In Hollywood’s version of firefighting, it’s all blazing infernos and one dramatic rescue after another. But what about all the behind-the-scenes work? Firefighters have to hold drills, stay fit, and make sure equipment is shipshape. Hong Kong–based photographer Chan Dick documents the quieter side of firefighting in his series “Chan Wai Fire Station.”
Dick keeps his focus on one specific location of the station as he describes in his creative statement:
While working at my workshop one day, I discovered for the first time the bird’s-eye view of Chan Wai Fire Station through the ventilation window of the washroom. What I saw was even more eventful that I thought. Apart from undergoing physical training, the firemen of this station also played volleyball, washed firetrucks, and held guided tours for students, all happening within this little square area that I observed and framed from above. Days and months passed. Scenes began to repeat themselves. I started to slow down and patiently wait for the next unexpected scene.
The series’s consistent composition, washed-out hues, and pulled-back angles reduce the figures into tiny specks within the landscape and in so doing, elegantly depict a little-seen angle to what life is like for everyday heroes. Catch a few shots in the slide show above.DB