DIGITAL STREETS: ARTIST STATEMENT These shots were taken on the streets of Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Getxo, San Sebastián, Barcelona, Berlin and New York. Whenever I travel, I am fascinated by the people I pass. For me, travel is never just a way of getting from A to B. It is a series of encounters with other people. I look at them, and they sometimes look back at me, and then we move on, perhaps never to meet again. This sense of encounter is only heightened when I travel overseas. I want to record these moments and the fact that I am a total stranger who is just passing through gives me a special sense of freedom in doing so. So, I have developed my own approach to street photography. It's not a complicated thing, but I hope it gives my shots a different feel. I don't do anything to hide the fact I am taking photographs, but I also don't seek permission before I shoot. There is usually a chance the people I am photographing will notice that some stranger is targeting them for a shot. This doesn't always actually happen. It depends on distances and angles, as well as people's own awareness of the world around them. It's all spontaneous and even though I am the one framing the shot, it is something I can't completely control. My camera doesn't just record the moment, it potentially becomes part of the encounter. Digital photography has made this kind of process much cheaper and easier. The complication is that it has done the same for everyone else. Wherever I go, people are using smart phones to photograph themselves and other people. I have become increasingly interested in the question of boundaries in public space, in the ways we all adapt themselves to the potential presence of cameras. That's why I called this collection Digital Streets. It's not just that the shots have a digital feel, but that the way people live on the street has changed. I used a Sony Alpha 6000 for all these shots. This camera is ideal because it is light, compact, relatively cheap, and doesn't have the same kind of intimidating physical presence as a large DSLR. I find that the digital file integrity is great at high ISO’s, allowing me to work in low light without a flash. The autofocus is one of the fastest I have ever used and allowed me to capture shots on the spot that would not otherwise have been possible. I used a Sony wide angle 16-50mm zoom and a Sony 55-210mm telephoto zoom, with a heavier reliance on the latter. What I really wanted to capture here is the way people present themselves. I didn't want to make them look strange or arty or beautiful. I feel there is a sort of conundrum in the relationship between photographers and their subjects, between my control over the photographic moment and the freedom people have to present themselves as they choose. I want my viewers to become part of that riddle, to find their own way into it and through it, without me giving them any easy answer in advance. This is why I chose not to identify the location for each shot in this book. I wanted the viewer's own encounter with these images to be as open-ended as the moments they record.