HIDDEN FACES PASSING BY
Hidden Faces Passing By is a unique photo collection born out of my love for both people and ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) photography. My images depict ordinary human beings, just like you and me, as they go about their everyday business, but in a way that focused photography could never achieve. It's about movement, emotion, posture and demeanour without the need to reveal the identity of the person being photographed. As I sit and observe, sometimes for hours at a time, every facet of life is played out before me: I watch a lady hurry to the supermarket on the corner and return with a few essential items, I see people going back and forth to work, people meeting friends, a father carrying his sleeping child and people conducting business. I witness laughter, tears, arguments, loneliness, vulnerability, innocence and love. Using the ICM technique, I try honour the beauty of ordinary life in an extraordinary way. And alongside many of the images, there is a story, just like life itself, because Hidden Faces is more than just images, it's a visual depiction of society and how we live.
like a mirage
I sit opposite this white wall, seeking contrast - someone in dark clothing. Today though, as I saw this lady walking towards my spot, I was struck by how everything about her spoke of how oppressive the searing heat was. She was dressed in very pale colours, her silver grey hair was arranged in a gentle bun and her skin was like alabaster. She passed the white wall almost like a mirage shimmering in the heat and only the shadow she cast upon the floor held any darkness at all.
nothing is what it seems
Walking with my camera, looking around, observing, watching, feeling the mood on this hot summer’s day. There are too many people around so I decide to sit. I can’t observe adequately from within. A few minutes later, something happens and I get the shot. Now, tell me. What did I see here? What did I capture? What do YOU see here?
the girl who walks on sunbeams
when will it be me?
I watched this (I guess) mother and daughter leaving a traditional wedding yesterday and as the daughter turned to speak to her mum, I imagined her saying, “When will it be my turn, Mum? When will it be me?” Of course they might not have been mother and daughter and she might well have been saying, “Pfffff! I’m never getting married, come on let’s go get drunk!”
love you forever
"i'll love you forever, i'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be" (words by Robert Munsch)
and in the end we all fade to grey
This beautifully dressed Arabian lady passed close enough to where I was sitting for me to smell her perfume. These ladies always smell sensational and I understand they have their perfume specially blended so it’s unique to them. Yet another lady immersed in her conversation and seemingly oblivious to the heat or her surroundings. I just love her stance, her movement and her attitude.
hand in hand
one saturday in summer
it was cold and windy today. And it rained. A major summer event was cancelled due to bad weather. In between the bouts of rain the streets were full, but there was a strange sense of urgency in the air, no one seemed quite able to relax. From my bench, I observed the usual mix of locals and tourists as closely as I always do and it was only later, when I realized just how cold it really was, that I knew I had probably sat a little too long.
This image epitomises the pure delight we experience at the very beginning of a trip or holiday. It’s all still so new, you step off the train or plane and all the sights, smells and sounds are so different from those of your everyday life. I spotted them walking up the street from the main railway station and captured them as I waited in line for an ice cream. The empty space before them, empty now but full of ideas, plans and sweet anticipation.
During the summer months, there are many many guests from the UAE and I am drawn to the varied but invariably beautiful ways the ladies dress and how they carry themselves. We must learn to simply enjoy beauty for what it is, instead of analyzing the cultural whys and wherefores.
I spotted this little boy walking just behind his family. He was with them but at the same time he seemed a million miles away. He didn’t appear to be discontented, just somewhat disconnected. Sometimes that’s a good thing. I just love how the light is falling across his head and torso. A beautiful child.
I sat on a low wall in the village watching the comings and goings. This young boy was weaving through the crowd on his scooter, head thrown back and a carefree smile upon his lips. I got just one shot and he disappeared as quickly as he’d arrived. When I saw the image it struck me how innocent children really are and how we must do what we can to protect that innocence by ensuring that children are allowed to be children. Scooters not smartphones.
This family meandered along the hot street, ensuring they kept in the shade. All except this little girl. She danced and skipped in the sunshine, weaving her way through the crowd and around benches and trees. At one point she was around 20-30 metres behind the group and mum stopped and turned around with the biggest smile, calling her to join them and she broke into a run. I captured her just as she had almost caught them up.
today I was shooting in beautiful Kitzbühel and it was one of those hot summer days when the sun is splitting the stones. I sat in the shade in a narrow side street and shot the meter or so of bright sunlight on the pavement opposite. I love the stark contrast of the shadow against the ultra bright light but I was very glad to be on this side of the street!
a modern day angel in the city
"we continue to explore ourselves...
half a woman, half a shadow
gossip is a girl's best friend
he walks alone
the solitary man
just another ordinary day
in my dreams i roam the dark alleys
alone in the crowd
father and daughter
a question of contrast
business as usual
reflections of youth
the working man
grow old along with me
I love seeing the UAE visitors with their beautiful robes, adorable children and their evident delight at all things Austrian. There are those who feel uneasy about their presence but a hello in English is always reciprocated. I watched this family approach- dad pushing a twin buggy and mum walking with three other young children, skipping along. They went into a shop selling Austrian clothing and both little girls came out wearing traditional Austrian dresses. Beautiful! Embrace diversity!
just another rainy monday
it rained today. It’s mid July and it rained. I passed my neighbor on the street. We smiled and nodded because we both like the rain whilst others are in mourning for lost summer days. It rained today.
grasping at shadows
I watched these two ladies approaching. One young, tall, beautiful and full of poise. The other grey haired, older, shorter and a little rotund, watching the younger woman walking just ahead. As they passed they were both in profile and knowing the younger one would come out as a shadowy silhouette, I looked at the older lady and thought, no, don’t grasp at a shadow of what once was, you are a product of experience, wisdom and life. So live!
a solitary journey
In 2019 when I shot the majority of the Hidden Faces series, it was often difficult to find a solitary figure. Now, in October 2020, with Austria's cities and streets bereft of tourists, they are everywhere. People walking alone to their places of business, to the shops, to carry out the necessary tasks of everyday life or just home. It feels very strange indeed.
bolzano - the obstmarkt
an ordinary life
It's October 2020 and across the world many of us are tired. Tired of living a life we hardly recognise and tired of the constant stress and uncertainty. But the virus isn't tired of us yet and so we must continue to go about our business the best we can. We work where work is available, we shop, we walk through the streets we love. And as we walk we pass those we know, smiling the 2020 smile, the smile that masks our weariness. And as we walk, we long for a return to an ordinary life.