A hundred and sixty metres in the sky, as The Bank of China building shifting behind us in the mist beyond Victoria Harbour, I took the necklace out of the box, and fastened it behind her neck. Pale skin. An even paler sleeveless white top. Intricate silver work between a thumb and finger.

That’s how we used to do birthdays, or Christmas, or holidays. A two day swing by Hong Kong. An afternoon in North Korea on an otherwise dull Saturday.

These days it’s a case of giving my wife a short list of photography books which she chooses from. She gets the same from me about cooking, or house improvement.

This year it was NA, from the US photographer Doug Rickard. I loved Rickard’s book, A New American Picture, in which he presented his version of America, mapping the country in the way that others have done before him. Rickard’s work differed though in that he worked much as more as an editor as a photographer, and never left home.The images in his book are photographs taken from Google Street View, Rickard selecting those he felt best told his version of the United States.

His new book is collated from images he made again in front of his computer, culled from Youtube. It’s a working method I also used a lot this year, sitting at my table and allowing the onslaught of information whether real, false or imagined, to wash over me.

Images from Doug Rickard’s, NA

I wander if Doug got a bit porky when working on his book, as I did. Did he neglect meals, just pushing snacks into his face when he remembered? Did his sleeping and waking hours meld into one? Did he shave?

Images from my Digital Cliff series


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