It was American author Henry Miller who said, "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

I still remember years ago, getting up in the darkness to make my way to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise over its iconic temple. I remember even better the shattering of the expected tranquility of that moment by the sudden and then continuous flash of cameras from people all around me, illuminating the darkness the second the sun began to peer over the horizon. It was that moment I vowed to stop taking photos of my travels, as the more places I went, the more convinced I became that people no longer experience the places they are in, but rather photograph them so they can actually experience them at home. As a result, most places are now seen through the ubiquitous filter of the screen of the digital camera, which allows the almost obsessive documentation of every second of a trip, to be enjoyed later when it is over. 

In fact, I stuck to my guns for several years, until the ease and unimposing nature of the compact digital camera, and later my iPhone, seduced me back slowly to photographing my trips. I still don't see much point in photographing iconic places, when there are so many better pictures than I could ever take already out there; my purpose is never to document the place I visit, but my personal experience of it, and the things which stand out to me. After 20 years of travelling, I thought it was time to collate the ragtag bag of images, formats and filters from hard drives and photo libraries together into one place, and this (in some ways sadly) incomplete collection is what forms the content of Journeysa portal to store and share a photographic record of my travels, shot on camera and phone, which form a far from perfect picture of at least some of the places I have been.

PHILIP ARNEILL

Photography portfolio site of Belfast-born, long-term Tokyo-based documentary photographer, Philip Arneill, now living in Dublin, Ireland.
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