The Camera as Sketchbook

I’m prepping for a talk on my manuscript in progress which features street photography and poetry.

In some ways, the camera has become my sketchbook.

Here’s Henri Cartier-Bresson from The Mind’s Eye (and the first part of the book is titled “The Camera as Sketchbook”):

For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. (The Mind’s Eye pg. 15)

For the street photographer, the camera is a tool for thinking …

Here are some of the photographs I’ll be talking about, the first of which has been featured in a previous entry.

They are each paired with a poem in the manuscript.

I’m only including fragments of the accompanying poems here.

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“how hong kong works, no one knows,
though everyone says mm goi, mm goi,
thank you, small favour, another name
for waiter, excuse me, help.”


IMG_20130307_0033 640


“one can only be a tourist
constantly taking pictures

posing and making sense”


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“i tell myself i am a camera
though i am a camera trying to be a man

because a camera captures everything
and is nothing in itself.”


What they have in common: they’re about looking at the act of looking. In a way, these are photographs of myself…

Thanks for reading.

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