By my own definition, urban wandering photography is a visual exploration of the city. It is similar to documentary photography but less formal. In addition to architecture, it covers street scenes, found objects and various curiosities. It is perhaps closest to street photography, but in my case it doesn’t focus on people and even avoids depicting them.
While urban wandering conjures the images of flâneurs and flâneuses, an urban wanderer is not an idle bourgeois, but an engaged citizen who adores the city and uses photography to illuminate relevant issues, directly or indirectly. It is helpful to occasionally wander off into other neighborhoods, but walking in one’s own neighborhood every day makes it possible to notice and capture fluctuation and change.
Deadpan industrial facades, unexpected splashes of midcentury modernism, and older housing abutting small industry
After years of demolition, construction and gentrification that replaces working class businesses with middle and upper class artisanal productions, Ballard still retains large areas of small manufacturing and distribution. This essay follows my walk in the area between 15th Avenue NW, NW Market Street and 11th Avenue NW, then down NW Leary Way to “Frelard.”