Thursday, May 31, 2007


I thought it was about time to try the Nikon Electronic Format (NEF or RAW) setting on my camera, having taken only J-Pegs so far. Sure enough when I opened up the granite wall shots from today, they were quite beautiful. Only problem is I am lacking the software to be able to do anything with them.

The Nikon Capture software that comes with their digital cameras includes the filing and viewing system you would expect, and also some basic adjustment options such as Brightness and Sharpnes control. The latter are not worth the programing. The photoshop program that Mitz had pre-dates the telephone.

I can see the photos, but I cannot show them in that format. Yet.

The depth of field problems were easily solved with a wider lens which also opened up the

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The granite wall and the sun

On the way home this afternoon I found a beautiful new granite wall. It reflects everything that passes by.

I'm not in the best of health at the moment. I call it 'season changing sickness', and I get this way at this time every year, so I didn't stop long (The doctor told me last year that these are syptoms usually only seen in the very young or the very old! It'll all be fine when the rainy season actually starts).

Shooting at 200 iso with a film speed of 200 at f8 (yawn) wasn't optimal. Some depth of field issues, and then the sun hiding behind a cloud.

But I feel that I have found again a place where it is not necessary to compose interesting photographs of people. Rather the people just arrive and the composition takes care of itself. I hope that todays snaps are the beginning of an interesting people series.

(free subscription to this blog if you can tell me what the girl in the last photo is carrying)

Get orf my land!


A friend and his daughter in the park.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Full city roast

An add for Kirin can coffee.

Under and Over at Nagoya Stn.

Snaps from around the central station in Nagoya and the underground shopping area. It was a beautiful day with a brisk wind. We took our time and spent a few hours walking streets and sitting in parks on the outskirts of the station area.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Places in the light

Back to the style that thrills me the most. A black surround and a floating torso or head. The saturday morning pedestrian parade.

Wha'chu lookin' at?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More places in the light

残念. What a pity. The shoot was cancelled and I am left with time on my hands. The day started cloudy, but the sun fought through.

I was amazed at the reactions of some of the people I photographed today. People intentionally walking infront of the camera, or smiling and laughing. I loved the people today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The traveler

A picture may say a thousand words, but these words could not be shown in a picture (unless I scanned them I guess). Please take a couple of minutes to read this.

This is a short story written in English by one of the 3rd grade Jnr. High students in the school I am at this year (14/15 years old). She writes something this leangth almost every day it seems.
All spelling and punctuation as written.

There was a man. He was a traveler. But he was a very credulous.
One day he met an old woman.
She said “Excuse me. Could you give me some money? I want to meet my son. Tomorrow is his birthday. But I don’t have monny to go to him.”
The traveler said “Sure. Please go early. Your son will be happy.” And the traveler gave her money all.
The old woman cried and said “Thank you”.
The traveler cried, too. And said “I’m glad to have been of help.”
The old woman went away.
But she went to a hot spring with her son.
But the traveler didn’t know that.
He was happy.

One day the traveler met a woman. She said “Excuse me. Could you give me your clothes? My daughter is a slight illness. She feels cold. But we don’t have money to buy clothes.”
The traveler said, “Sure, I hope your daughter become fine.” And he gave her his clothes.
The woman cried and said “Thank you”.
The traveler cried, too. And said “Don’t worry. Please tell her that you’ll recover.”
The woman went away.
But she used it to make a floorcloth.
A little girl was playing at the womans house.
But the traveler didn’t know that.
He was happy.

The traveler became a naked body.
He was ashamed. So he began a trip in a forest. In a forest he met a demon.
The demon said “Could you give me your eye. My children are hungry.”
The traveler said “Sure, I’ll give you both of eyes. Please take early. They’ll be happy.”
The demon cried and said “Thank you.”
The traveler cried, too. And said, “I hope your children grow up to be a fine young.”
The demon went away.
But the demon ate them for oneself.
But the traveler didn’t know that.
He was happy.

He met other many demon. But he continue to give them his body’s piece.
And at last he had a head only.
One day he met a demon.
The demon said, “I’ll give you a present out of pity.”
The traveler cried and said “Thank you so much. This is the first time I am gave a present.”
The demon said, “You’re welcome.”
And the demon went away. The traveler was happy. But he could not see it because he didn’t have eyes.
The present was a paper. And it was written “You are a fool.”
But he didn’t know that.
He was happy.
He dead after a while. But he was happy.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Spring Fresh '92

Today started with a rude awakening, the cat wanting to be fed at 5:15. I thought about giving chase but remembered I had photo assistant work today starting at 7:30, so the cat got breakfast and a cuddle.

Today was a location shoot for a housing construction company. Every couple of months, they have photographs taken of a recently finished house for their promotion. Today was very local. Only a 20 minute drive to the outskirts of Nagoya.

After loading the van with the 3 cameras, various stands, generators, lights, blankets etc, we set off for the wilds of Odaka.

The house was one of only 3 houses in a massive 'soon to be developed' area. If you searched for it on the internet by address it wouldn't show. The only other things in the area were a huge red and white electricity pilon, the tracks for the Shinkansen (bullet train) in the background, and a HUGE HUGE spaghetti junction linking 2 toll roads and a very busy rounte 23. Just by the side of this were 3 love hotels, side by side. While scoping out the area for the first shot, we saw a couple enjoying breakfast on the veranda of one.

The shoot was divided into 3 cuts (how convenient! one for each camera). The outside , the owners and their poodle, and the inside. I had remembered the routine well enough to get the job done, but I'm no Tokyo assistant. My cameraman tells me that assistants in Tokyo don't run, they fly. I have seen one at work too. Ah well. "We must keep jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down" (something I saw written on a T-Shirt on the train home).

After the location shoot it was back to the studio for two hours of cleaning and throwing stuff away. The cameraman has been working in Nagoya for 30 years doing all types of commercial photography. He will be moving to a new and bigger studio at the end of this month. He intends to use it himself, rent it out, and provide classes for photographers and models alike. And lucky me, he wants me to be involved! Do I see an end to this 'teaching' gig afterall?

Last time we did cleaning he threw away almost 30 years of negatives. I protested, saying that he could scan some at least, but they all went in the end... apart from the ones that I kept. Like I say, 30 years photographing people for commercials in Nagoya. It's a hell of a history to throw away.

Today it was the turn of the posters and pamphlets from various add campaigns. The above is a snap of one such campaign from 1992, a 72 by 47 cm print on a foam backing. I brought it and a few others home. Mitz will have a good laugh when she gets back.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Going Digital

This image is from a collection by a friend of mine, Alex Hadjidakis. He used 5 images of the Oasis 21 building in Nagoya and merged them together to create the panorama. The amazing colours come from an effect known as HDR, which I do not claim to understand at all.
You can check out more of his work at his website here.
Alex will be exhibiting this photograph as part of an exhibition of photographers from all over Japan, to be held in Tokyo this coming summer.

"In Japan, there is no moon"

From this site I have chosen this gem:

"I've been here in Japan for six months now, casing out the place. Amungst the repressed and the bizarre I have fished out enough information to qualify that the stereotype is true - the Japanese have representation in their hearts and technology at their finger tips and seemingly an allergy to direct experience. "

(the spelling mistake is not mine)

The site and the idea for 'no photography day' (which I shall be supporting of course) are the brainchild of 23 year old Becca Bland.

I won't waste time discussing the why's of her plan, or her slightly limited impressions of Japan. Just read the article. It speaks volumes about the writer, not the cause.

Mini Series Gallery

Have a look right at the bottom of this blog page to see a new feature offered by Lightstalkers to members using their gallery service.

The user simply pastes a code into their site and display their work as a slideshow.

It's a bit big for a blog though isn't it?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

At the match

Last night was my first time at a football game, in any country! Folks here don't believe it. "But you're English!!!"

Our friend invited us to the 'Nagoya Grampus' match, then insisted we went drinking when they lost.

This morning was not easy.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Places in the light

The season is changing, and the sun is moving at a different angle accross the sky, changing the angles and the times I can shoot for this series. Damn good fun. You have to really chase the light!

Table Tennis

Friday, May 04, 2007