to a shoot. Felt a bit worn down. 

Misery and a kind of down feeling came over me. A feeling that sometimes tries to find space in my life even when things are going pretty ok. 

Turns out that day's work put me right near the 9/11 memorial. 

I needed this reminder. A re-grounding and recalibration of sorts. 

Never forget. 

Seeking Symmetry

September 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Keeping life in perfect balance. This can be pulled off well in rare instances and not so admirably most other times. Health, career, personal achievement, family, friends - it can all seem impossible to keep in perfect harmony. Something always seems to suffer and trade-offs seem to be the rule rather than the exception. 
For some reason I still suffer from a desire or strange belief that things should be straightforward. That the balance should be the norm. Step 1, then 2 then result. But even the larger successes we all witness have come after a long, windy and often extraordinarily difficult journey. You think I would have learned by now. 
I've found myself gravitating toward the use of symmetry as a compositional element more often recently. Not sure why, perhaps its a manifestation of recent conscious / unconscious influences I have been taking in as this journey of photography ceaselessly surprises me. 
However, shooting symmetrical compositions may be also be mirroring my effort of striving for balance in life. 
But as perfect imperfections go, I am totally aware that this shot is not totally symmetrical. I can live with that though - for that is life. 

Time Allocation

May 20, 2014  •  2 Comments


Often you can be moving from one space to another caught up in your own thoughts and preoccupied with your own matters and are not particularly receptive to someone stopping you on the street for a conversation. I think that's one of the most remarkable things about NY - that small town chat amongst this behemoth iron and glass metropolis. 

So when Carl stopped me outside a subway station to ask if I was a photographer I expected the usual kind of questions - what kind of work do you do? What kind of camera do you use? And the contemporary favorite, do you shoot video? 

But Carl actually had a pretty interesting story himself. We talked for about 15 minutes about his work with his nephew and the short film they were producing around the sport of boxing. Turns out Carl was a former Golden Glove champ and was featured on the cover and inside the pages of the wonderful The Times Square Gym by photographer Jon Goodman (autographed copy being held by Carl above). Carl then told me about the exhibition on the West Side of Manhattan and the many galleries tucked away in Chelsea. 

I went to the exhibition a few weeks later and was blown away. 

Thanks Carl. 




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