Best of 2013
2013. It’s only half way through December, but if the magazines are publishing their “end of year” round-ups already, I probably can too. Bumper haul of good images this year, not sure why (but a new lens and two new cameras might have something to do with it).
As mentioned in the best of 2012, these are not assignment photos or journalism by any means, they’re all “personal work”. I’m basically shooting with two projects in mind. In both of them, I seem to have shot a lot of photos of people’s backs though in 2013. It could be the beginnings of a style, but also the beginnings of a bad habit…
The first is a “street” project of mostly documentary-style candids and the occasional spontaneous portrait. I’ve been shooting this since 2006 mostly on DSLR. I’d really hoped to have it finished, edited and published this year, but it hasn’t happened, still sitting on my hard-drives, plus these new photos added to the pool of potential images to edit from… Still, there’s no real deadline since documentary-style photos often gain interest and appeal with age…
The second project is less about documenting China or Chinese urban life, and more about making a kind of visual inventory of my own experiences; scenes, people and things I find on various explorations off the beaten path. It’s definitely not a forensic typology of everything – I’m still photographing with the aim of making a pleasing image rather than photographing simply to record. All of this is shot on film, either medium format 6×9, 6×6 or 6×4.5, or 35mm film panoramics. I’ve been shooting in this manner now since 2009, and still see it as an ongoing project with no end in sight (perhaps because I like the satisfaction of knowing I have a project that I’m working on). I’m sure I’ll find more images in 2014, but what of ? I have no idea, which is one of things I enjoy about this sort of serendipitous photography, and one way to avoid creative burn-out. Of course, certain themes seem to be emerging, and repeating, and just as travel around China can lead eventually to temple-fatigue, there may come a day when I realise that I’m shooting the same ten photos over and over in different locations, at which time it’s probably time to stop.