Derek Shanks is a 38 year old Toronto based black & white street and documentary photographer. His portfolio spans from many years living in Toronto, Ontario. Halifax, Nova Scotia and Peterborough, Ontario.
Derek spent a number of years capturing intriguing long exposure monochrome landscapes, recent years have been heavily engaged in capturing his version of the stories he witnessed on the streets of Toronto.
Black & white is a rewarding challenge for him, while always secretly admiring colour, he always appreciates realizing the monochrome vision he had while standing amidst the scene he captured. He shall remain dedicated to his black & white imagery for whatever luckily remains of his shooting career.
His passion for photography can easily be seen in the expression and descriptions he has for each capture in his portfolio. While the images have their own impact, he feels that his voice also lends to a greater appreciation of why the image came to be. Hence the importance he see’s in revealing new images and his interpretation of those moments via the Fragile Glass blog.
frag-ile [fraj-uhl; Brit. fraj-ahyl] Pronunciation Key – adjective
1. easily broken, shattered, or damaged; delicate; brittle; frail
My lenses are as fragile as the subjects I capture: Fragile Glass is an emotive reference to the glass I view this world through, the photographer who quietly captures each moment as it was seen and all of the subjects that are equally as breakable. My lenses and I are equally fragile and our connection to this world as silent observers is an empowering feeling when each story is revealed after the shutter has dropped.
The word fragile became an important reminder of why I capture an image. I respect the fragility of life and the environments I have photographed. Through the years, my cameras and I have captured the breaths of a newborns first moments in life, we’ve documented the familiar smiles of those who are no longer with us. We’ve witnessed brides and grooms on their first tear filled dance as husband and wife. We’ve become a voice for those who can no longer scream loudly enough as invisibility has veiled over them on our street corners, we’ve delivered the impacting messages from those who stand firmly on their beliefs. We’ve seen many beautiful sunrises, sunsets and stunning moonlit evenings. We have shared in laughter, happiness, excitement, exhilaration, tears and sadness, leaving me, the shooter always greatly affected and appreciative that I was there.