Photography is a scrapbook of your life

Photography is a scrapbook of your life

This post is also available in: German


What do we look for when we travel, and what do we see? We take pictures of monuments, trying to reproduce, successfully or not, glossy photographs we’ve seen in magazines or on the internet.  We validate our experiences by taking selfies in front of famous landmarks as if to say to family and friends: “look, we made it!”.  But how do we “feel” about what we see, what do we discover about the world, about ourselves?



A lamp post measures the sky on the waterfront of the sleepy seaside resort of Marina di Pisa. A man is barely occupying a bench. The infinity of the sky echoes the infinity of the sea, which the man can see, not us. October 2012



I am peeling off the layers. Removing first the traffic lights, then the SUVs, the people in modern dress and finally the recent “Fashion Club” sign, to reach back some 70 years. Little has changed, really, on the main street of the small New South Wales town of Muswellbrook, October 2013



A tourist in shorts disappears into the void of the Perpignan Cathedral. The darkness devours him under the gaze of votive figures. He becomes, for a second, part of the building’s perfect architecture. April 2014



I am waiting to board a long-haul flight at Frankfurt’s airport. I am alone, performing the rituals common in all airports: queuing, producing documents, being searched, queuing again…  I am alive with the excitement of travel, anesthetized by its routine. October 2013



How to capture a city’s multiple facets? stand in front of a mirror and let the city express itself! (Porto) April 2013



We are waiting for the bus to the airport outside Beziers’ railway station. The reflections in the glass multiply our points of view. Buildings, individuals, moments collide. The confusion and richness of travel. April 2014



Porto residents walk past the richly decorated Azulejo facade of the Capela da Almas church in the city’s centre, oblivious to its intricate beauty. April 2013



John MacDougall was born in Paris in 1965. He has worked for Agence France-Presse as a photo editor in Paris and Hong Kong, and since 1995 as a photographer in Jakarta, New Delhi and Berlin.

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