Day Four

Well, today was kind of a bust photo-wise. Meh. It’s raining now, and while I did have a morning of no rain, it wasn’t until the rain started that I found some decent looking stuff to shoot. So, now it’s almost 4pm and I’m thinking about getting down with some YogaGlo in my hotel room before dinner. Or maybe I’ll go out and give it another quick shot (no pun intended) while it’s stopped raining momentarily. I always feel so much pressure to utilize every possible moment I have here to shoot. It’s expensive, it’s far away, who knows what I’m missing while I sit in my room looking out at the cold gloom. Which brings me to my next point…those of you who have been to Japan, mainly outside of Tokyo, know that there is no television for us non-Japanese speaking people. I always load up my laptop and iPad with books and movies before I leave, but it never feels like enough, and I always find myself doing some wishful channel surfing, hoping for maybe some BBC or even CNN. Not happening. I’d be super happy to come across a little Pan & James (above), the best Japanese TV show ever invented. A monkey and a bulldog who are buddies and run errands together?! Um, yes please. Why has this not taken the world by storm yet?

I have two days left here, and I felt like I was on a real roll, photographically speaking, in the first location. It’s funny because when I planned the trip, I thought that Yudanaka would be the less visually interesting of the two, and so far it seems as though it was the more interesting. I shot so much film there I was worried that I would run out while I was still in Japan, but after today that definitely won’t be the case. I was kind of censoring myself towards the end of my time in Yudanaka…I started playing a game with myself to conserve film. I decided in my last few hours of shooting there that I wouldn’t take a picture if it looked like a picture I would take. If it was easy or obvious, I wasn’t going to do it. I wanted to be really selective and not just shoot the same shit I always shoot. So, that cut down on the film usage quite a bit. It made me think about shooting digital and how that has created a real disregard for being decisive while taking pictures, at least for myself. Today, being particular comes through in the editing, after the shoot. Back in the day, there was a certain amount of film I could go through on a job, and I would break it up by set up and tell my assistant not to let me go over a certain amount. Nowadays you can shoot as much as you want, and if it sucks you just don’t use it. Interesting to go from that to this and adapting to being more careful about the pictures I take.

2 comments to Day Four

  • that is exactly what i found, that with digital not only was I taking any and all pictures that might work, it also was making me lazy and sloppy. “eh, I will crop that in post rather than change lenses”, “I will just push the iso rather than use a tripod”, “I will try to hand hold”, etc. but then I found i was making pictures that were much worse, despite the fact that it was all “free”. that is when I made a conscious decision to shoot more with my medium format film camera, always use my tripod, always take the care and time to shoot it right and try to not take easy and obvious pictures. It feels like not only has it helped my make much better images with my medium format, but it has also made the whole process better and gotten me back to making better pictures when I do shoot digitally.

    hooray for film.

  • Pankun and James vids are the best! The greatest pick me up ever!