Urban Wandering

Urban Wandering

By my own definition, urban wandering photography is 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.

Please follow me on Instagram for daily posts of my urban wandering.

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Deadpan industrial facades, unexpected splashes of midcentury modernism, and older housing abutting small industry…

As Seattle’s demolition frenzy continues to obliterate the histories of entire neighborhoods, my work celebrates the city’s unofficial landmarks. I engage in “urban wandering” and tell stories through photography and photo-based collage, sharing my love of place and inviting others to advocate for the places they love.Urban wandering reveals a wealth of architectural and visual character in every
neighborhood.

Last year, walking around Ballard, I noticed the unassuming beauty of its older commercial zones. Well-known and well-loved among Seattle neighborhoods, Ballard has long been home to small and medium businesses serving the maritime and aviation industries. Despite so many of its blue-collar businesses yielding to upperclass artisanal ones in recent years, small manufacturing (and complementary infrastructure) are still an important part of the neighborhood’s distinct personality.

While the city’s explosive growth and relentless gentrification will likely continue to reshape the neighborhood, its deadpan commercial facades, older housing abutting small industry, and mid-century modernism carry a visual and emotional quality that no new development can replace.

 

Honoring my mentor with my visual take on Seattle’s favorite landmark…

Pike Place Market lovers and followers of late John Stamets’ work will remember his late eighties photo book Portrait of a Market. In August 2017, the Stamets family and Friends of the Market created an exhibit of John’s panoramic photos, digitally reproduced and placed in the same locations the original photos were taken. The program included a docent-led tour and opportunities to document the Market with our own cameras. This is a snapshot of the market through my lens. John Stamets was one of my most influential photo-mentors, and this essay honors him as well as this important Seattle landmark.