During my 3 weeks in Canada I was asked, at least five times a day, the same question – “Why/what/who are you photographing?”, and every time someone asked me, each time I was asked to explain my motives for being in The Northwest Territories with a bag full of cameras and 150 rolls of film, I’d find it almost impossible to explain. Toward the end of the third week, maybe a little bit ‘late in the day’, I decided that I needed a mission statement, something coherent. Most people assumed that I was in Yellowknife to photograph the Northern lights or the vast wildlife in the area, so I needed to be clear – “I’m taking photos of people and things. You, being local, take everything for granted, like the colour in that wooden house or the sexy tattooed chic who works in that restaurant. You can’t see it, but the rest of the world loves this shit”. No more questions.
These photos are just a few random images from the project I’ve just started with writer, and good friend, Trevor Gibbs (he never asks me why I’m photographing the lines on the road). These are just a taste of what the project is about. I’m going to need to go back to The NWT a few more time, after a couple of weeks in Yellowknife I realised that this is just the start of a longer term photo-essay…which is good, because I fell in love with Yellowknife the second I stepped out of the airport.
Technical notes – all images were made using Mamiya 7II and 645 Pro TL cameras and Fuji Pro 400H film. I did take 20 rolls of Kodak Ektar 100, but I didn’t use much of it. The title image was made using a Holga GCFN and 400H film. I had all 116 rolls of film processed at Peak Imaging in Sheffield and I’m now in the process of scanning the lot using an Epson V700.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT PHIL KNEEN. PLEASE DO NOT USE, IN ANY WAY, WITHOUT PERMISSION