Through a Lens Darkly
This is an extract from my book Through a Lens Darkly published in May 2007.
I have long been fascinated by nocturnal cityscapes; urban spaces take on a very different appearance by night from the day - for the photographer, images which would be full of the noise of daily urban life are distilled by the clarity of the night time emptiness. I have been taking photos of many different cities at night for a number of years now, often wandering randomly about the streets and chancing upon images which strike a chord with me.
It was not until recently, when I had gathered a large collection of such images and was putting together an exhibition of them (at Amber Arts, Edinburgh Oct 2005) and later putting together a book of these images, that it occurred to me that this series of images can be thought of as embodying the idea, first expounded in the 19th century by Baudelaire and later taken up by Walter Benjamin, of the flâneur, a sort of urban wanderer observing and engaging emotionally and psychologically with the urban environment as an act of artistic endeavour.