If you want to change your photographs, you need to change cameras. Changing cameras means that your photographs will change. A really good camera has something I suppose you might describe as its own distinctive aura.
-- Nobuyoshi Araki
I don’t think about what camera I should use that much. I just pick up the one that looks nicest on the day
-- William Eggleston
Cameras are wonderful little contraptions.
By making photographs, they are tools with which one can express their personal taste and private sensibilities. At the same time they physically exist as expressions of these same concepts. The relationship one has with their cameras affects their approach to making a picture.
People who shoot film simply do because they choose to, and the Photo Culture of Tokyo is full of film camera users. When I meet them out on the streets I ask to photograph their camera, and usually post it here the same day. All of the photos were shot with a Ricoh GRDII. I trust that this irony is not lost on anyone.
These photos are meant for sharing. By all means, re-blog away. Clicking on the images will present you with a version 1000 pixels wide to further enjoy.
The promotional postcards for my next show arrived- I’ve got one last darkroom session scheduled and then it is time to figure out what prints will go up on the wall. I don’t stress out too much on this part. Since I’m the one who took them it’s easy.
Listen: If you’re interested in making honest work there’s really no point in getting caught up in distancing yourself from your photographs through time or other people. If you’re shooting for yourself, why separate the feeling from the picture that way? Editing should be exciting and not a struggle. Sequencing is even easier. Since each entry is work made since the previous show I mostly just put them up in the order they were taken. This is how I do it, anyway.
The current owner of this Olympus told me that is the camera that Daido Moriyama used for his '71 NY series. He didn’t mean that it’s the same model of camera- but rather, it’s THE actual camera Moriyama took to New York in 1971.
Similar to Winogrand’s M4, it could be seen as an incredible collector’s item but it’s good to know that this camera is still being regularly used.
Original first edition copies of ‘71 NY are rare and or often prohibitively expensive. The reprint created by Andrew Roth in 2002 was well received and in turn is somewhat difficult to find today. You can read the story of how this book came about here.
Sample photos from the book and ordering/sourcing information for it can be found in the Japan Exposures bookshop: 71-NY Daido Moriyama
With his Konica Hexar pre-focused at 60cm and set to stealth mode Sato snaps away creating candid portraits on the streets of Shinjuku and in the trains of Tokyo.
This exhibition- similar to the way other photographers in the city work- is a continuation of an ongoing series. Each entry is work made since the previous show. Images from his Yesterday 2013 can be seen here.
ERIC* with his Leica M7 and flyer for his upcoming exhibition & photo book Eye of the Vortex** that’s hitting this September. More info (Japanese only) here.
Eye of the Vortex is comprised of Eric’s intensely lit take on India. You can see a generous selection of these photographs on his website here.
This Eric is the real thing- he puts in real work making good photographs, fleshing out his experiences on streets around the world. His hustle isn’t fueled by a thirst for social networking fame and attention but rather making actual photography, the results of which are published as photobooks by the respected Art publisher Akaaka. This next book of his will be his fourth of color contemporary street photography. (Two are currently available at Japan Exposures) If this show is anything like his Good Luck China exhibition in 2008 it’ll probably be pretty crazy and if it’s like everything else he does, really good.
Tired of High Concept photography that seems to have been made simply to illustrate five dense paragraphs of pretentious Art Speak about a photographer’s intent? I am. Luckily though there isn’t too much of that in Tokyo. Shows here like Hodo-chan’s are all that much more interesting because they show a real disconnect from the usual Western obsession with Modernist fetishization of perfection and seriousness in Art. The title is translated directly as “Food and Me” (or even more specifically, “Me and Food”) and is comprised of pictures of Food and the Photographer himself, often at the same time. I would argue against condescendingly writing this off as superfluous or even using that awful word “selfie” in judging it- Hodota’s own interest and food and interacting with it visually is just fine the way it is. If there’s anything that the “flood of images” which many Photographers lament about online has taught me anything it’s that letting go of our old rubrics for what’s “worthy” of being art is essentially removing the blinders so to speak, and opening up to the possibility that the real frontier now in photography is simply documenting one’s personal experience.
Who cares what someone had for lunch?
The guy who ate it, for starters.
Amateurs have naturally known this all along. Even though Hodota is a working photographer and a graduate of a Photo school in Tokyo- (Mitsugu Ohnishi is our mutual mentor, and we’ve known each other since 2002) his Soul Food and Me series something that is just right on its own terms for his own personal reasons. This is doubtlessly the main goal of a serious photographer or casual picture taker anyway, right?
A city full of bookstores, Tokyo has many locally owned shops that are dedicated to new and used books on Art and Photography. SO BOOKS, located near Yoyogi-hachiman station a few blocks west of Yoyogi Park, is my favorite.
The impeccable artistic taste of the owner, a man with extensive understanding and appreciation of good photography, is reflected by the books for sale on the floor-to-ceiling shelves that he built himself. The selection is top-notch, and the prices are quite good. This is certainly a spot to visit on a trip to Tokyo, or if you live here, anytime you’re in the neighborhood.