The photographic blog of Sean Wood (aka motionid)



Sometimes in the craziness of a Friday night at Shinjuku station you need to just stop or slow down. The man is caught in the moment where he just needs to stop and take stock of where he is, where he is going...just to think for a minute. If he was closing his eyes to the madness, that would be the shot to get.

Tokyo stations at night - cont.

Taking a break for medium format I went back to shoot with the rangefinder for a while. These shots are a mix of 35mm and 50mm all shot at night in various locations but on the subway and the JR.



So yesterday I managed to have my computer infected by a very nasty Trojan that, in a matter of minutes replicated itself and took over my machine. I've gone many years of PC usage (and Mac usage for that matter) without this happening to me. No less that 84 viruses found on the drive with the OS on it. I could not get rid of them. This lead to a complete re-install of the system on a new disk. And I figured while I was in pain I'd inflict a little more by installing Windows 7. Having just gotten my machine almost to normal I have to say I'm very surprised by the performance of this new OS. All my apps seem to work without an issue. Drivers? Everything is automatic. I Did have to download a printer driver, my scanner and the Wacom driver but everything else related to the machine was taken care of by the OS. The speed of the new OS is noticeably faster than XP pro which I'm happy about and the interface seems to be an improvement (function wise) but I'll still need to get my head around these new permission issues.

Computers - fucking waste of time.

(and you mac people...spinning ball of death...yes, I know about that too).

Virus image By Solitaire Miles

and the point is?

I watched a video the other day about a man who came up with his own set of rules to live by. One of them was "always try to do your best" and another was "don't try to be better than anyone else". I like these. I think they would not be bad to adopt. And so, when I apply this to photography it appears that I've been encountering a few issues.One is, I genuinely believe my immediate friends take better pictures than me. So, this should be a good thing. I'm in the company of people with great skill and eye's that can see what I'll never be able to. This also inspires me to try to take "good" pictures. Unfortunately, out of the insane number of photo's I've taken within the last two and a half years I'd say that I'm happy with maybe 2 or 3 of them. I've poured a lot of time and energy and money into this and what is interesting is that, in the process I've managed to make more good friends than good pictures (I don't quite know why given the quality of my shots). Now I'm sure a few of my friends would argue that I've managed to make more than a handful of great shots and that would be nice of them to say but I don't think I have. And if the reason for doing this for me is, just that, to make me happy and for me to make pictures that I am happy with then is there a point in continuing when I have clearly failed? Have I really tried my best or could I do more? And what is ones best anyway? Where do we draw the line? What and how much do I need to sacrifice in order to really, genuinely do my best (the job, the wife, the friends?) Photography can be a bit on the evil side. You can try all you like and not make a good picture. But because of the nature of photography we're lulled into this idea that "maybe the next shot" will be the one. And so you continue in the hope that the next one will be better or be good. At what point do you stop and admit defeat?

What's also interesting about photography for me is the idea that pictures that are unique to an individuals perspective. This and the idea that no one moment in time is ever the same makes every picture (almost) unique. This is suppose to be one of the main attractors of photography. But what if no one finds your viewpoint interesting? What if, as you look around you discover many people have a more interesting view of the world than you do? Is there a point to continue when everyone passes you by, uninterested in your view of the world?

Shinjuku Station

So I often find my favorite place to shoot these days is on the way home from somewhere. The great thing about stations is that people are transitioning and are usually not in one place for that long. They don't want to move from their place in the que and are often in their own world wasting time until the train arrives which is the perfect environment for me to be shooting in. Why go find the people when you can let them all come to you? The difficult part is that a hasselblad or rolleiflex is not subtle and a regular rangefinder or slr is very obvious so you still have to pick your moments.