Photography

I tend to be very spontaneous in my photography. There is rarely any premeditation involved; often an image hooks onto a familiar feeling or an idea, and sometimes provokes a new thought. All of my images are shot on Ilford black-and-white film, some on 35mm and some on medium-format, and hand-developed and printed. At times, I shoot inside a studio, but I try to work with natural light as much as I can.  Most of my work was shot away from where I grew up; I find the nomadism of living "in exile" to be a great stimulant of creativity, a way to find departures from familiar patterns.

 

Chains (South Africa, India)

Picking up the camera for the first time in almost five years, this time while on fieldwork in South Africa, I found it hard to see "subtlety" in the compositions around me. Isn't subtlety what photographers strive for? Or perhaps it's the shock value of a picture? Or perhaps a combination of both. Chains are both shocking and subtle: the shackles of poverty, the causal links between past and present...

 

The Edges of the Ocean (South Africa, India)

Shooting on the east coast of South Africa, and then on the west coast of India, the two sides of the Indian ocean, I wondered what the two places had in common. Did the ocean currents carry with them the currents of history?

 

Remembering Progress (Nepal, India, USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

I often find myself thinking about the idea of "progress." What does it mean to "move ahead," as a person, as a society? Can progress be defined universally, or is it dependent on culture? Sometimes I find that the best way to explore these questions is to pick up a camera and see the contradictions of progress reflected in frozen moments.

 

Faces (Nepal, USA, Marshall Islands, UK)

I have always found portrait photography challenging. Yet it is one of the most rewarding forms of photography. A good portrait captures something truly unique about a person, creates an image that is genuinely unlike any other image ever created, and through the image creates a connection with another.

 

Impressions of Stillness I (USA)

The idea of stillness is truly fascinating to me. It seems almost anathema to how so much of our world is structured. Movement. Speed. Yet life consists of moments of stillness. Much like the invisible black matter of the universe, our life is full of stillness. Sometimes I pick up my camera and wonder what happens if I become attuned to the stillness around me.

 

Impressions of Stillness II (Nepal, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Stillness can easily become imbued with many layers of meaning. A children's mask inside a house that had been bombed in Mostar, Bosnia an Herzegovina. The water reflection of a bridge in the same city that was for centuries a symbol of peace between religions, only to become a site of destruction. A view from a window in Kathmandu, Nepal: a picture that seemed so ordinary to me until a major earthquake struck the country. 

 

Like A Wreath Of Flowers (Marshall Islands)

The Marshallese national anthem compares the country to a "wreath of flowers upon the sea." Yet many of the realities I encountered while living here showed me what had happened to the flowers in the name of "development" and "economic growth." Ocean waves crash against graves due to rising sea levels. Car wreckages abandoned, and dreams crushed, all amidst beautiful flowers.

Life Of The Stage (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marshall Islands)

I had a chance to work on several Shakespearean productions organized by an NGO that brings theater to under resourced areas of the world. A Bosnian Prospero makes a speech about forgiveness. A Marshallese Hamlet compares life to a play, and the director is in deep introspection during a free moment. Sometimes the stage becomes alive in unexpected moments.