I enjoy prowling around city streets at night with my camera, trying to see things from different points of view. Sometimes I imagine them from a street cat's point of view, as if I was Varjak Paw, or one of his friends. What would the city really look like to them?
This has led me into some strange places. I can find myself staring for ages at puddles, or reflections of neon lights on a rainy pavement. I spend whole evenings standing on precarious bridges over motorways, watching the light trails from traffic sparkling in the night.
I've even been down sewers to see what it really looks like there. (And smells like.) If you've read The Outlaw Varjak Paw, you might recognise this view:
I like to justify my photography by claiming that it's part of my research; it influences the way I imagine and describe scenes. My new book, PHOENIX (coming in summer 2013), would definitely not be the same without it. This book is not about Varjak Paw, or even cats; it's about people this time, and also aliens, because it's a science fiction epic set in outer space. It begins with the stars singing to the main character. I think that might look something like this:
By the way, if you like these photographs, some of them are published in a beautiful little book called London's Lost Rivers. It's a guide to the hidden, secret rivers that flow underneath the city; rivers most people have never seen. I didn't write any of the words... but there are 18 of my pictures in the book.