Davies’ debut collection of photographs provides a window into his international travels.
In this series of images, taken in locales from Senegal to Sydney, the author mainly documents people going about their day-to-day lives. Admirers of street photography will find some wonderful shots in these pages—particularly those that Davies took in cities, such as London, New York, and Shanghai, although he also shoots nice seascapes in Australia and nature shots in Maui. The collection’s central conceit and organizing principle is conveyed by the book’s title, highlighting diverse subjects doing ordinary tasks. This gently anthropological impetus makes for interesting forays into southern Germany, Mozambique, and Chile, among other places. He also displays an interest in cars, evidenced by images of motor races in Le Mans, France; and Albert Park in Australia. There are a number of well-shot long exposures—such as those of London’s Liverpool Street railway station, Nanjing Road in Shanghai, and Circular Quay in Sydney. Throughout, Davies—a self-proclaimed “inveterate traveller and unstoppable people watcher”—proves himself a capable photographer who’s adept in a wide variety of styles. He writes about his art with an amateur enthusiast’s eye, which is, by turns, endearing and slightly cloying. His comments, for instance, range from informative to obvious; when he writes of a photograph of a woman wading in the water in Mozambique (“This is a case of the right time at the right place”), he makes the mistake of not simply letting the photograph speak for itself. Also, due to the large size of the collection, the images begin to look a little repetitive.
An often visually sumptuous foray into faraway lands.