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his master’s voice

urban dog series

The newest addition to my Urban Dog series. This series began more than seven years ago at the 2011 Magnum Workshops in Toronto when I took a workshop with Larry Towell. Some of these photographs remain my personal favourites.


photo of the day: festival of souls

Bon Odori 2018

One of my favourite village events has to be Bon Odori. A Buddhist celebration held in July on the grounds of Steveston’s Buddhist temple, Bon Odori is known as the Festival of Souls. It is during this time the Japanese believe the souls of their ancestors return and the dances are performed to welcome their spirits. For more images from the festival, click here.


bodyworks 2018

1957 Ford Fairlane

White 1957 Ford Fairlane

The annual Richmond Salmon Festival Car Show is a favourite of mine and this year was no exception. I had a chance to see some classic cars I hadn’t seen before and to add some pictures to the Bodyworks series. Read More


new series: shinrin-yoku

I haven’t had a real break from work since last fall when I was in New Mexico. Getting away for a few days last month was just what I needed. The drive down Highway 101 is one of my favourites. I still haven’t done the whole highway but I did add a few more miles visiting new places and returning to old favourites. Let’s just say this will be known as the burgers and ice cream trip along with the two times I narrowly escaped death. No hyperbole there.

One of the best parts of this trip was visiting The Avenue of the Giants. It is a 32-mile stretch of old highway that runs parallel to Highway 101. I could describe it to you but I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves. You can find my latest gallery here.


always be working

Road Trip


Six years ago in a Magnum workshop, Larry Towell gave me some advice I’ve tried to put into practice. Because I’m not a professional photographer and the amount of time I have to make photographs is limited, he suggested I take a chunk of vacation time and devote it entirely to photography either working on a project or traveling to a place to make pictures.  Later that year I took a road trip and saw some incredible landscapes for the first time when I visited the Salt Flats in Utah, drove miles and miles through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, sat wide-eyed looking up at the majestic sandstone cliffs in Zion, perched on the edge of Bryce Canyon, and was dazzled by the star-filled skies in Moab.

The following year I travelled to Thailand for a month, met some online friends in real life, and made new friends while photographing the Doi Tong Development project. The next year I managed to take a couple of short trips to Montana and to see Yellowstone National Park. No pictures of note but still I had the chance to follow Larry’s suggestion to carve out dedicated time to make photographs. One year was pretty bleak as I would soon be unemployed but still I traveled to New Orleans and create a series called Colour Wheels where I had a chance to work with a young writer, Emily Kawahara, and made one of my favourite single images while spending time with Bill Allard. In 2015 I didn’t have a block of time to travel and photograph as I started a new job but I used some unpaid time to be a part of an artist residency in New York. It didn’t seem so pressing either because I was into Year 2 of a long-term project close to home called The Village Life.

The road trip to Utah a few years earlier had sold me on exploring more places in the United States. In 2016 I tagged along with Raymond Ketcham as he photographed his project on Route 95. We saw few signs of the undercurrents that later would dramatically shift the country politically. In retrospect, in much of what I saw and felt, it was there. The pictures were few and the time was spent experimenting with instant film. Later in the year I travelled to visit my good friends Stuart and JoEllen who live in Indiana and created a small Instax series, A Walk in the Woods. Sometimes the work isn’t there in volume but I’ve always had things to keep me photographing especially my Village Life project which includes another Instax series, Tokyo Swing. It is one I plan to add to each year when the Obon Festival is held in Steveston.

As I write this post I realize how much work I have been doing although somehow it hasn’t felt that way. I think that is because I have spent less time talking about my work and more time making photographs. These days I don’t share my work as frequently or write blog posts about my photographs and while I feel the pressure to not go unnoticed, there is a certain freedom to simply work. Perhaps this is the same feeling Leonard Cohen wrote of in a personal letter to a friend: “My publisher refused my novel. Since hearing the news I have been strangely exultant. I feel free again, the way I felt before a line of mine was ever published.”  I wonder too if there is something about the work we create if we are more concerned with people liking our pictures than the content of the photographs themselves. The truth is once you let go of the need for validation, your photographs will get worse before they get better. Keep photographing though and you will likely discover the missing ingredient is a sense of purpose in your work. It won’t be easy to uncover what that is but if you persist in making pictures without the hinderance of constantly amplifying your work, I promise the revelations will come.