Random Walks & Wiener Processes

By December 15, 2017 #mystuff, Blog, Photography, Schnappshots, Wien, WienPosts

I’ve been working on Wir Sind am Ziel for the last couple of years in Vienna. Originally inspired by Mark Power’s 26 Different Endings, the idea was to create a set of images taken at the end of the U-Bahn and tram lines in Vienna.  But then the project narrative began to morph into threads about mortality, death as the end station, and how everywhere else is merely a stopping point en route to that final destination.  The journey is, after all, one of the most widely used metaphors for life.

At a portfolio review at this year’s Photo London, my reviewer, whose name I’m ashamed to say I’ve forgotten, suggested that the project would be stronger if I had a more structured and consistent approach as to where I put myself before clicking the shutter. Hitherto, I’d just been ambling around and finding something nearby that appealed to me. I’d been scratching my head about the best way to do this, and whilst deep in thought, suddenly remembered an old book by Howard Raiffa, Decision Analysis: Introductory Lectures on Choices under Uncertainty. His key message (as far as my project is concerned) is that the decision-maker needs to find an ‘objective solution to [a subjective] problem that uses mathematics or logic’.

So that’s what I’ve done.  I have created series of decision trees that tell me where exactly to create the image.  I feel like the true adventurer with a random number generator, a compass and a protractor – all essential tools of the ‘random’ walk.  Hoping to get the images edited over the festive season to see whether the objective approach is more (or less) interesting than the subjective one.  Stay tuned for the results …

In the meantime, here are a few from the old methodology.


From Hütteldorf

To Leopoldau

Tram 5

From Westbahnhof

To Praterstern


From Ottakring

To Simmering