Lindsey Appolis doesn’t have many photographs from his childhood. Not wanting his children to suffer the same fate, he went out and bought a Canon 1000D to document the growth of his new son. Suddenly, every free moment turned into a photographic opportunity – from baby photography, to early morning missions in Cape Town, to the late-night neon lights of Tokyo. He’s got an eye for capturing the, “bitter sweetness of brief and fading moments of transcendent beauty”, while walking the streets. We had a brief chat to him about his foray into the medium.
How did you get into photography?
Bare with me: When I was a child I didn’t have many photographs of myself, I think I must have three in total or something like that. Cameras and printing photos was a luxury we couldn’t afford unfortunately. Fast-forward to 2008 when my son is born, I didn’t want him to suffer from that same fate so I got a camera (Canon 1000D with the kit 18mm-55mm) and started taking photos of him not thinking anything of it. Suddenly, I couldn’t put down the camera and every free moment turned into a photographic opportunity from baby photography of my son to family functions to early morning missions on the streets of Cape Town, to late night neon lights of Tokyo. When I looked through the view finder the world suddenly made sense!
Describe your style of photography.
Voyeuristic photojournalism is probably the simplest way to describe it.
Your Early Morning series captures street scenes before the day begins. What excites you about this time of day?
In Japan they have a word ‘Awaré (ah-wah-ray) – it’s the bitter sweetness of a brief and fading moment of transcendent beauty. It’s that “last burst of summer” feel, or the transience of early spring. Before the city is alive and bustling, I get to experience this kind of ‘aware’. The warm morning light plays through cracks in the city and shows its true beauty, this speaks to my senses.
When you’re on the street, how do you decide what to shoot? What captures your attention?
People, light and shadow. As a child, I was always drawn to observing people. My neighborhood was extremely colorful and alive, and I loved just watching how life unfolded. To be honest with you,I think this helped me develop a sixth sense – having the ability to anticipate a moment just before it happens and capturing its essence.
What are the characteristics of a good photograph?
There are many characteristics, be it composition, usage of light, subject, exposure etc. Ultimately for me, when a photograph evokes an emotion in its audience – be it nostalgia, anger, joy, sorrow or love – that makes it a good photo!
Are you working on any interesting projects we can look forward to?
I’m currently working on a collaborative piece with Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year winner, Kyle Shepard. Through my photography and his beautiful composition, we explore our shared love of the layers of Tokyo.
Where: Young Blood Arts Gallery.
When: 11 May 2017.