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Picture if you will a figure in the night. Camera over shoulder slung, tripod beneath, black sneakers, black jeans, black winter field jacket. Awkward, slouched, he spiders across the downtown in long strides, climbs buildings for the god's-eye-view of clock and street-corner, stands in the middle of the street to frame the Christmas lights reflected in darkened glass. Shoots, reframes, shoots. Makes careful note of interesting silhouettes and shadows.

Long exposures: filters, and deep focus and the darkness make for standing in the cold waiting for the shutter to snap closed. Fifteen seconds never took this much time before. And then, proudly, I only shoot architecture in the dark.

From time to time, our black-clad figure passes under a streetlight, and we catch his face. His features squirm around the drag of a white cigarette — his only concession to the visible spectrum. He is very pale, and his nose is very long and not very crooked, and he hides a weak chin beneath a scraggly beard. He is not ugly exactly, he has recently been told, he is just very very odd-looking.

His eyes, though, are clear and bright and piercing in both directions, hinting inward at blue depths and at the same time flickering out from him and lighting on everything in turn: the effect of this is to suggest that he is searching all he sees for the answer to some nagging discontent within, and this may not be far from the truth, as we shall see.

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