I’ve been putting together this collection of photographs of York for the “Cities” collab, and I felt this would be a good time to provide some context for them.
York already appears in nearly all of my street photography, so what need is there for another series on the subject? Especially one that probably seems, at first glance, to be rather random?
In a nutshell, I believe there are two things that define a city: the first is the way the individual experiences it, the individual in this case being me. My experience of simply walking these comfortably familiar streets and reporting back, via my camera, all the little things I have encountered, from the funny to the bizarre to the just plain curious.
The locations I have captured are all place of personal significance to me. The obvious flaw with this strategy is that they only hold meaning to me. However, I was adamant when I started this project that I was not going to give the ‘tourist brochure’ photographic tour of York. What would be the point? There are plenty of wonderful photos of, for example, York Minster, taken by much more talented people than myself out there. For all that I lack in experience of actual photo-taking, no one else can reproduce my perception of York as a city. It is entirely unique.
So yes, perhaps some of these pictures are a little alienating and dull, but I like to think some things are universal anyway (the appeal of the Hope Street sign certainly seems to have been!)
The second thing I hoped to capture through my photos is the people of York themselves. Because – and I believe this is true the world over – I think cities are defined by the people. By how they interact with the city through the course of their daily lives, as well as how they interact with each other.
I mentioned in this album’s opening text that one of the things that draws me to York is the sense of individualism I see reflected among the people, which is the opposite of how I feel about my hometown, which seems to stifle it. I do hope that I have also captured that in some small way!
I’ll be adding more pictures as soon as I am able to, but I think (hope!) that these 50 photos have made for a decent enough starting point to my little tour.