A Photographic Return to San Francisco

I start every year with a trip to San Francisco, a city that I have written about many times in the past.  It is a place I go to re-charge, to visit friends, to get inspired and, of course, to make new images.

Just before my last trip there I happened upon the following quote:

“I walk,

I look,

I see,

I stop,

I photograph.”

– Leon Levinstein

This perfectly sums up how I feel about San Francisco now.  I never make detailed plans when I am in the city, choosing instead to wander randomly for hours at a time.  I may shoot street photography for a few hours, grab a meal, then hop a bus somewhere to spend my evening making a new blue hour cityscape.  On other days I sit by the water and write for a while, then spend the afternoon focusing on making portraits.  There are also many days where I just put the camera away and live in the moment.  It is an instinctual, mindful, wonderful way to approach photography.  I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.  And, I always come home inspired to tackle the year ahead of me.

Here is an eclectic mix of new images from the city by the bay.  Everything here was taken with a Fujifilm X-T3 and the 23mm f/2 lens.  It’s all I need.

Best wishes,

Ian

Reflections of Paris | The Power of Photography

There are moments that remain etched in our minds forever.  The birth of a child, a first kiss, the loss of a loved one or that feeling of freedom you felt when you embarked on a grand adventure.

World events often have the same effect on us.  I can only imagine what it felt like to watch the moon landing for the first time.  I wasn’t around then, born four years too late, but I can recall with absolute certainty where I was when the planes hit the towers on Sept 11th, 2001.  I was in a different country that day, 4500km away from New York, but I knew that the world changed that morning.  We all did.  Over the next few days we were inundated with images, reliving those horrific events over and over again.  As a paramedic, I felt a sense of loss for my brothers and sisters who died performing their duties.  As a human being, I felt an even greater sense of grief for everyone who was touched by what happened.  

A lifetime later, in 2016, I visited the World Trade Centre Memorial and was brought right back to that day by every photograph that I saw.  I was no longer working as a paramedic of course, PTSD ensured that, but the images brought back all of the emotions like it was yesterday.

That is the power of a photograph.  It can remind us of joy, of sadness, of triumph and of loss.  

Photographs are powerful.

I was teaching three weeks ago when news of the Notre-Dame fire started coming out.  Paris is a city that I love deeply, one that I visit often, and Notre-Dame is always my first stop when I arrive on the ground.  I am not Catholic, but there is something special about the area around the cathedral… especially at night.  I have spent countless evenings sitting on the riverbank just thinking, people watching and looking at the lights of the cathedral.  Notre-Dame represents hundreds of years of history.  Notre-Dame IS history, standing tall through World Wars and foreign occupation, so it was painful to watch it burn that day.  

Since then I have been going back through my images of Paris, re-visiting memories of past visits and experiences I have had there.  I found myself re-processing many of these images in black and white, perhaps a reflection of how I was feeling at the time?

I share these images with you now, some posted for the first time and others previously shared after past trips.  All images were taken with Fujifilm X Series cameras, predominantly the X100 series, and processed in Acros or Monochrome +R.

I’ll be back in Paris very soon for another workshop.  Until then, I have my photographic memories.

Cheers,

Ian

Les Rues De Paris | The Streets of Paris – Part Three

“Taking pictures is savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”

– Marc Riboud

I have just returned from a week spent shooting in San Francisco, a trip that filled my cup with new photos to share and new stories to tell.  It was a week, if you will, of savouring life intensely.

For now, however, here is the final set of images from my last trip to Paris.  I hope you enjoy them, and I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers,

Ian