Unusual is Shibuya’s normal.
I knew I could see Mt. Fuji from Tamagawa on a clear day but I didn't know how great the sky was going to be when I set out to take a shot of the sunset. I figured I'd shoot a few digital shots to see what I could come up with along the river. So I took my 24mm and the 50mm with me. What I should have done was take to 70-200mm and a monopod. I think that might even be the plan for this afternoon. The interesting thing about this river that's got me all excited is the fact that I can see further than 3 feet in front of me. Typically in Tokyo you can't see into the distance and being from Australia where that's all you can see it begins to be frustrating. This must feel like of like a return home of sorts.Anyway, if you have no idea what you are looking at, just below the sun to the right is Mt. Fuji.
This building is around the corner from my office. After seeing the result I went out and tried to shoot it square without success. The format just didn't work.This was shot on the Voigtlander Bessa R2a with a 50mm @ f16 directly into the sun which is why you see the screwed b+w flare.
I like how the subject takes up the space in the frame in this shot. I also like all the textures and the exposure. Everything to me seems to have the right balance. The clouds, the flare elements fading into small lines on the left of the shot and the tonal balance overall.
Sometimes it's all about the atmosphere. In Tokyo you need a real reason to shoot colour and unless you're shooting in the outskirts, the place just looks ugly during the day. Which is why I've been itching to shoot a few festivals. Obon is that little splash of colour in the year that makes it enjoyable to shoot at night again in Tokyo. And along with this comes the festive spirit which always seems to contrast drastically with the day to day tension of the city.
Colour version was really flat so it's been tweaked to B+W in order to save the shot. Hasselblad with the 50mm.
Jon, Cory, Brian and myself went to the launch of The Impossible Project here in Tokyo. All very flash and what seemed to be extremely trendy. Araki and Diado photo's amongst others were on display in Polaroid form in a nice chocolate flavor (which Jon doesn't seem to like). Nice that the film is now available and more affordable than being shipped from Europe. We didn't stay that long but we all came out of the exhibition space / store and asked - how the hell are they going to afford to pay for the space!
Here is hoping customers find the store and any additional exhibitions they have don't end up being too trendy and high end - or they'll risk alienating their customer base.
One request I have (as I'm sure a few others do as well) - Can we get a bit of 669 and other 100 films so I can get my Hasselblad going with this stuff?
Another photo from my cycle to Yamanashi. I completely forgot this was there. The route I took is filled with photographic opportunities. The next time I go (this weekend?) I'll be leaving a lot earlier. It's one thing to just ride the route but something different to be stopping regularly to photograph scenes (makes the ride take forever).
I tend to sit on photos for a long time before I decide if I like them or not. This, for me, is not one of them. I was just unlucky that day. Too much cloud and sun could not get up high enough to throw colour over the rocks as it rose. Every time I go to Australia I never seem to have enough time to really explore an area. Avalon has some great shots hidden away. It's just a shame I had no time to find them or see the potabilities.
Sometimes you have to take this kind of shot just to get it out of your system. Well, I've done it now so I can finally move on. This was shot with a 50mm and an extension tube for those that care for these things. If you are looking for a relaxing escape from the usual over crowded parks of Tokyo you might want to take a look at this one.
I've become obsessed with this Fuji instant film of late. No development needed. Instant atmosphere, predictable (to an extent) results, I just wish it wasn't so expensive and messy. And the other annoying thing is trying to carry the pictures around with you after you've shot them. I have developed a practical method for this - a plastic hard disk case. Keeps the dust out and prevents the photos from sticking to your bag . The trick is just to ensure you dry the photo long enough before putting it in the case. Scanning these instant photos is a whole other challenge. If you don't like touching out dust, don't think about shooting these because regardless of how careful you are you'll be dust busting for hours. You can always leave the dust in for effect :-)
Also from the wetlands (as is the one below) that I visited while I was in Australia. Missed the ladybug with the focus but the magic tones and the crazy background made up for it (for me anyway).
So I'm looking for faces to shoot. I will be shooting in black and white with film so the image above is not really true to what I am trying to achieve. Actually I am trying to develop a particular style and so require a lot of people to shoot. Male, female, young or old, it does not matter to me. I imagine that I will use the images as some kind of photo series at some point but I have no real fixed plan. Obviously I am not going to use your face commercially but if you choose to participate your image may end up on this blog or on my site sometime in the future.
If you are interested in having your face shot by me please send a mail to sean-at-50mm-dot-jp People who's picture I take that provide me with an email address will receive a copy of the image if it is to my liking (i.e. if I think I've done a good enough job)..
So just for fun I asked several people, including my friend Stephan, for a photo. I usually use the Hasselblad and have tweaked my settings so I can use the 80mm lens to take close-up head shots. I was, however, surprised to see the result when I developed the film. I wasn't expecting him to look so different. And I always thought that the 80mm lens on the Hasselblad was a 50mm equivalent on a 35mm SLR. What a difference a lens and a bit of fiddling with the settings makes. Stephan prefers the digital shot. Probably because of how different the lens makes his face look. I actually like it more. Most likely because it's difficult to replicate the look. In any case I'm surprised to see how well the film version turned out when putting it side by side with the digital one. More of these to come.
Shot at about 5:55am on the 1st Jan 2010 in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Managed to wake up at 4 and leave at 4:20am. Never actually saw the sun but was lucky enough to get a bit of colour in the clouds before everything went a flat bright colour.My next trip back there will be with a view to achieve something very different.
Edit: July 3 2010.
Click the picture for a bigger version.
For all of you searching for the location click here for the map
Tips: If you go early enough in the morning, ignore the no entry sign and drive right down to the hole. Otherwise it's a real hike. Especially if you are trying to catch the sun. You should be in and out before anyone can catch you. Go during a week day early. The locals like to turn up super early and swim or actually make it the last point of call after a night out. You won't get any pictures then. Be careful. The whole place is really slippery so take your time walking around. The boats on the horizon you can't do anything about. It's a pain but if you don't want them in your shot you're going to have to pick your angles carefully. If you want your picture to have any depth to it like the one above you should use film. Even if you have a pro DSLR (I own a canon 1d mark 3) you won't get the depth and colour. And anyone who says "HDR" as a solution should be shot. If you think you've taken a winner picture post a link to your shot in the comments. I'd love to take a look. Someone should do a great B+W long exposure. But I bet I end up doing this before anyone else (no one likes B+W any more).
Little experiment. Faces of Tokyo on white.
So I have re launched the 50mm.jp website.After a lot of playing around with different options I decided to keep pixelpost as the platform. Would have built it in wordpress but it was too difficult to make a seamless experience that handled images well, didn't use flash, worked on the iphone and allowed you to track individual photo views on Google analytics. The site does not contain all work I have done and I have not yet decided how I will approach the upload of new work but I'm hoping to keep it fresher than it has been in the recent past. If it (photo's you have seen before by me) can't be found on 50mm it could be located either on flickr or here. If there is an image you have seen that has gone missing please contact me and I'll upload it to one of the 3 locations. Any and all feedback more than welcome.