Today the world is as globalized as it could be - - yet we struggle to find meaning in our daily existence.

23 September 2013

Japan 2013 // 1. Tokyo in B&W

Preface: These are long overdue, but as the saying goes.. "It's better late than never."

It's also hard to believe that it's been almost a year since my last post. During that time I've almost forgotten the pure joy/anxiety of going through recently developed film. It's like opening up a Christmas present, except you get to open hundreds of them. Each frame is it's own gift, and each has it's own merits. And sometimes it's like opening up a chemistry set in the 4th grade, when in fact you were hoping for a Nintendo 64 with Starfox, Super Smash Brothers, AND 4 controllers. Such is life.

Whatever the outcome, with the opening of each digital negative, I get to temporarily relive that magical moment when the rods and cones in my right eyeball were fervently sending synapses to my cerebral cortex to snap the frame. Quite frankly, sometimes I don't even understand why I take some of the photographs that I take. Especially when it comes to street photography, due to it's spontaneous nature. Unless, I'm seeking out a particular subject or scene. Most of the time, I just kind of look through my viewfinder, focus, and press down the shutter. & Boom! 1/500th of a second of life captured in that infinitesimal moment of time only to be tucked away in a distant neuron in the deepest depths of my neurological command center. That is, until I get to see the developed negative manifest itself before my eyes for the first time.

And I think that's the beauty of shooting with film. The somewhat uncertainty of it all. Sure you might not get that "perfect" shot every time, but even the unfocused frame has it's own story and the viewer gets to decide what's happening.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Kapa, Daido Moriyama, and the likes would have a field day in a densely populated metropolis such as Seoul or Tokyo. And, I never thought I would say this, but I miss that hectic lifestyle, and even the smell. A simple weekend loop from Chungmuro, Myeongdong, Namdaemun, Insadong, Samcheongdong, and Gwanghwamun was full of characters, and full of life. While claustrophobic and chaotic at times, I was able to seek refuge in film and my 35mm lens. In my opinion, it is the perfect distance between the street photographer and the subject. Unfortunately, like most skills, practice is a crucial regimen towards mastery, and because it had been months since my last film escapade, I was not able to muster the confidence of Bruce Gilden to take as many "street" photographs in Japan as I would have liked. Nonetheless, the people of Tokyo were out and about, even in the rain, as life continued its reach into yet another urban landscape.

Camera: Leica M6
Roll: Kodak Tri-X 400


m6r41-1 Ken and Kaori. Domo arigato gozaimasu for your great hospitality!

m6r41-13 Midori Sushi (Shibuya)


m6r41-16 Shibuya Crossing

m6r41-18 Searching for the secret bars at Gorudengai


m6r41-3 Yoshinoya (Hikarigaoka)

m6r41-20 For good luck, and good health

m6r41-v2 Sensoji Temple

m6r41-9 Asakusa's cutest




m6r42-5 "To witness two lovers... a spectacle for the gods."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



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