Afternoons With Andy

Russel Kwan and Wendy Kwan

“C’mon!” Andy* shouts, his bike rooster-tailing that curious combination of dust and dung as he veers off the tarmac and careens down the railway tracks.  Going photographing with Andy often starts this way.  The little path along the railway tracks soon gives way to a bramble of blackberry bushes, then a series of small swamps.  I expect to see a white rabbit with a pocketwatch, or maybe a yeti, but not today.  Dang.  The midday sun blazes out of an azure sky (this is a necessary part of Andy’s photographic aesthetic) and after a little bit of falling off and getting back on, we bump out of the railway swamps into a… parking lot.  An abandoned parking lot.

“Well?!?” exclaims Andy, whipping his camera out of his funny little handlebar bag.  “Isn’t this great?!?”  My mind needs many minutes to formulate an answer to that.  The best I can come up with in the first half-hour is: “HmmmmMMMmmmphh?”  Always answer a question with a question, that’s what I always say.

Time passes, and the parking lot gives way to desolate back alleys, punctuated with some of Vancouver’s most famous power poles, and then carries on to a crumbling street of fine old warehouses, resplendent in their giant billboards, which in turn, exhort unknown consumers to, well, consume.

This is hard work, photographing Vancouver’s beauty spots in the blazing highnoon sunshine, with hardly a break, not even for tea.  Finally, when the midday sun’s “golden hours” are exhausted, we are permitted a visit to the nearest coffee shop for a much needed refuelment. There, double caffes latte in hand, we are able to revel in the photographs that are, and still might be.


*Andy (his true identity is being kept secret because he gets very, very nervous when the police come to interview him) is an amazing photographer (although he doesn’t know it, and I’m not going to tell him), has an encyclopedic knowledge of photographers and photographs (particularly the extremely obscure ones), and he knows Vancouver’s beauty spots like no other.


to gallery


Google Analytics