Jet lag got the best of me and I ended up passing out after the flight and waking up at an ungodly hour. Every other time I’ve been to Tokyo I either lived in Itabashi or stayed with friends there. It’s about a 45 minute subway to Shibuya so I’d never seen the area in the true early morning. Usually the streets are packed with people going to work, shopping, hanging with friends or tourists checking out the neighbourhood. It’s truly jammed beyond all belief.
In the early morning hours the streets were deserted. Cleaners moved to clear the piles of the previous night’s trash while passed out salarymen coaxed themselves off the ground, it was a pretty peaceful time. I saw the neighbourhood in a way I’d never seen it before. As the trains began to rattle into the station and fill the streets with workers filing to their offices I began to appreciate just how insane a job the transportation network does in this city.
In 2011 I bought my first DSLR to document a trip I was taking through South East Asia with my friend. It was a Canon T2i, one of the most affordable options for good video at the time. I worked two jobs through the summer to buy a flight and a camera in order to document, what for me at the time, was an absolutely monstrous trip. I was half way through my History degree at the University of Toronto and I had no idea that that purchase would completely change the course of my life.
Now it’s 5 years later and I’m soon to be traveling back to one of the first places I ever shot: Hong Kong. Most of the photos I took on my original trip are complete shit; overexposed, out of focus, framed in the weirdest ways imaginable, but I had a lot of fun shooting them.
Over the weekend I dusted off an old hard drive containing the photos I shot and gave some of them a reedit for fun. Although I never thought I had a “style”, seeing the way I used to interpret photography really changed the way I saw my “style” today. There are inklings of the way I might shoot today in these photos, yet the vast major were shot in a completely different way. I guess if you just keep shooting you’ll find your style whether you like it or not!
The Rocky Mountain range in Western Canada is incredible. I had not been back since the time I was drove through on a booster seat in the back of my parent’s car at age 3. While traveling west-ward on the No Shortcuts film we decided to camp in Jasper National Park and Banff National Park for a few days to explore. Each day I convinced the crew we should wake up before sunrise to catch the golden morning sun light peaking over the mountain tops. It was the best decision we could’ve made. Every morning the park was almost completely deserted despite it being the height of the season. We were left alone with nothing but beautiful golden light, clouds of morning mist blanketing the forest and packs of grazing elk.
If you’re thinking about visiting either park I wholeheartedly recommend waking up before sunrise to explore rather than wading through hordes of tourists. It gets busy. Real busy.