The Guestbook: our interview with Cody Ellingham

Claudia Fuggetti · 9 months ago
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Cody Ellingham is a photographer who grew up in Hawkes Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand. He emigrated to Japan at the age of 23 to work for a major creative agency and since then has not stopped using photography as a means of discovering and questioning his surroundings.

We at asked Cody to tell us a short story through an interview, which you can find below:

How did you start photographing, do you have a memory?

I started my journey in photography when I first came to Japan in 2012. I was travelling through northern Japan after the big earthquake had hit to do some volunteer work. I picked up a small camera and it all just kind of happened … I was inspired to capture the places where people had been and the way those places had changed. Not long after that I started photographing the changing city of Tokyo at night with my project DERIVE, and it all grew from there… 

Your images are very suggestive, how did you identify your style?

It has been a journey to refine and distill what I am really looking for with photography. I aim to ask questions instead of giving answers with my images and so I spend a lot of time working on composition and the flow of an image. I use Sony Alpha cameras together with specialist architectural lenses to give my images an almost surreal quality and sharpness.

Is there a particular reason why you selected these photographs?

I wanted to give you a glimpse into my latest series, Bangkok Phosphors, which I have just finished publishing into a hardcover photobook, along with some of my photography from Shanghai and Hong Kong where I have been recently

Which artists influenced you the most?

I am most deeply inspired by literary sources, my recent series in Bangkok drew inspiration from the stories by Mishima Yukio and other authors, and my early work in Tokyo was driven by reading old novels and wondering “what used to be here?”.

What is the location in the world that inspires you most to take photographs?

I think every city in the world has something to be inspired by, but I would say my top three locations in the world would be Shanghai, Hong Kong, and without a doubt Tokyo!

Follow Cody’s take over on‘s Instagram profile!

The Guestbook: our interview with Cody Ellingham
The Guestbook: our interview with Cody Ellingham
The Guestbook: our interview with Cody Ellingham
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