Canadian natural paradise

This is the view from my apartment window on a winter’s day. As I described it in an Instagram post, it’s situated somewhere between Mordor and the opening sequence from Blade Runner – and yet I absolutely love it. I’ve always been attracted to industrial scenery, and have come to distrust – for some part-aesthetic and part-psychological reason – beautiful, tree-lined, human-scale neighbourhoods. I should write more on this, come to think of it.


I rented a space in midtown Manhattan this week for a model test with Meghan Nelligan from Boston. It was the first time I’ve formally secured a location for a shoot – traditionally preferring to photograph while walking and exploring – and given the results I got, I think I’ll do it again.


Last fall I shot a few images of a bridal store in Roanoke, Virginia, before dawn. I love the feelings of stillness and waiting they evoke in me.

Giovanni Boldini

Giovanni Boldini, where have you BEEN all my life? I just ran across this portraitist’s work for the first time an hour ago, and I’m amazed at the vigour, liveliness, and confident-woman sexiness he infused his female subjects with. This particular portrait is of French actress Marthe de Florian, Boldini’s former muse. Painted in 1888, it was never exhibited and only re-discovered in 2010.


I was walking alongside Lake Ontario this evening with my youngest daughter as the light slowly dimmed and the lake calmed. The slate surface of the water lying almost inert beneath an indifferent grey sky seemed to form a kind of quiet partnership.

Summer’s shoulder

Last year in early July my girlfriend and I took a long weekend in the direction of cottage country. Sitting on the balcony of our resort room, I took a plain-vanilla evening picture of the placid lake in front of us and the far reflection of the opposite shore. And then I did nothing with it – until today, when I re-discovered the picture and subjected it to a great deal of exploratory re-working. The image that resulted is both traditional and also, I think, mysterious and even foreboding – the shoreline muddied by distance and blur and shadow, thin lines of birch trunks peeking out of the gloom like leg bones.

Restful, and yet.


Among other aspects of the urban environment I’m also fascinated by traffic flow, and by the attempts made by cities to smooth, maximize, or minimize it. In this photo, I see the basic problem of complexity meeting rigidity.

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