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.
On a recent trip to the popular tourist island Enoshima this week I saw that the city of Fujisawa had installed camera stands in scenic spots popular for kinen-shashin 記念写真, commemoration photos.
Created by Sunpole, a manufacturer of flagpoles and all sorts of outdoor all-weather items found in Japan, these camera stands rotate 360 degrees and are positioned at just the right height and distance to include everyone in the frame. The stand provides a safe and level spot to place any camera and as you can see in the picture above there is an upright slot to place smartphones in as well.
The fact that people don’t need to approach a stranger to request a photo is an obvious benefit from such an invention but at the same time it saves those fellow tourists who might be asked a whole lot of trouble- from the pressure of taking a less than ideal final image, to the even worse possibility of dropping someone’s camera or smartphone on their vacation.
It will be interesting to see if these Sunpole camera stands become more prevalent in Japan in the future. Perhaps it’s possible that similar stands may start appearing at other tourist spots around the world.