Shades of Winter

C | Canon AE1

F | Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400

The city comes alive when the weather cools here in Sydney. 

There is a certain windy breeze about that just makes everything a little more interesting, the sky gets bluer, the root vegetables at the markets double in size, the galleries draw you in, the pubs sound more enticing, and you feel like trying things just for the hell of it. The creatures of habit are still swimming in the crispy rock pools every morning, but the rest of the day we retreat back to the city layered in coats for whatever weather Sydney throws at us that day. And we’re ready for all of it.

Life is seasonal… Here’s a snapshot of my current one. 

West is Best

C | Pentax MX

F | Can’t remember and my negatives are 800km away

The title says it all. There’s something special about Western Australia. It’s so vastly different from the East Coast of this massive continent. Strangely enough I felt I knew that landscape before I’d ever been there. I grew up reading the wonderful lyricism of Tim Winton – his book Blueback features in one of my earliest memories where I’m reading alone. I’ve read many more of his works since, and I’ve realised that he places a strong emphasis on the way place and landscape shape us as people. 

I was lucky enough to score a couple of weeks in the southwestern part of Australia for work. These are some photos from that couple of weeks. 

One thousand welcomes

C | Pentax K1000

F | Fujifilm Superia 400

This is the land where all greetings are accompanied by mint tea and locals ride their donkey side-saddle.

This is the land of the unexpected; where rolling green hills, turn to rock, then to sand.

This is the land of tradition and religion, where the sun moves to the sound of a prayer.

This is Morocco, the land of one thousand welcomes. One thousand tagines await you.

El Gran Escape

C | Nikon FE2 and Nikon F3

F | Kodak Portra & Kodak Ektar

El Gran Escape is the name of a photo zine I started last year. The name means “the great escape” and is about the feeling or sensation of seeing things for the first time. I mean, that fresh feeling of seeing something unique that will last a few seconds before it’s gone. These photographs appear in the first three volumes I released, and were taken during 2018 and 2019 in New York, Oaxaca and Ecuador. El Gran Escape gets its name from a radio program listened to in a trip to Chile, about 5 years ago. I used to wander around listening to this radio station which had great music and the name stuck with me till today. In the end, this is kind of a getaway for me. To wander around, waiting for things to happen and making photographs.

@vicer_ 

www.vicerphoto.com

CDMX

Shot on a Pentax MX.

Shot with Ilford HP5 & Kodak 400.

Mexico City exists in its own universe. When you cram over twenty million people into a relatively small area, you’re bound to have interesting results. I spent ten days roaming around Mexico City and couldn’t get enough of it. After months living in a small village on the coast in southern Mexico, the sheer quantity of people meant that there was a constant source of entertainment wherever I looked. It was people watching on steroids.

I think the photo that has stuck with me from my time there is the shot of the large mural painted on the side of the building. Wherever you look in CDMX there’s art – it’s everywhere. It’s the message behind this one that resonated with me most…

‘Soy porque somos’ translates most simply in English to ‘ I am because we are.’  

www.tomwolff.com.au

@wolffonabicycle & @isurfbecauseproject

Tingflowers

Shot on a Pentax ME and Olympus Stylus 

Shot with Kodak Portra 400, Kodak ultramax 400, and Fuji Superia 800 

I went to Brazil in an attempt to understand my heritage, and came back even more confused. I arrived in the midst of the presidential election to a man who is not opposed to a military dictatorship, and who encourages hate crimes against women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. The constructed idea I had of my identity was slipping away from me. 

But soon I started to discover that underneath the systematic corruption, racism, drug wars, and misogyny, there is a "counter- culture" rich in acceptance that's trying to heal the pain from the past few hundred years. And the more people I met and the more I learned about Brazilian history, I started to understand that this most recent culture based on fear and hate is the true counterculture. The Afro-Brazilian idols that sneak their way into everyday life; the drums and singing that free the spirit when the body is trapped. They have been there since the beginning and they're not going anywhere. 

Even though they know those scars will never heal, Brazilians have no problem covering them up with tattoos. They are masters at turning life into art, and art into life. 

I can never begin to imagine to capture Brazil's essence on a negative, but here's my attempt. It's an ode to the devoted and passionate people in the organic farming and agroforestry movement, who spend every day of their lives laboring under the tropical sun to restore land wrecked from cattle grazing and deforestation. Or the old Caiçara woman that lived on the remote side of an island her whole life, and watched as a biological hotspot turned into a tourist trap. To the locals who lent Havianas to the idiot gringas that decided it was a good idea to walk barefoot on the sand streets at noon; to the people who showed me their secret spots on the river. 

And to the river that feeds the town and the trees, vines that intertwine in sacred forests, bromeliads in high branches, and the smell of rotting jackfruit. 

To the streets of carnival, where the company of music and the moon keep you safe at night. 


Fui ao Brasil na tentativa de entender minha herança e voltei ainda com duvida. Cheguei no meio da eleição presidencial a um homem que não se opõe a uma ditadura militar e que incentiva crimes de ódio contra mulheres, pessoas de cor e a comunidade LGBTQ. A ideia construída que eu tinha de meu identidade estava se afastando de mim.
Mas logo comecei a descobrir que, sob a corrupção sistemática, o racismo, as guerras das drogas e a misoginia, há uma "contra-cultura" rica em aceitação que tenta curar a dor dos últimos cem anos. E quanto mais pessoas eu conheci e mais aprendi sobre a história do Brasil, comecei a entender que essa cultura mais recente baseada no medo e no ódio é a verdadeira contracultura. Os ídolos afro-brasileiros que se infiltram na vida; os tambores e canções que libertam o espírito quando o corpo está preso. Eles estiveram lá desde o começo e não vão a lugar nenhum.

Mesmo que essas cicatrizes possam nunca sarar os brasileiros não têm problema em cobri-las com tatuagens. Eles são mestres em transformar vida em arte e arte em vida.

Eu nunca posso começar a imaginar capturar a essência do Brasil com fotografia, mas aqui eu vou tentar. É uma ode às pessoas dedicadas e apaixonadas no movimento da agricultura orgânica e agrofloresta, que passam os dias todos de suas vidas trabalhando debaixo do sol tropical para restaurar as terras destruídas pelo desmatamento e gado. Ou a caiçara que viveu no lado remoto de uma ilha durante toda a sua vida, e viu como um local biológico se tornou uma armadilha para turistas. Para os habitantes locais que emprestaram as Havianas aos idiotas gringas que decidiram que era uma boa ideia andar descalço nas ruas de areia ao meio-dia; para as pessoas que me mostraram seus pontos secretos no rio.

E para o rio que alimenta a cidade e as árvores, trepadeiras que se entrelaçam em florestas sagradas, bromélias em galhos altos e o cheiro de jaca podre.

Para as ruas do carnaval, onde a companhia da música e da lua te mantém seguro à noite.