The human cost of round-the-clock convenience?
This first photo was taken back in the summer of 2014. It remains a firm favourite of mine — a scene I’m fond of for so many reasons, and the memory of pressing the shutter is still so fresh it almost feels like it was taken yesterday.
The next time I walked past is similarly clear in my mind, as I was shocked to find the house abandoned and empty. A home once so full of life was suddenly utterly bereft of it — even the colours weren’t there anymore. A structure so instantly recognisable, and yet at the same time so completely different.
Over time the only real sign of life was a plant that made it through the wall and into the kitchen. A poignant, and in many ways apt reminder of the resilience that once defined the house and its elderly owner.
And now, almost exactly 7 years to the day since that first photo, the cycle is in some ways complete. The building is gone, but the colour has returned, and if one blinks or squints a little, there’s also a fleeting reminder of the old lady who once lived her life there.
How long it has been there and how long it has been abandoned is anybody’s guess. Similarly, the owner remains a complete mystery aside from the clothes left behind. So with little in the way of information, there’s lots left to the imagination, which in some ways makes it all the more interesting.
On my Instagram account, the majority of photos are of faded and dilapidated old shopfronts — images that are taken on my phone and shot exclusively in square format. Part of the reason for this is that creatively, a different aspect ratio forces me to adopt a slightly different approach, plus on a purely practical level, the wider lens on the phone means I can still get shots when the situation requires something other than my favoured 35mm.
When space allows, however, many buildings work better in standard landscape, and for me at least, the vast majority of photos work better still if there’s a person involved. So here then are some such scenes — all of which were shot in Tokyo, with a Leica, over the last couple of months.