Been and Gone

Dylan Miranda

Dylan Maranda (b.1994) is a Canadian filmmaker and photographer currently based in- between Vancouver and Toronto. He splits his time between commercial directing, writing and development for his narrative work, and long-form photographic projects.

Having had a close brush with a fatal illness in his late teens, his work has always gravitated towards capturing moments that contain a tone of ambiguous significance, chasing the feeling of comfort and discomfort his earliest childhood memories brought him at the potential end of his life.

His work has been described as deeply metaphorical while containing very finite and recognizable scenery, never eliciting a singular response from viewers across a wide variety of subjects. He integrates his narrative filmmaking education from Simon Fraser University into crafting lyrical photo through-lines to inspire the viewer to engage in a more emotive and subconscious way with his pictures and sequences.

His directing and photography work has been recognized by the Cannes Lions, Strategy News, Booooooom, Whistler Film Festival, Applied Arts Magazine, SAD Magazine, and the Vancouver Short Film Festival.

Been and Gone

“Been and Gone” is a series of photographic work about drifting away from home. In January of 2020, I moved away from Vancouver, the only city I had ever lived in, across the country to Toronto for work. I left most friends, almost all my family, and the place that had shaped and formed me as a child. Over the course of several weeks, my brother and I traveled down the entire west coast to southern California, across the Mexican-US border all the way to New Orleans, then up through the midwest to Toronto, making pictures along the way.

My intention was to photograph subjects that expressed my longing for home and belonging by trying to find the familiar in places and situations that were foreign to me. I wanted to arrive at a sequence of work that remained deeply personal to me in a more atypical road trip photo series format, but ambiguous and abstract enough in it’s composition and subject matter to let the viewer impart their own emotional experiences onto the series and its themes.

For this project, I was keen on working with medium format celluloid both for its image quality and slower pace of shooting. I love the fact that it was a physical object I carried with me through the trip in the same way memories I made in each place. Memories that are stored and kept away to be revisited later, like the sentiment of my home and past I was reaching for on the open road.