Fartist Diaries: A Photo Exhibition

Apparently we spend 3 years of our lives in the toilet; that's about 10 days a year! It only makes sense to continue the creative process there. In view of the subject at hand, the shots were taken mostly from a compositional point of view. As you can imagine, this is my most serious and ambitious exhibition of my life (cough, cough). But honestly, some of these cellphone shots are amongst my favorites. They will be framed according to the theme (no unpleasant odors, no worries) and will go up next Tuesday (Buffalo Wings at half price; coincidence? up to you to decide). Drop by the Blarney Stone Shinsaibashi in September to enjoy some decent pictures and even better drinks and food.


Photo Shoot at Corners: Let's Get Physical

Last Wednesday I had another photo shoot for the PR-y project at Corners (click on the link to see me in action). Today was a little different as they had a physical instruction come to do some exercise with the artists. It was held at their gallery nearby and overall, the mood was good.We were a little cramped, but not matter, everyone had a good time, I think. After the exercise was done, I went up to the second floor to talk with Kasatani-san, the project's director, and Takako-san, Corners' director. They had laid out some, but not all, of Makoto's painting, especially his Ballerina series. It was quite impressive.

After, I went to SoHo Gallery where I met some of the other photographers, while Kasatani-san and Takako-san also showed up separately. They had only good words for my picture, which is always nice to hear even I don't let head get too big.

Here are some of the pictures from yesterday, enjoy!


Lovely Timing

There are some Japlish expressions, borrowed words from English that have entered the Japanese lexicon without necessarily keeping the original meaning, which I don't know if I like or dislike. Lovely timing is one of them, and it means timely (macho is another one, and here it means muscular).

Today, I had a good dose of lovely timing. As I got out of my morning w*rk, I noticed that the ground was wet from a small shower, and as I looked up the sky, I did notice it was pretty grey. I continued walking towards the station and a few drops fell. I got into the station, perused the photo magazine section of a bookstore, and when I got on the platform, it was raining cats and dogs. Thank you rain for sparing me, especially since I was out for the day.

When I got to Nipponbashi in Osaka, of course it was sunny, sweltering and humid, the perfect weather for some Japanese curry. Then, I went to the SoHo Gallery for the opening of the Fotografika exhibition. Great pictures all around, including some surprising shots from more one friend.  Tsuyoshi, a photographer friend, got there just a few moments before I had to leave. What a shame, but we'll be able to meet again this Saturday.

Well, here are some shots of the lovely rain this morning.


My New Office

Still under construction, but this is what it sort of looks like when I see it with a camera in my face.


Second Photo Shoot of the Day: Black Swan Becky

After the morning's Corners shoot, I had lunch at El Zocalo (lived up to its reputation), visited a few galleries to get some inspiration, before meeting Becky for the first photoshoot of a new series called Black Swan. This series has nothing to do with the movie of the same title, it's actually inspired by Nicholas Taleb's theory of how unpredictable, random events are often the ones that affect our lives the most because they are so unpredictable.

I met Becky by chance a few week's back, and  I quickly thought she'd be a good subject for this project which has been germinating in my mind for some time. We only had the chance to really talk to each other yesterday for the first time. We realized we have many friends in common, especially since her fiancĂ© works at a popular club in Osaka, where other of my friends are working/have worked.

When I met her, I quickly realized she'd be great for my project. We started the shoot at her place, continued commuting to Chopsticks Tattoo, where the main shoot occurred. Even though I came unannounced, the tattoo artist, Ben Her, was enthusiastic about me shooting, especially since I could teach him a thing or two about using a DSLR. Talented and creative as he is, he'll have it down in no time, I'm sure.

Coming back to Becky, I was a little surprised to see basically no signs of suffering on her face throughout the shoot. Then again, considering she had her first ink done at 18 and that she has some on both her arms (5 sessions for her other arm, not sure about this one, but at least 2 considering the colors) and her back, perhaps this is not too surprising. The conversation was pretty lively, I mostly let them talk as I didn't want to interfere. The tattooing was finished in under 3 hours and after some final shots, off home we were.

Well, here are some previews of the shots, basically no adjustments on the pictures. The cropping will probably be similar for the final product.

First Shoot of the Day: Corners

Yesterday Tuesday I went to Corners to take take some pictures for the PR-y project.  The mercury went up high yesterday and two artists slept, while Ko-chan, my main subject, did not feel like drawing until late. But on a brighter note, once finished a drawing, and went straight to his next one! I unconsciously focused on close-up shots this time, something my friend Fif pointed later at a bar when we met. It's great to have people give constructive criticism. The shooting was shortened a little early to allow them to have lunch before going to the pool; lucky them!

Well, here are some raw shots, enjoy.


I think it's funny

Tonight I took some shots in preparation for the photo course I'll offer in September. I took out my first DSLR, the wonderful Nikon D40 to shoot my 'professional' D700. Yeah, the bigger one has more megapixels, D-lighting adjustments and many other functions I rarely use or are not that important (the ISO performance and FX sensor are spectacular, though), but the D40 still produces shots that I use for magazines and private requests. Coupled with my 70-300mm lens, because of its smaller sensor, the lens effectively becomes a 105-450mm! Six megapixels is more than enough in 99% of the cases, and the 1/500s sync flash is very handy when shooting one-handed or wanting to really 'freeze the action'. It's pretty sad that other 'superior' Nikons since then only have a max sync speed of 1/250s (other companies are the same, or worse).

In any case, at the end I thought it'd be fun to take a picture of the tiny (i.e. lightweight, so very convenient) D40, dwarfed by the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the SB-600 strobe. It may be past its prime, but the D40 is still a great camera; if only my Tokina 20-35 worked on it, it'd be with me much more often.


Secret to a good picture

It's not your camera, nor your lens. It's the light, the timing. Case in point, taken with my cell phone today. Of course I wish I had my DSLR to record a better capture, but the image here on this website would not have been very different. A lot of photojournalism is done with iPhones these days, and the trend will only continue. So you really have no excuses not to enjoy photography!

By Popular Demand...

Baby shots!
I'm not joking. The model agency needs some new ones, while a student's mother who comes here asked me where the baby shots where! Well, we took some this morning, even if Kaz was rather sleepy. There's some pretty cool ones. There were mostly shot one-handed, while I held my softbox in the other hand. Enjoy, mothers all around the world!

He can almost sit
And he enjoys push-ups. imitating daddy

He enjoys the outdoors
Hey, what's so funny?


Bicycle Diaries: '11-08-03

Today I had a bicycle diaries day, something I hadn't done for some time. Here are some of the shots. They're too fresh for me to really evaluate them. You be the judge. As is typical, all shots at F/4 in Aperture priority mode, sometimes with exposure compensation, one way or the other. Usually I use the automatic focus set on closet subject, but not always.  Most of these were taken from the waist, or should I say from the handlebar, without looking in the viewfinder.

I was unusually stopped for this one

My favorite of the day

Toning adjustments added

Me in two decades or so

Lean on me

More toning adjustments

To the left

To the right

And that's the truth

Another stopped one (traffic light)


Rain, Water and Food Porn

I've been shooting several things recently, partly for the Water exhibit coming up (still not sure if I'll use my Takedao shot or not), preparing for a photo class I'll offer (exclusive info!) and just for fun. Here are some results of the past few days, nothing really conclusive.

Background out of focus so the rain would be

Outside an office where I w*rked tonight

Food porn. A small present for my wife, who's
been doing so much lately; Cassis Fromage
from Gregory Collet, Japan. 

PR-y Website

The PR-y now has its own working website. Please visit http://www.PR-y.org/. Although almost all the text is in Japanese (for people using Firefox, download rikaichan for word-by-word translations), it's easy to find the photo galleries, separated by photographer. Enjoy! My next trip to Corners should be on the 17th, but I may be able to squeeze on in next week.