The internet is filled with photographs of Vancouver. If you do a Google image search you will see beauty everywhere you look. Sweeping vistas, snow-topped mountains, monumental trees, public art, open water – a vision of what everyone thinks a modern city should be in the 21st century.
People are naturally drawn to photograph what is beautiful. You see them flocking like moths to a candle-flame photographing this unique urban landscape where the mountains meet the sea. It presents to the world a sanitised view of this city so when I moved here last year I resolved to look at the city through different eyes.
When the French photojournalist Raymond Depardon visited Glasgow in 1980 he had been commissioned by the Sunday Times to photograph the city. Instead of going to places of high fashion or culture he chose to photograph its dark underbelly and produced one of the most striking series of photographs of that city that have ever been taken. One of the images is below (copyright Raymond Depardon/Magnum).
Due to its hard-hitting nature the series was never published and remained largely unknown until it was shown in the exhibition ‘Un moment si doux’ at the Grand Palais in 2013. It is now available in a book Glasgow by Raymond Depardon and is well worth buying.
Like Depardon I am naturally drawn to photograph the grittier side of any city where I find myself and his images of Glasgow were the seeds from which this new photo series of Vancouver has grown. The images here are from the first two days of photography so only begin to scratch the surface of this fascinating city. All photos were taken using a Fuji XT1 with Classic Chrome film simulation enabled hence the colour balance. This is a work in progress and I hope to document large parts of this city before they are lost to modern development and become too clean, quiet or secure.