Tag Archives: Distances

2014: My favourite images – July

July was all Japan. I posted 56 photos to Flickr in 28 days. Choosing a favourite from the DSLR images is easy for a change. I’ll never forget the excitement I experienced when I first caught a glimpse of Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The black and white lines of the pedestrian crossing were vast open space as the traffic stopped for the red lights and then those lines were eaten up as hundreds of people hurriedly crossed. I watched it over and over again. Later I crossed it over and over again. I could never get enough of the place. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being in the swell of humanity surging across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. I got so many photographs of it in the two times I have been to Tokyo, but this one is my favourite.



Finding a favourite from the iPhone images of that month is not so easy. There are so many I really like. I could have chosen any of these:


Ununiforming the individual


In life it is not what happens to you






Street Portrait


Faint heart


This nagging knowingness



But the one I keep coming back to is one I wrote about when I posted in July. One that is part of a series of images I am working on related to the concept of distances. There is something which captivates me about this.



Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support and kindness in 2015.

Kiss that future…


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November 29 2014

Number 4 in the series. Click, click as another cyclist enters the frame. Have one or two more to post, but I may get bored and move on.

Location [4]

Location [4]

Public displays of affection or PDAs as Americans like to call them. I think they are great. What a world we would live in if our instincts were suppressed. I am very curious about distances, particularly in couples, and an embrace shared closes physical distances. Is it the case here?



Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Rain in Tokyo and an evening to myself, I decided to head to the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi to visit the Andy Warhol exhibition. I have always been fascinated with the work of Andy Warhol, but not such a great admirer of his art. How the rich pay multiple of millions for one of his pieces baffles me. For me, art has to have beauty or honesty in its core and there is a lack of this in the work of Warhol. I get his interpretation of the times he lived in; I get his intention, but it leaves me cold.

Roppongi in Tokyo is skyscraper territory. Roppongi Hills Mori Tower is one of these skyscrapers which houses the Mori Art Museum and has this iconic spider sculpture by Louise Bourgeois outside its main entrance. I had seen photographs of it before and one of the attractions of visiting here was the chance to photograph the sculpture. But how? I experimented with many different angles using both the iPhone and the DSLR, but none seemed unlike a cliche shot to me. Eventually, I managed to get one I liked with both the iPhone and DSLR. The iPhone one is washed and processed a lot, but I think it suits the sculpture to be treated like this.


Louise Bourgeois Spider, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

The DLSR is a cliche shot, but I like it. There is always competition for position around often-photographed places. This guy had walked over me as I lay on the ground getting the iPhone shot. I was pleased he stayed around as I continued to try to get another shot.


Mori Art Museum, Tokyo


The exhibition was, like so many things in Tokyo, crowded. I entered with the iPhone in my hand and the DSLR hanging around my neck. After one quick shot of a Warhol portrait I was surrounded by staff who reprimanded me and reminded me that photography was strictly forbidden. A pity. I really wanted to get photos of people looking at the art, not so much of the art itself.


Andy Warhol

The exhibition itself was moderately interesting. They had recreated Andy’s studio and it was fascinating to imagine the comings and goings of the rich and famous people of Andy’s time. He sure was a trailblazer in getting us all obsessed with the lives of celebrities.

After picking up some souvenirs in the gift shop (I love art galleries’ gift shops!), I headed to the observation deck to check out the views of the sprawling metropolis that Tokyo is. Raindrops formed their own lines of traffic on the windows and the ubiquitous jazz music playing in the background created a beautifully melancholic mood to view Tokyo as the evening light slipped away.



There is a wonderful calming quietness that comes from viewing a monster city from high up. The city appears free of its manic momentum. I love these buildings and the vantage points they provide. I love to stand back and observe others as they take in the view. It makes for great photographs. Photographs that exude a dreaminess. One of the themes I keep coming back to in my photography is distances. Distances, physical and emotional. Especially in couples. What can you imagine from this couple based on their proximity?


Distances (iPhone)

How about this pair?


Distances (iPhone)

I spent time lurking (sounds worse than it was) behind people framing them taking in the Tokyo skyline. This couple spent minutes apart lost in thought looking out on the cityscape.



Then came together for a moment.


Distances [2]

Only to part again.


Distances [3]




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This distance



This distance:

Filled with all we called


and ended with


we wanted

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Continuing to look through my flickr stream to select my favourites is resulting in a lot of nostalgia. Years of photographs posted to flickr means I am in the process of compiling a document, a record of my life, of the life I share with my little family.

The one I have chosen for today was taken on a wonderful family holiday to Barcelona in 2010. My little boy was only a few months old and my little girl had just turned 3. We rented an apartment close to Las Ramblas and for the ten days we were there we endeavoured to be the best tourists we possibly could be. For me, and now also for my wife, Barcelona is the most beautiful, enthralling and wonderful European cities.

I adore its vibrancy, its colour, its streets, its warmth, its charm. It has everything. It has the Mediterranean sea meeting its city streets, it has a myriad of lanes and alleys, it has a meandering rambling boulevard heaving with city life, it has an unfinished symphony of a cathedral, it has squares, it has octagons, it has diagonals, it has the sun, it has the shade, It has the sin, the saving grace, the smells that linger, it has music filling its ancient squares, it has noise at every turn, it has water and light, it has beauty in its youth, it has sumptuous food, it has Montjuic, it has the Camp Nou, it has Messi, it has Xavi, it had Gaudi, it had Picasso, it had Maradona, it had Miro, it had the Olympics, it has fire – breathe it in, breathe it out – Barcelona! Writing this now makes me yearn to return. One day soon…

On that holiday, I took hundreds of photographs. If you could imagine the scene, it would be one of a mother pushing a buggy with a little toddler waddling along beside her and the father dawdling and lingering in the background, camera in hand, nervously trying to get that shot. The wife every now and then looking back to see, not where her little 3 year old may have gone, but as to what was delaying her husband; what the hell was he photographing.

The photograph I have chosen was taken on our walk back to the apartment; a walk through the old lanes of the Barrio Gotico.  Here we have a couple. She sitting with her bicycle to her left and he standing, his body turned from her, his head turned to her. The body language powerfully describing their relationship in this moment. The distance between them will be filled with love or loss.



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