Been thinking about what I’m going to call the project I’m currently working on. I’ve been referring to it as The Future, but as I develop the project and my thinking about it advances, that title seems too descriptive, too prescriptive. And it has nothing to do with the fact that you (obviously) can’t photograph the future. That doesn’t matter because, after all, this project was conceived as a work of fiction. (Not that all photos aren’t some kind of fiction, but that’s a topic for another post.)

Then, out of the blue, on my way to complete some mundane chore, a new title came to me. Just like that. And so far it seems to be holding up to my scrutiny and to my ambitions for the project.

And you know what? I’m not going to tell you what it is. I will, however, show you a few pix from the project formerly known as The Future. (Click on images to enlarge.)

And thinking of this project in light of this new title has subtly shifted how I’m seeing the pictures, changed in some small way the things I’m looking for and photographing.

Funny how titles can do that, frame a thing.



The photos I shot in Barrhaven last year are about to be exhibited. I’ll hype the show/opening here on drool as the show (Suburb) approaches
(Sept 8).  Today, though, I want to talk about planning, waiting and preconception (which are my least favorite ways of photographing).

One of the first times I went to Barrhaven I stumbled upon a passing train. I didn’t even know a train went through the place. (BTW, stumbling and not knowing are two of my favorite photo-taking techniques.) Anyway, I snapped a shot and kind of liked it but thought, well, trains run on schedules, why don’t I scope out the tracks, find a better spot and lay in wait, get a better shot. So I did that. A few times.

Here’s a selfie of me missing the train, and the accompanying Instagram caption:

Went to Barrhaven to photo the train going by . . . picked out the perfect spot, then, because I was kind of early, bopped around and snapped some other pix. Figured I had lots of time to get back to the spot to catch the train. Lo and behold, as I was shooting elsewhere there I heard that lonesome whistle blow in the distance. The train was early. I comfort myself by telling myself that a/ I didn’t like the light anyway and b/ there’s always another train.

Anyway, without getting bogged down in details . . .
-I eventually did catch the train.
-Ended up liking the first, stumbled upon, photo best.
-All the train photos ended up on the cutting-room floor.

So much for planning, waiting and preconception.

Here are the Barrhaven train shots, all out-takes, in the order I shot them. (Click on images to enlarge.)



I was scrounging around looking for something in the heap I call my archives (analogue archives, that is) and happened upon this little book-thing I made in 1994. (I’ve got a ton of these one-off books, all produced in different ways.) This one’s called London Calling.

It’s sorta crude. Xerox had just come out with a copier that turned B&W photos into sort of halftone images, and I was taken with that and liked the whole DYI aesthetic and that it was so cheap. I just make ’em for myself, anyway. I guess you could call it research and development or, maybe, just a pastime. 


I welcome your comments. No vitriol please, but contrary opinions and insights are welcome.

Thank you for your time.


I’m haunted by questions about why I’ve started this blog up again. Wondering if I’ll just pick up where I left off three years ago, or if I should use this opportunity to dramatically change the tone of the thing.

Fucked if I know. I suppose that these questions will get worked out by the doing. After all, that’s how most stuff gets worked out . . . by applying yourself to the problem.

Path (click on images to enlarge)

One thing I do know is that we are all pretty much stuck, struck, confined and bound by certain in-born proclivities. Sure, we change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Evolution/devolution makes sense to me, so does the idea that every so often things (including us) go through radical, seismic changes.

And so it goes . . .

Mississippi River



Last week I postulated that, for me, photography is about process, growing, learning. I understand that there are other reasons folks take pictures, one of the main ones being to record an event. (Though these days the good-old record-an-event approach is more often than not tied in with the let’s-post-this-to-show-friends-my-charmed-life thing. And we all know that when photos are meant to be used as public relations it tends to shift the motivation for their creation.)

If you set out to record aspects of your life that you think are interesting, and if you want to share those images, I got no beef with that. We all do it. But if you want to call yourself a photographer, if you want to hone and learn from your practice, the only person you should be trying to impress is yourself. And you shouldn’t be too easily impressed, either.


I’m trying to photograph the future. That’s my current project. It’s out there, the future is.

Here are a couple of quotes from author William Gibson, whose book The Peripheral has inspired and informed this project:

“The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”

When people write imaginary futures, they’re never about the future. They can only be about the moment in which they were written, and the known history before that. We don’t have anything else.”

I’m not going to go into any real detail about THE FUTURE right now. Over time I’ll dribble (or is that: drool?) out more bits and pieces of this puzzle as they occur to me. But I do want to say that I have noticed that this is the first project I’ve done which embraces all three forms of shooting which I seem to be interested in. Namely: portrait, landscape and street. How all these will mesh together remains, like the future, to be seen.

I welcome your comments. No vitriol please, but contrary opinions and insights are welcome.