The details of a city

street photography in Sydney | Life After Elizabeth

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for photography.

When I lived in Ottawa, I used to take pictures all the time. I’d carry my SLR camera like a sling, bringing it with me wherever I went. I loved coming home at the end of the day with a camera full of pictures, carefully choose which ones to edit. Photography used to be my favorite form of creative expression.

But when mobile phones came out with better cameras, I took my SLR camera out less and less. Eventually I realized it was far more convenient to carry a phone in my pocket rather than lugging around a breakable, expensive camera. From then on I ended up taking boring staged photos and rarely captured the moments in the way I used to. In some situations convenience can really kill creativity.

Lately the desire to capture moments in the same way I once did has suddenly sprung up again.

I suppose the inspiration comes from wanting to slow life down by paying attention and an inspiring book I read recently. It’s called ‘Insomniac City‘ by Bill Hayes. It’s a beautiful memoir about grief, love, photography and starting over.

“The most we can do is to write—intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively—about what it is like living in the world at this time.”
― Bill Hayes

After his partner unexpectedly dies, he decides to move to New York City to build a new life for himself. His depiction of heartache and grief was so relatable. Photography saved him from depression, his camera pulled him outside and kept him on a search for beautiful moments. Soon enough he ends up falling in love again with none other Oliver Sacks – I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with Oliver Sacks?!

His photos capture life perfectly. They’re like a blink, a moment caught on pause before it’s flooded over with conversation or movement. I love that kind of photography.

So I started taking hundreds of pictures capturing moments in Sydney. Nothing staged, nothing particularly special, just the random details everyday life. After all, our life is made of details. Everything we experience and build memories from is a collection of details. They’re the tiny pebbles in the sand that form the whole; from the way young city dwellers march on their way to their 9-5 jobs, to the way our keys fit into the door at the end of a long day.

It’s all the little moments that make our entire lives.

street photography in Sydney | Life After Elizabethstreet photography in Sydney | Life After Elizabeth

 

 

One thought on “The details of a city

  1. Nip it in the bud

    I really like the sound of that book, I’ll have to see if it’s in the library. It’s great you’ve rediscovered your love of photography. I’m coming to photography from the other end, finding the limitations of a phone camera so starting my journey with a DSLR. I like how you describe it as slowing down life when given the right focus. I look forward to seeing more of how life looks through your lens

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