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Fotografika: Mar 29 to Apr 3

The Fotografika exhibition starts in about 12 hours and I'll be there for most of the afternoon of the 29th to welcome guests. If you have the chance, please drop by. I'll also be there on the evening of the 2nd. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's shots. With a theme like Midnight, there's bound to be many fantastic images. Don't miss it.

Another fire next door!

Another fire struck near my place, this time in an apartment building. Sadly, the preliminary information I got were erroneous; one man with a leg disability perished in the incident. Here are some shots.


Better Late...

Here are the final shots of the photoshoot with Tomoko and Shuhei. It took some time because I was delayed in printing them, and it felt a little wrong to show them to you before they. I'll be delivering them within 48 hours, so I feel OK to do so now. Enjoy!

My first semi-nudes; felt fine doing it

This one is their first selection
Made a funky one with background
layers and they preferred this one

I really like the moment here
Added noise to create a 'film' look


"Midnight" Photoshoot

Last night I finally had the chance to do the photoshoot with Diane Orrett for the Soho Gallery "Midnight" exhibition. It was windy so I could use my umbrella for the flash, sadly, but after a quick look just before, the results look good anyways. After the main shoot at our location (and posing with our arm bands!), we took some more shots by the nearby river walkway and its sculptures. It was a lot of fun seeing the people's faces!

I'm due to bring the picture sometime next Sunday so I'll need to hurry to print it after retouching it. I had an idea to heavily retouch it last night (rough night sleep) and I'll see what the results are later. The exhibition will be held from March 29 to April 3, I hope you can make it.


About the Quake

Let me first start out by saying that my family and friends are all safe. I have the chance to live in Osaka, which is quite far from the devastation and possible dangers. I'll be joining different events to support the victims of this terrible force of nature, I hope you'll do the same.

Part of me would really love to travel up there to document what is going on, but now that I'm partly responsible for another life, the decision to stay here was pretty easy to take. Anyways, the big news agencies already have access to fantastic shots; if I went there, I'd just be taking food, shelter and electricity from people in need.

For those who might be interested, here's the latest information on how the earthquake affected the Japanese camera makers. Luckily, it seems that physical damage aside, no real damage,  i.e. deaths and serious injuries, occurred within their companies. But for you out there obsessed with getting your hands on the latest technology, patience might be in order. Instead, I recommend investing money on some books, like this one if you're new to shooting in manual mode, this one if you want to improve composition, this one if you want to become more creative in the widest sense of the word, and finally this one if you wish to take your photography to the art level. Buying all of them will not benefit Japan's economy, but it will most likely cost you less and benefit you more than buying the latest camera/lens.

I have yet to find the best way to support the victims of the earthquake (be mindful of fake charities or big organization whose operating costs take away some/much of your donation). As soon as it is possible, I'll be dumping a big stack of clothes and non-perishable to the appropriate organization.

I have finished retouching the pictures I took of my student Tomoko, and I'm waiting for her approval to show you the results. Otherwise, my photoshoot with Diane for the Soho Gallery Fotografika is scheduled for next Tuesday. Basic exposure and composition were determined on reconnaissance missions, here's an outtake and its B/W rendition using a quadtone.


Sennichimae Photo Contest Ceremony

Yesterday Saturday was the unveiling ceremony of the Sennichimae Photo contest, in which I got one of the 3 prized mention. It was a little cool in the shopping arcade where it was held, and later during the event I regretted declining some hot pads to keep my hands warm. Representatives from the sponsors were there, and perhaps a little surprisingly, the speeches weren't too long.

It was a little funny as the grand prize winner is married to an American, and I'm Canadian! Of course my acceptance speech was pretty dismal, as I struggled with my Japanese and forgot an important part of my so-called funny story about the shot. But, oh well, there'll always be next time!

Women especially were cooing over Kazuma Alexis, who slept through the whole thing. If you wish to see the picture, follow this link to know the exact location; it's basically across the boulevard from Bic Camera in Minami. Here are some shots of the day.

The unveiling of my picture
About half the winners

The prizes: certificate, CD with some info, envelope with
cash prize and a box of Japanese sweets
The super models in front of their shot


Fun With Layers

Using a shot I took tonight of Kaz, I decided to play with layers. I had another layer in mind when I made his picture, but somehow it didn't work as well. I'm sure I'll be able to use another time, though. Hopefully, as this shot suggests, Kaz will enjoy the outdoors!


Fun Weekend

This was a busy weekend for me, especially from Saturday evening to Sunday morning.

Last night was the opening party for my friend Christophe Mespoulede's exhibition called A.N.O.N.Y.M.O.U.S. W.A.L.K.E.R.S. (which is a drag to type!). It features mostly black and white photographs of people on their way to work or play in and around Osaka. If you have the chance, drop by the nice Millibar Gallery in Honmachi until March 14 for this great exhibit.

The man

After, we went on to the Osaka Salon nearby for some (more) refreshments. Some dined at the izakaya downstairs,  others went straight for the drinks, with some made-on-location crepes. Fun times again in a relaxed atmosphere.


After, with friends Kana and Benoit (at opposite ends on the picture above left), we went to Cinquecento Bar in Shinsaibashi for their 8th anniversary party. I have an article on the place this month in Kansai Scene, and decided to have a last drink there to say hi to Tony, the owner, and see friends I figured I'd meet there. And indeed I saw more than one familiar face, although I didn't have too much time to talk as I didn't want to get home too late.




And finally, this morning to my student Tomoko's home to take some pictures of her 36-week pregnant belly and her husband. She liked my pictures of Yuma and Kamei and wanted some of her own. Here's just a preview of the pictures.


Catching Up

I've been quite busy these past days. Between my online class, regular w*rk including some new classes, Kaz, designing a t-shirt and arranging some photoshoots, I've had little time to blog. But that doesn't mean I haven't been making some pictures, though.

Some of them have been influenced by two books I've received recently. The first one is The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum. If you are serious about making better pictures, I can't recommend it enough. At the price they're selling it, it's a much better investment than just about any equipment you'll ever buy for your hobby. A lot of the information in there (at least what I've read so far) is found in other books, but his explanations and accompanying shots are much more revealing, and he writes as an artist trying to convey meaning, not just an artisan looking to make pretty pictures.

The second book is Night Photography by Lance Keimig. Night photography is a different beast from regular picture making and although I have some knowledge based on experience, I thought I'd get this book, based on good reviews and planning a night shoot soon for the Soho Gallery 'Fotografika' exhibition. So far, the book has been a great investment as well. Night photography isn't for everyone, but those who enjoy usually enjoy it with a passion.

In any case, here are some shots from the past 10 days or so. Some are presented as shot, others have had some post-production in them; some are serious, others much less so. Enjoy.

Temple next door (for now!)

Who'd approve this?

Focus is overrated


Shot meters away from where my wedding pictures we taken


Shot in the Takedao abandoned  bag storage space

Delicious homemade gyouza soup by my wife

Many lessons provide awesome locations

Returning home tonight