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 other day my friend Thomas Orand, a Frenchman living in Tokyo, posted some shots of his darkroom on Facebook. It’s always great to see how other photographers create personal spaces for making prints. I thought this sort of thing might be of interest to readers of Tokyo Camera Style and with his kind permission am able to share some of his pictures of his personal darkroom here.
Seven years ago I went to Tokyo Darkroomin Shinjuku for a one-day private introduction to printing workshop. After that I realized just how amazing printing is. Also I understood then that printing at home is much cheaper than ordering prints at a lab, and possible in our small place here in Tokyo. (Before having this current darkroom I used to print in a much more smaller space- a six-tatami size room and with all my wife’s stuff) It was just crazy!! But it worked!
The enlarger, a Lucky 90M-D, I got from a friend. The rest of the equipment was bought at Yodobashi Camera, Nitto camera in Nakano (very close to where I live)and Fujiya Camera in Nakano.
To construct the darkroom I went to the home center Shimachu in Nakano. It just cost me about 20000 yen for wood and other materials. It took me couple of days to build it.
Since there is no running water in the darkroom I just wash the prints in the kitchen in the next room.
As for developing film- about 2 years ago I had a long chat with Arimoto san and we talk about Jobo processors. It makes things much easier and the results are really nice. I’m Using Kodak Tmax developed with HC-110. (I never can thank you enough to Arimoto san!!) I really like my Jobo processor.
There are a lot of darkroomers here in Japan and Tokyo making the most of their “cozy” living spaces for the creation of silver gelatin prints. The attraction to this way of making art demands attention and dedication. It’s certainly not something that anyone is forced to do- - indeed, we do it because we love it.
I’ve been in contact with a few other photographers who print at home here in Japan- Watch for some more examples of Tokyo Darkroom Style here in the future.