Tree in an abandoned garden.

Thoughts on A Walk in the Neighbourhood


Initially I wasn’t going to post these photos of just another walk in the neighbourhood but then I read an interview with Teju Cole in which he says:

“I let go the self-imposed pressure to create spectacular images. I mean, I let that pressure go probably a decade ago, but I still felt the pressure to “explain” my unspectacular images. I think this is one of the ways social media has rotted our brains: everything moves at a faster velocity now, everything is swiftly judged by its number of likes.”

Fernweh: An Interview with Teju Cole from American Suburb X.

We shouldn’t give a damn about the number of likes we receive, and taking away pressure to take ‘spectacular images’ frees you to spend time looking around for things that actually interest you. Don’t worry about why they interest you, leave that for another day.

Alan Huck’s I Walk Towards the Sun Which is Always Going Down is a wonderful example of this (and a wonderful title). Mostly mundane subdued monochrome images of walk after walk, just observing, taking note, and trying to understand his environment and what it means to be part of it.

On the afternoon I took these I was bored. My daughter — who now consumes most of my time — was at her grandparents for a few hours and I needed something to do so I went for a walk in the neighbourhood. I’ve done this many times before of course, we all have. I like exploring, and exploring my neighbourhood seems as valid as wandering around mountains or old hiking trails. There is always something new and quirky to be discovered.

So I walked wherever my instinct took me and photographed scenes that grabbed my attention (I also played around with the multi-exposure settings in camera just for fun).

Wanting to know more about where we choose to call home should be a priority and a walk is a great way to do that. So go out with a camera, look around, and shoot what intrigues you. Ignore the likes.

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Based in Japan since 2001 I spend free days adventuring into the mountainous regions of central Honshu and occasionally Hokkaido. In 2021, I plan to slow down and talk to more people. Feel free to email me.