The photographic blog of Sean Wood (aka motionid)

Afternoon light

Earthquakes, Radioactivity, bad backs, hospitals, work, dysfunctional servers. Just some of the thing's distracting me from adding pictures to the blog and taking new ones.

Credit for the ability to shoot on a very rare box of Polaroid Chocolate iso 80 film goes to Nanako san who was generous enough to give me a box AND a box of colour (yet to be shot) as well.

Let's see if I can make up for a large gap in posts.


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?


Morning coffee

morning coffee with Fumi

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 :-)


Kodak Autographic Brownie


A recent comment on a Tokyo Tower photo I took a while back prompted me to write this post. I shot the photo with a early 1900's Kodak Autographic Brownie no.2 using a Fuji Polaroid back. The camera originally took a different kind of film that is no longer made. After checking the camera I thought I might be able to get away with using 120 film but could not work out a way to modify the original camera back without destroying it. And given the camera is actually not mine and kind of on permanent loan I figured that would not be a good idea. So I though perhaps I could connect a Polaroid back to it. After checking the size of my Hasselblad back with the camera it looked like the idea was going to work. But I needed to find a back that did not have a little window (like the Hasselblad or Mamiya) but had the film area fully exposed when the dark slide was out. A trip to the local camera store immediately paid off. I found myself a Fuji back in the junk bin for ¥525 which was quite lucky because I didn't want this little test to cost me and end in failure. I figured the easiest way to connect the back to the body would be with electrical tape and that once I had proved it would work I'd figure out a more permanent solution. After reading on line and discovering that the aperture would be around f/9 at it"s widest I took a shot and hoped for the best. The image you see above is the result I got. I was quite surprised at how the image turned out. You will see from the other images below how I modified the camera and the controls it offers. F/9, f/19, f/22. T, B, 25th, and 50th of a second shutter. And a viewfinder that is very cool and at the same time very hard to use. Feel free to share your old camera mod stories in the comments area below.



Fujiroid Planet

This past weekend I was invited to an exhibition of Riku Wada san and Sayako Ishida san. They had both travelled to different places in the world (iceland, Portugal, Morocco, Argentina to name a few) and used Polaroid cameras to take pictures of their travels. By plan or by accident they managed to create a really amazing series of images. Because of the nature of the medium, the colours were all very consistant right across the world and the subdued yellowish tones suited the subject matter. In fact, had they used any other type of camera they would not have achieved close to the quality, consistency or look that they got with the polaroid.I'm hoping they make a book of the shots. They are too good to waste on just a one time viewing. The shot above was taken at the exhibition and is a globe they make with pins stuck into the places they travelled to. This was taken with a Hasselblad with a polaroid back and Fuji 100c film. And, as fate would have it, I got a happy accident. The resulting blue spots is a result of the film not being able to handle the overexposure of the light.

Fragments of Tokyo

Watanebe san, Koga san, Thomas and Jon looking his usual self at the front
Watanebe san, Koga san, Thomas and Jon looking his usual self at the front

So I managed to visit the Fragments of Tokyo exhibition at M Place in Shinjuku Gyoenmae and have to say I was impressed. Four very different styles of photography and each with a wonderful and different perspective of Tokyo.

If you missed it you'll have to bug them to put on another show. Below is each members flickr stream although to really do any of these pictures justice you need to see them printed. It was really a different and exciting experience to see them printed and presented as a series. Congratulations to the four of you.

Toshiya WatanabeDairou KogaThomas OrandJon Ellis

Quote of the week

"I really miss 4×5 – it’s beautiful. The slowing down of the process; taking time to make a composition, lining things up, doing Polaroids (I love that smell – I wish they made a men’s fragrance)."Taekn from the end of this post.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

So I modified a Kodak No. 2A Folding Autographic Brownie so that it would take Fuji instant film. Lots of electrical tape and a few tests later I worked out the 3 fstop settings and the basic focal lengths. I've not shot a lot with it yet but as it's a bellows camera a thought occurred to me while trying to shot with it this weekend. If I could some how take the thing off it's rails I might be able to twist the lens around a bit and get something different. So I now have a very random tilt shift lens. Took several shots to get one steady enough to use.


instant film mini world
Well, It's actually not Polaroid, it's FujiFilm FP-400B but it's close enough given the number of boxes of the stuff I've gone through without getting a single result because, for the last year, I've been loading the fucker the wrong way! I was hoping, on my first outing with the stuff, to keep the negative side. But alas, it seems you have to really wait till it dries before it can be moved. Not really suited to taking a shot and moving around either unless you have some special container to hold the negatives (tried a box but got carried away with putting more than 1 in the box. Result? Stuck together and useless).

Any tips or suggestions on the negative holding, drying carrying or scanning are most welcome.