Friday, December 26, 2008
Too well dressed to be homeless, and as deep in thought or sorrow as anyone I have seen. I could only hope to wonder, as we will likely never meet, at what had cast him down.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It's not that I mind working from 8 till 2:30 without a break, then dashing to my designer friends to download the data before the after wedding party. Neither do I mind the fact that they asked me because they knew me and hoped I would do it cheaper than the hotel (not difficult).
What should have made me pause for thought was knowing that they not only wanted snaps, but also wanted them for an album which I was to produce, and although I have taken a few nice photos in my time, even some that have made a passable series, an album is a series that you shoot in a day.
The wedding began with traditional dress, and the couple entered the dining room after a short ceremony and a studio shoot in the hotel studio (not me). The dining room is variously lit, the routes are set, the whole event is choreographed and despite having attended the planning meeting I got caught out on more than one occasion as the curtains suddenly opened to reveal the backdrop of Nagoya castle, or the lighting suddenly changed and so changed the light settings I was working with.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
When my father came to Japan for the first time we took him to see Kenrokuen, a famous garden, in Kanazawa. After that and the 'Ninja Temple' we stayed in a Ryokan hotel for a night. Dad had about 3 minutes in the hotel's public bath before calling it a night.
Why are Japanese baths so hot? Find one writers opinion here.
The south exit of Kanayama station Nagoya is a gathering place for those with instruments to play or dances to dance. I have become to blaze about the experience I suppose. Many of them are terrible to tell the truth.
But it's not just the music, it's the people that stay and listen. Mostly high school girls with their short-skirted bare legs wrapped in Disney motif fleece quilts against the cold. Stay on the fringes.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Recently, time out-doors is regularly spent underground in subways and underground shopping malls going from A to B (and back via C if lucky).
Just occasionally, there is a lull or a surge in the crowd, someone steps into a frame they didn't realize existed and 'click' goes the shutter.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Fisheye lenses are nothing new, but this one is designed to be held in front of or attatched to a compact digital camera or mobile phone camera lens. Below is the lens sitting on top of a Canon Ixy 8 meg (!!!) compact.
It's a great little toy and it only costs 10,000 yen (50 pounds). The trends site mentions nothing about larger sizes, but my friend mentioned that it also comes in medium and large sizes, and thought that the larger size would cover and convert a 50mm lens on an SLR.
October 21st: Sadly these don't seem to be available to cover 50mm lenses. A shame. The three sizes available are still only to suit the smaller compact cameras, but I'm holding out for an adaptor.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
At what age do we become adults? In Japan people legally come of age at 20 years old. There are coming of age ceremonies for new adults all over Japan each year.
Now in the U.K as this article explains, former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has proposed a similar coming of age ceremony for sixteen year olds.
After the tube and bus bombings in London in July 2005, there was a lot of talk about the lack of national identity and cohesion amongst the modern youth of Britain. This proposal is perhaps a predictable institutional reaction to such sentiment, but is it without merit?
Aside from the affirmation of national identity comes the question of legal responsibility. As this editorial explains, the legal age of adulthood in Japan is a current hot topic. Should the legal age be lowered to 18?
There is the possibility of big change in both countries. There is also the proposed introduction of a registration card for foreign residents in The U.K which would mirror the much maligned 'Gaijin Card' system in Japan. Another similarity that I never imagined commenting on.
Lines are being re-drawn, with both countries trying to cope with internal changes.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Last weekend we spent two nights in the holiday home of a friend who asked me to take some illustrative winter shots of the home for his brochure.
The house is in Hakuba, in Nigata prefecture. The rear windows pictured in the second photo look out onto the entrance to the ski slope and the base of the ski lift. A prime location with underfloor heating (very comfy).
Sadly, no skiing for me (not that I'm any good, I have only been twice). The long drive and the two day weekend meant that we only had a day and a half to get the inside and outside pictures. With more people than just my group staying, it meant a constant flow of bodies in and out of the house which made trying to get a shot of the interior minus cast off ski wear and tired bodies very difficult. There was also the problem of the local Sake being very good!
Finaly a series of 12 shots made the grade. Less from the outside as the wind and heavy snow even closed the ski lift on the final day. It was good to get out of the city though, and see some mountains close up. I'm told that the skiing was good too.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Kawakami’s latest book entitled “Goodbye Madam Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman”contains accounts of the sex lives of eleven Japanese women.
While the term ‘modern’ is used in the title, Kawakami's interview seems to point to a situation which for the women themselves seems to be anything but. Having not read the book I am unable to comment further, but Kawakami seems to suggest that the lot of the Japanese woman could only be modern in the sense of being current.
It is an interesting interview that relates the lack of sexual activity after marriage to the long working hours of the Japanese business man, and the sense of identity that Kawakami says Japanese society ‘demands’ of Japanese couples after having children.
Take ten minutes to read the article for a brief introduction to sexless Japan.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
It's nearing the end of the financial year in Japan. The most noticable signs of this are the road works.