STATEMENT

We learn geography with our feet, some say. I started photography, because it helped me understand the world, and express my own vision of what I feel. My photographs are my way to make sense of what I see, of what I understand, of the places where I have been wandering.

I practice what is called street photography or, more specifically, lost photography, as suggested by David Gibson: “street photographers need to get lost.” I walk to photograph, getting literally lost, sometimes not knowing exactly where I am, to reveal what I see, not necessarily what would appeal to others; but this permits me to say what matters to me about the places and the people. My photography expands my teaching and research experience in city and urban planning. It is another way to continue to practice what I did for so long. As proposed by Elliot Erwitt, “photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” My photographs say as much about the places I have seen, than about me. We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are, wrote Anaïs Nin. It connects me with the world, and people, those who are in the photographs, and those who are looking at the photographs. This helps me grow as a person.

 

Being a photographer is to learn a geography of places, some common, some uncommon, but more importantly it is a geography of slowness. My photographs bear witness to a very personal geography, partial and incomplete, of the world where I live. Photography forces me to take time, to observe, to find what can move me, to reveal what some of us will see, without seeing, to reveal what is essential. It is more about emotion, more about what I can learn and say than about beauty.

BIO

I have been photographing since I was a kid, after I discovered, with the help of my father, the power of photography. I learned to photograph when it was analog, and developed and printed in both B+W and colour (from slides). I abandoned photography for many years, and came back recently, when digital cameras and printers were introduced, and capable. I am still photographing on film, sometimes instant film, but I mostly work with a digital camera. I am mostly self-taught, but I had the chances to take inspiring courses and workshops (in Cobourg, Montréal, Percé, Rockport) that gave me a better understanding of what photography is, of what it means, and how to bring out my vision.

© 2020 Paul Lewis.

email : paul@paullewis.photos

Paul Lewis Montreal Quebec Canada photography photographie street rue cities villes lost