Gavin Stokes sends us a collection of photographs and a few words dedicated to the visually chaotic storefronts of Ho Chi Minh City.
My name is Gavin Stokes I live and work in Dublin, by day I’m a mild mannered, (many would disagree with that vehemently), programmer for the government and by night and the weekend a photographer of the everyday, unusual and life in general.
I’d love to say I had a flash bulb moment that inspired me to become a photographer but in reality it was part of my college course in Design and Presentation. I dabbled on and off in it for a number of years until I went back to study it at night in the National College of Art Design Dublin, which gave me more of an understanding of the image and more direction and focus in my work.
Shop fronts is series of photos that were taken while traveling through Asia and Ho Chi Minh more prominently. The Asian people seem to have a great sense of adaptability and a just “get on with it” attitude. Whatever the resources are at hand they are made to fit the job, whether that be using mopeds to carry ridiculous over sized loads of livestock or produce, or turning a small space on the street into a pop up restaurant which serves the best noodle soups you’ve ever had.
With shopfronts I was trying to capture that adaptability…got stock to sell, no shop…no problem, make the shop out of the stock. Not only could they create a whole shop from the stock that was on sale, they also managed to do it in a way which seemed to have a pleasing creative element to it.
My images seem to fall into one of three areas street, landscape or project based with the last having some sort of commentary on life as I see it. The last of the three I have only begun to explore in the last two years and it can be frustrating at times to convey what I am thinking.
I try to transfer what I feel about an issue or topic into a series of photos, which can be difficult at best, and extremely frustrating at its worst, but is usually very rewarding when complete.
Street photography is a great learning tool, it's a way to make using the camera instantaneous, natural and fluid. It has also become a way for me to push my social boundaries.
My landscape work is very much just time out and an opportunity to try new techniques and pay homage to some of the photographers I love.
I always remember reading a quote about photography but have forgotten who by…
”We experience the world through our five senses; an image has just the use of one sense so it must do its best to capture all of the others in that one moment, and convey the feeling of sense at that time.”
It’s something I try to bear in mind when taking a photo.
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