Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Edwin J. Waddel, born in Calcutta India, schooled in Darjeeling, Nepal, Buddhist for 17yrs Tibet and Bhutan are my favourite places to study. I live in Toronto Canada/and the UK for now. I grew up always trying to understand how to get an image of myself on a sheet of paper, and that drew me to photography, which is Street, not the street everyone thinks it is. About shadows I want to show the real street photography, everyday life for people who live it survive it and pray to go to heaven. I teach sometimes and share knowledge with others when asked about my photos. Evolve yourself. Other will look to you for guidance.
How and when did you get into photography?
I got into photography, due to my bad times in Toronto, when I moved there in 1972, and how it affected me through racism, I was called a paki, nigger, black brown cockroach, not knowing what all this meant, I wanted to die and ask my maker to let me see all this from wherever I was. After a few years, months, I happen to see someone with a camera and asked him to shoot a photo. I wanted one. My first camera was a K1000. And with a roll of film Kodak 200, I had my first photos, which got me hooked since then I have been learning, I then gave it up for five yrs., due to my travels back to Nepal to study Buddhism. Fast forward, I missed after four years. so I decided to go back into it and had plenty of Ammo and more of an understanding of what I wanted to do with myself in the times I was alone, so I started again allover with the Leica 8 then the 8.2 after breaking my screen, Leica new Jersey, gave me a new 8.2 with sapphire glass 10.2 resolutions I loved it dearly, I then took a coarse in B+W photography and developing film which I still love and would love to get back into it. I then started to shoot people kissing, hugging, passion and emotions was never interested in shadows just the product, about love, passion and emotions of people and how the fit into society, with their color. I decided to get a Nikon D300, which gave me everything I needed lenses I used where 35, 50, and 60mm, macro, had terrible issues with alignment it was a used camera. I decided to get a Leica “Q” and then the Fuji X100F, whilst travelling back.. and forth from the UK it was stolen, I always believed in one camera one lens, after studying other photographers and how they used their the cameras, So now I have my Canon 6D with an 50mm and the 85mm which I use I would love to get a 28mm or 24mm WA lens… Best of all I would just like my two cameras back (please to whoever stole them I need them badly to carry on my work I am).
What drives you to take pictures?
What drives me, is shooting the reality of life everyday with people who have nothing, I love expressions and emotions facial expressions is true photography to me, to see what people are going through in life. You can capture a person life within 0000.0002secs of a shutter speed. Every day I experience life sadness or happiness, it shows how I feel it’s not a mood its passion for a better life, to change the world for a better existence for everyone. I can try but it won’t happen. I would like to see all cultures, colors.
Which photographic style do you feel yourself more confident with, if any?
I love B+W walking the streets of ay country mostly in the less fortunate areas where governments don’t want to deal with. To show them this is true life.
Who are some of you favorite photographers past or present?
My favorite photographers are, in no order and I follow them strictly, I miss Fan Ho, – great street and shadow chaser would love to have talked to him, reminds me of Oscar Barnack, Dido Moriyama – a technic which I love and his B+W photos are second to none.
What camera, lenses and other equipment are you currently using?
My cameras were the Leica “Q” and the Fuji X100F (both stolen). Now using my Canon D6 50mm and the 85mm.
Tell us about the project or the portfolio you are submitting.
My portfolio consists of B+W photos about my version of street, my bad times I went through of sadness then Happiness, to see people of all races and cultures come together, I never understood racism until I migrated to Canada/Toronto so for me its unfinished business, Humans are better than that. We have just gone back /reversed back to racism. You know where I am going with this. I do believe we all must play out our acting skills, what I mean by this is look past color consider a person heart and then judge them.
All images by Edwin Waddel, used with permission.