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I’d just shuffled forward to the red block embedded in the snow and turned the catch the approaching chair, when he scooted forward and sat next to me. Sharing a chairlift with someone else can be a bit hit and miss – turns out Keoki Flagg is a photographer on his day off, enjoy some of the 100 odd inches of snow we just had drop on us. We get chatting and I promise to visit his gallery in the village at Squaw.

The next afternoon, I duly pop in after another fantastic day riding Squaw. Wow. His photos are incredible and I wander around open-mouthed at his images and how they’re presented – bonded straight onto a high-quality perspex that gives them an incredible pop. ‘High Definition for photos’ is how he describes it. Over the course of our chat, I reveal that I enjoy a bit of photography too and he asks me the question that has prompted this blog – ‘what subject do you shoot?’.

I stumbled over some incoherent answer and have been thinking about it ever since. What do I shoot? Well I guess it’s what I see, which is often travel-related, but sometimes landscapes, sometimes abstracts, sometimes black and white, light/form. Hmm. I have tried to define my approach before, but somehow felt that I haven’t really got it straight yet. I like the element of chance, uncertainty and spontaneity and I’d love to be a street photographer (particularly after watching a clip about the rediscovery of Vivian Maier’s work), but I feel uncomfortable literally taking someone’s picture. It feels invasive. So instead I try to be present, to pick out little details, things that speak to me about a place and time. So does that make me a sort of inanimate street photographer? Or documentary self-portrait? I dunno really and I guess it doesn’t matter, but I’d like to be able to answer that question in a more self-assured way next time.

Returning to San Francisco, the only natural thing to do was to take my camera out and go and take some photos. See what you think.

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