Some Rough Scans – Japan, Part 1

1. Rikugien Garden, Tokyo

2. Nikko

3. Nikko

4. Nikko

5. The View From My Room, Tokyo

6. Cemetery, not exactly sure where I was…

7. Takao

8. Rikugien Garden, Tokyo

9. Arakawa Yuenchi, Tokyo

10. Ferry Ride From Kurihama

11. Ferry Ride from Kurihama

12. Nikko

13. Shibuya

14. Nakano

15. Takao

16. Tokyo

17. Takao

18. My Room, Tokyo

All Images © Emily Shur 2009

Here are a whole bunch of randoms, in no particular order, from my most recent trip to Japan, and when I say rough scans, I really do mean rough. I’ll post another batch soon. Right now these are my favorites. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.

15 comments to Some Rough Scans – Japan, Part 1

  • Shaun Quinlan

    Hi Emily, looks like a lot of great scenes you have found and captured on your trip, some lovely images. Could I ask what film you are using? Looks like low contrast/saturation, maybe something like Fuji Astia? Cheers.

  • JazzLvr

    Hi Emily,

    I think the last image, and the second are my favorite. And I really like the fourth as well. Well there are a bunch in there that I like but those are my favorite. I don't like #7, while I think the color is beautiful, the composition throws me a curve. It just doesn't work for me. It seems you chose to be somewhere in between two viewpoints. Maybe you wanted to create that sort of tension. Don't know.

    Can I ask what is your overall purpose for taking these? Is it simply you see a scene and photograph it because it's visually attractive, or are you trying to say something about the place you are in (physically not mentally) . Your pictures tend to be dominated by light or color, namely yellow. I always wonder if that's a conscious choice. If it were raining or overcast, would you still head out?

    All of this is just for my own curiosity and to answer questions regarding the photographs that I take myself. Do we take pictures because we like a scene or do we only take them if we have a space or a definition to put them. Somehow I feel like there should be a common thread somewhere, grouping images up into "projects", instead of independent images that are evaluated on their own. Perhaps as well the thread will form on it on, just like we tend to become our own selves regardless of external forces.

    Sorry for the long post. Keep up the image making.

    -Sherman

  • Emily Shur

    @Shaun: I use Kodak Portra 160NC or 400 NC. I used to use the VC, but found the tones are more to my liking with the NC. Thanks for the comment.

    @JazzLvr: Well, that is a long post with lots of questions. I'll try to nutshell it for you. This is the latest installment in a five year long project I have been working on in Japan. I have a very large body of work from Japan, and I consider the pictures to be a portrait of a place, but seen from my personal point of view. I do shoot on overcast days. I do shoot on sunny days. I shoot at night, in the morning, all the time. My work is largely focused on composition, light, and color so those are all things I am consciously thinking about while I take pictures. As of now, the common thread is the place…my explorations and experiences within this place and what I take away from that will become an edit of the best pictures. For me, the best pictures are deemed "best" for many different reasons…some emotional and some aesthetic. I hope that answered at least some of your questions.

  • nina

    My favorite might be "My Room", gorgeous still life! And very Emily – -n Japan!
    I also really responded to "Ferry Ride (chairs)", "Shibuya (landscape with buses)", Takao (dogs): and "Tokyo" (the graphic one with lots of shadow & lights).
    xome

  • Shaun Quinlan

    Thanks for the info on the film, have just ordered a bunch of Astia, so will have to try out some Porta NC also. I'm loving the first image, and also the cemetery image, I like how the bamboo is reaching out into the scene, thanks again.

  • ingalbraith

    emily these are wonderful. love the cyan and orange tones in 2. beautiful light in 4. keep revisiting 8. :) look forward to more.

  • Porkoláb Zsófi

    Hi Emily, I enjoy your blog so much. I've always wanted to go to Japan, so I take a trip trough your photos now.
    I am interested in taking and collecting photos (virtually unfortunately) of clotheslines. I think it is such a usual and still meditative thing. May I link your photo Takao to my blog of course referring to your blog and website?

    Zsofi

  • nina

    this morning I am totally lost in and absorbed by the lushness of "Rikugien Garden, Tokyo"

  • Michael Sebastian

    That 6×7 Mamiya 7 negative really gives you a lush and beautiful image, no? Very nice color palette. I have sometimes been unsatisfied with the appearance of Portra NC films in strong midday sun, but you really have that film down pat.

    A lot to like here. To single out a few: Ferry Ride (#11) is my favorite–color and composition, repeated geometrics. I also especially like Shibuya (#13) and Takao (#15), and Rikujien Garden (#1). Takao (#7) and Arakawa (#9)didn't work for me, OTOH.

    Can't recall how you do your scanning, but they certainly look good as web JPEG's. Do you usually print large, or smaller?

    I just love film; and I really enjoy seeing film work as good as yours. Well done.

  • Christopher_Shane

    Emily, we as well have never met, but I do enjoy your blog. I love seeing what your still shooting with film! My fav's are: #10 (great color & comp), #12 (scale of subject & comp), #14 (just interesting!). also loved your shots of Bullock & Reynolds from earlier. If you get any spare time, take a look at my holga series on my site, you may like it (I know I do, but what can I say I'm biased).

    -Christopher

  • Emily Shur

    @Porkolab Zsofi: Yes, feel free to use a picture and link back to me. Thanks very much!

    @Michael Sebastian: I usually do real quick scans on my Epson scanner – roughly 8×10 @ 300 dpi – from the negative. Then from there I make small work prints and decide which images make the cut. Those images I then get drum scanned and professionally color corrected. I usually print final images somewhere between 16×20 and 40×50.

  • Dan

    faves from this series…

    2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 18. :) great stuff as always!

  • Liz.Blog

    I listed my very favorites, the ones I thought were soooo Emily, another group that was a second Emily and then a third group. I felt like a jerk judging your work – they are all great!

  • London Archaeologist and the Windowless Consultant

    fWe seem to be on a favorites thing. I'm happy to list mine in just a personal way. I'm new to your work. The first one I liked was the first I saw – on Avedon's blog. I really liked the way the few colours made sense of it all, especially the traffic cops, if that's what they are, with their light blues chiming with the ads, if that's what they are. Everything's horizontals, verticals, the space frozen in chromatic reduction. Then the first on your post. Of course a tree's shadow has to look something like a bush, but for me it organises things very satisfyingly into a wonderfully limited range of green blobs. To single out just one more, it's where columns and shade organise things (that phrase again) over a looming void underlined with a lazer-bright ray – temple teetering on the edge of an infinite void.