Real Rain

Vain +Alone on Waiheke Island, NZ.

A day and a half’s rest at Gabrielle’s Art Stay…a hard to describe retreat nestled in the hills of an island about a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland. The very substantial rains kept people indoors for the most part. Preparing for the next day also kept us indoors. This was the only fresh air I breathed in, and I spent it trying to V+A.

Vain + Alone, Melbourne Intnl Airport

Vain + Alone and waaaaaaaay early for a flight to NZ.

In a nearly empty airport, it is a safe bet that you can leave your wallet to anchor your phone on the garbage receptacle to take a shot like this.  As I write, the empty row has filled with folk looking for a place to sleep.

Mundane Paparazzi

Vain + Alone in Ferntree Gully, Victoria, AUSTRALIA.

Hanging the washing…I had to put the phone on the top of a shed to get some good height and create the feeling of paparazzi hiding in a bush on the hill.  Strictly speaking, the paparazzi gambit is not a great fit with the V+A ethos.  The notion of someone tasked with documenting your life works better, and makes a shot like this a little more unlikely.  I’m just working out the wrinkles of this thing here.

Non-Challant Australia


When in “walk” mode, Google Maps seems to take you down lanes, through ditches, the occasional backyard…weird.  This shot is reminiscent of a V+A from New York…the old “place the phone on the ground run away and stroll non-challant like”…taken in a wee lane way.

It Had Been A While…

Vain + Alone in Adelaide, AUSTRALIA.

I’m not really sure if this is an appropriate V+A pic as it lacks a certain photo journalistic quality.  But, you see, there was this wall and it was black and it was sun dappled and there was me alone, and I was raised Catholic and it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these…a Vain + Alone shot, not the cross thing.

You’ll be happy to know I had to stack a stool on top of a chair to get the right height for the phone.

Running While Empty

imag1081_1Vain + Alone on Hog Island.

Called Paradise Island now (another awful name) by the Mafia because Hog Island is not sexy and they needed a new warm place to attract gambling Americans to after losing access to Cuba. Across the bay from the city of Nassau, so named after a colonial dude.

I’ve tried taking a running shot before in other locales but with no success.  With nothing to be perched on, the phone had to rest on the blanket on the sand, but I like how the book sneaks into the shot.  I tried it 4 times, and have a lovely pic of me falling on one of my attempts, and a lovely memory of residents of the beach watching me sprint and reset the phone repeatedly…a circuit of shame.


Waiting to go on

va_oct30Vain + Alone in Ottawa, On.

This is the face of someone looking for two things:  1) someone to fetch him to go on stage and 2) someone to catch him in the act of taking a photo of himself.  Being vain and alone before a show is a good way to kill time…it beats pacing about…and has the added adrenaline rush of someone walking in on what amounts to…ummm…private time.  Anyone walking into the room would have seen the elaborate set up for the phone, made up of a stool and several books for height, and a boot for the phone to lean on…like some weird structure a ghost would leave in the middle of a hallway to freak a family out.

A ladder, a chair, & Spider-Man skills

Vain + Alone + Daring,  Dead Starling Sound

These five words have greeted me every time I’ve walked into the Dead Starling studio, which was a martial arts place in a former life.  I got it into my head to do something acrobatic.  This is what I came up with while taking a break.

My pants are red, actually, but my belt is black.

Dead Starling

VA_stdioVain + Alone darkening the doorway of Dead Starling Studio.

There is something about doorways that fascinate me… maybe it’s the thing about doorways being thresholds from one place to another.  I never get the light right, so I end up ‘darkening’ almost every one I try to use.  And the inevitable bright white light from outside can make it look like you’ve just stepped out of another dimension, which, in the case of working at Dead Starling, would be the truth.