This time last year, I was engulfed by the Polar Vortex in Chicago, but this year I am in the Boston area for its record snowfall. The region has received nearly 8 feet (2.4 meters) of snow in the last few weeks, and additional precipitation is forecast.
Even more than 2013, I spent 2014 working on projects, including the films Almost There and The Area, and photography series about subsidized housing in New York City and Japan's Tōhoku region.
I recently visited Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to present at the International Visual Sociology Association's annual meeting and explore the region. I particularly enjoy working in Pittsburgh, but my time photographing the end of an era in Johnstown instilled an interest in the region's smaller towns. When I visited Pittsburgh in 2011, I made sure to spend a little time in neighboring borough of Braddock, but I wanted to go farther afield this time. In part motivated to see the borough of Donora, whose 1948 environmental catastrophe raised awareness of the need for clean air regulations, I visited more than a dozen towns in the Monongahela River valley, and then several more along the Ohio River.
The most challenging portion of my trip to Japan was the time in Tōhoku's recovering disaster areas, but I spent the majority of my visit in urban Japan. The first half of my trip was structured around Kobe, where I was exhibiting my Isolated Building Studies, and Tokyo served as the base for the second half of the excursion.
I am excited to announce that the Japanese photography book producer Utakatado has just published Isolated Building Studies, the first book dedicated to my Isolated Building Studies project. The 56-page softcover book is 7.5" x 11.5" and features 36 of my favorite photographs from the series.
Last week I traveled with Japanese advertising director and photographer Yohei Morita through Tōhoku, the Japanese region critically affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster.
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