A self-described “skateboarder and photographer,” Chris da Canha has a keen eye for color and light. Raised in South Africa and now based in Seoul, he’s traveled and shot in cities across Asia and Russia. His work, which has been featured in Maekan, Hypebeast, Vanity Teen, Ignant, and many other platforms, explores the subtle changes that play across the city’s architectural and human landscape.
“I learned how to shoot by walking the streets and hunting for the moments that felt right,” he explains. “I’m particularly excited by scenes showing poetic contradictions.” Often these contradictions are just subtle contrasts: a building warped beyond recognition in the hood of a car, a telephone pole whose bewildering network of cables is doubled by shadows. These familiar scenes are rendered slightly unrecognizable by precisely calibrated angles and light.
Often the details in these images don’t jump out at first glance, so they reward unhurried contemplation. In the mirrored glass of a skyscraper, a view of the city is slightly stretched and distorted, almost seeming to waver like a mirage—and this, combined with the haze in the distance, gives the scene a slightly unreal feel. In one of the photos below, the intense yellow of the wall makes the rust on the bars of scaffolding seem somehow redder and dirtier; in the other, an almost opaque window casts a greenish tint onto the street below. Such subtle effects give his work an understated drama.
Fascinated though he is by the sharp contrasts in color and shadow in the built environment, Da Canha also takes pictures of people. In fact, the bulk of his work centers on human subjects, often strangers he spots on the street.
These images seem to split the difference between portraits and candid snapshots, an effect he achieves by closely cropping them. “When I shoot, I’m thinking about what information I want to show, and what doesn’t belong,” he explains. “That helps with the composition, and I suppose makes it seem more careful,” he explains. “I find faces interesting, more often than not, and when the information around the face isn’t worthwhile, I shoot a little closer, and that’s developed into a kind of street portraiture.”
这些照片似乎在肖像和人物抓拍之间划分了界限，因为 Chris 通过仔细的剪裁来达到这样的效果。“当我拍照的时候，我会想我想要展示什么信息，什么信息需要删除。”他解释说。“这对构图很有帮助，我想这让它看起来更细致，”他解释说。“我发现人物的面部往往很有趣，当面部周围的信息不值得入镜时，我就拍得更近一些，这就发展成了一种街头肖像画。”
Da Canha has lived in Seoul for the past five years, and thrives in the crackling electricity of the city’s creative scene. “Seoul was recommended to me by a friend living here at the time. I came and have never looked back. Korea’s a wonderful country, splitting at the seams with energy, and Seoul gets bigger every time you blink,” he says. He’s especially enthusiastic about the country’s photography community. “You won’t find a friendlier group of talented people excited to create rad imagery.”
Da Canha has shot for fashion and lifestyle brands, and has a collection recently appear in Dreamingless. He’s also begun a yearlong project intended for print, with 12 series of photographs grouped together under different aesthetic themes. Photography is his job, but it’s also his hobby, and he’s always on the lookout for something striking. “Daily life is more enjoyable when you’re actively looking for what you like.”
Chris 也为拍摄时尚和生活方式品牌拍摄照片，并有一个专题集最近出现在 Dreamingless 上。他还开始了一个为期一年的项目，计划刊印成册，将呈现 12 个系列的照片和其不同的美学主题。摄影是他的工作，但也是他的业余爱好，他始终都在寻找那些令人注目的东西。“当你积极地寻找你喜欢的东西时，日常生活就会变得更加愉快。”