Newsletter - August 2017



A common question I get asked is "What kind of photographs do you take?" It's a simple question, the answer though is far from that. It would be easy enough to answer if I followed more traditional styles of photography (landscapes, portraits, nature, etc) — these people can understand. I start to run into problems (keeping an audience interested) when I use words like street photography, abstraction, conceptual ...

That question above has had me thinking about my own work for sometime, how do I define the images I make and myself as a photographer? There are pages and pages in my journal devoted to exploring this answer, with a fair swathe scribbled out. Rather than trying to pigeonhole myself into a traditional style I opted to look at my various projects and ask "What are they exploring?" This was (somewhat) easier to answer.

I was able to fit my work into three themes which I explore, whether this is an answer that will suffice, interest, or better create an image in someone's mind of the images I make I am unsure. At the least I hope it will allow for people to ask more questions (always ask questions, even when you find out the answer, keep digging). I even went as far as redesigning and reorganizing my website to reflect this new answer (you've probably noticed this already!).

"I explore themes around Surfaces, Spaces & Time."

Take a look at the revamped site and let me know what you think, or feel free to ask me anything related to it, I'm happy to answer!

Interesting things

  • I've chatted with a few people who talk about a "restlessness", a deep feeling that they should always be working on or doing something. Many of these people say they never feel relaxed and have guilt about being lazy.
  • Social media and digital platforms have connected photographers globally, it may have also killed the ability to tell a story beyond a single image
  • Campari has a unique taste, one I have described as "old dust on a window" - however, having tried a Negroni recently at a bar in Golden Gai in Shinjuku, I'm coming around to this unusual flavour (it helps that this drink has gin in it).
  • An interesting take on an architectural photography project - urban design failures.
  • Curious to learn more about my photography? Vincent included my photography in a video series he created about Painterly PhotographyWatch the entire series, it's really well done — you can watch the episode featuring my work below.
Kristopher Matheson is a Canadian photographer who lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. His work has a meditative and contemplative feel to it, as he often explores certain themes again and again, searching for new inspirations and directions. He has an amazing sense of balance in his compositions and choices of color and tonality that gives his work a painterly sensibility.

If you enjoyed this month's Newsletter the best way to support it is to pass it along to someone else who might like it, buy a print, or share it with everyone on your social media! Thanks for taking the time to read.


July 2017

Selected photographs I have taken in July 2017.

Newsletter - July 2017



I enjoy reading (probably more so than I enjoy photography) and have a tendency to underline quotes that match who I am and how I think or feel. Since I have the habit of going back to re-read books I come across these underlined passages from time to time. Last month I decided to start writing down the quotes on 5x3 recipe cards; what I will do with these I don't really know yet. I figured here was a good place to share a little insight into what & how I think, and also give you something to consider.

Interesting things

  • I'm running out of bookshelf space, and thinking one day of having to move my books half way across to the globe back to Canada gives me pause in buying something new. This small periodical makes me second guess my book ban.
  • Any other science fiction or fantasy book nerds reading this? Here's an older reading list that I've had bookmarked for a while. Since summer is coming and I tend to do more reading this time of year let me know if there are any I should buy.
  • Shinjuku station, the busiest station in the world. A labyrinth of exits, entrances, train lines, shops and ... sight of 1969 counter culture movement in Japan. Wait what? Hard to believe it was the stage of anti-war concerts, demonstrations, rallies and hunger strikes.
  • An art campaign created to show the environmental benefits of walking.
  • How to make a woodblock print: "To make a print one needs paper, colour and blocks." A bit simplistic since you need to carve an image into a block of wood which requires special tools, long periods of time, and well SKILL. However it's a decent simplified introduction to the process.
  • "A few hours a week, Carole does my laundry and counts my pills and picks up after me. I look forward to her presence and feel relief when she leaves. Now and then, especially at night, solitude loses its soft power and loneliness takes over. I am grateful when solitude returns."
  • Kathleen Donohoe examines the landscape of memory, the style of the prints is what originally caught my eye, this also reminds me of my own (neglected) series involving memory.

Visual Review June 2017

Call this a monthly photo-journal, a selection of images that I took during June. Most of these images I took while walking around on my breaks from teaching, but a few of these images are for projects that are currently "In Progress".

Enjoy the photos, and I'd appreciate if you could take a moment to let me know what you think (good or bad). Thanks!

If you enjoyed this month's Newsletter the best way to support it is to pass it along to someone else who might like it. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone who has purchased prints from Editions of Three!

Frozen & Shattered

Memory is delicate, we think of it as static, but it's fluid and ever changing. Each memory we have is clouded by our conceptions, perceptions, moods, and through time — what we think we remember may not have been.

We carry memories we wish we could destroy, to remove their burden upon us. How about a good memory? Would you willfully destroy a single good memory? Photography is one way we augment our recollection of life and events. What we photograph is how we want to conceive the present — later the past — and how we wish to be perceived. Would you be willing to destroy a photograph that binds you to a special memory or event? Would destroying it help you to have a stronger connection, especially if all traces of that photograph would be gone? Leaving you with only the memory.

That is what I did.

Moving to Tokyo in 2006 was a significant life event for me, so for this project I chose one photograph for every year that I have been living in Japan — photographs that hold special importance to me. There needed to be meaning in each photograph, a strong emotional connection to an important event or a certain memory; a photograph that would be missed if it was gone. Without that emotional connection this project would have been for naught.

Once selected I printed one copy of each photograph, and then froze them — like how I perceive the memory of that event is frozen in my mind. These frozen images, like the memories of them I carry, are clouded, cracked and distorted. Then I purposely shattered each one, much like the way our perceptions of an event can be shattered when confronted with conflicting evidence.

I then went one step further — destruction. I deleted the digital file for each photograph, and erased the surface of each one clean — I removed all traces of the photographs, leaving only these frozen and shattered images, and the memories I carry with me. I would like to believe that by purposely destroying these photographs I have strengthened the memory of the event depicted, but in time what will I recall? The authentic memory, or the reality of the memory that I have constructed in my mind ...