In my opinion, one of the finest and most influential photographers of the 20th century was the Japanese master of black-and-whites semi-surreals, Shoji Ueda
His canvases were the wonderful textures and lines of the dunes of the Sanin region of Shimane and his home prefecture of Tottori. His subjects included his wife and children, often nude, but he also played with hats and canes and country skies in a way that remind me strongly of the surreal work of Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.
His use of angles and depth give the viewer the experience that his land is quite literally the end of the earth, a magical and lonely place where his nudes are truly alone, where his lines are untouched in the sand.
The images above are mine, images where the stark simplicity owe much to the likes of Ueda. The first three were taken in Kagoshima, the fourth is Tokyo and he final image is in Toronto, Ontario.
East Vancouver 2009
Minimalism meets simple shadows just off of Commercial Drive. One my favourites as it reminds me of how bright and sunny Vancouver can be on rare occasions.
Some of the best colours are in parking lots. This is probably the one and only picture I will ever take in Mississauga, Ontario. Not that I have anything against the place. It was taken killing time while waiting for a flight back to Japan after my sister’s wedding which was the highlight of a great summer.
I love urban minimalism. Western Europe was a great place for me to shoot as it has so many interesting buildings with splashes of detail, angles and lines from which shadows might ensue. Amsterdam, in particular, is a dream with all of the low buildings that offer great little details like this while still letting enough sunshine pass between them.
Bright colour, texture, and decay caught my eye in Kagoshima with this image. It sometimes seems 3-dimensional, like you could run your fingers over the surface.
Very happy to announce the release of my second collection of photography, city in shadows. It’s a collection of shadow-centred images taken in many of my favourite cities around the world, including Tokyo, Amsterdam, New York, my former home of Kagoshima, Japan, and my current home of Vancouver. A lot of my common themes come up regularly in this collection including minimalism, abstract imagery, and urban decay. I maxed out the size of the book at a particular price point to try and add as much value as possible, meaning that this includes almost eighty pages of my work in total. Check it out here and please let me know what you think. Thanks for your support!
During a dream trip to New York in May of 2008 I spent one gray afternoon checking out the modern-day decay at Coney Island. Not far from the boardwalk was a bank of apartment buildings which were a perfect example of the kind of minimal repetition I seek out in architectural photos. The workers in the top right corner were an added bonus.
I travel quite frequently over the Second Narrows (Ironworkers Memorial) Bridge which joins East Vancouver and the industrial part of North Vancouver. From Bridgeway Street, right next to the bridge on the East Van side, you can access the grain elevators which is more or less from where I took this shot which was part of a larger series of four. The shadows just kill me and the little touches of primary colours still make me smile.
I love to work with flat walls like this as my canvas. This spot was a discovery walking home from work in Japan one day under an overpass. I thought, how perfect a symbol of the Japanese ideal of purity and cleanliness that not only was the underside of the overpass cleaned regularly, but a mop was also placed there permanently as a daily reminder. Simple yet elegant in its own way.