All on the Line

代々木 IR

A slightly off kilter Infrared 代々木 (Yoyogi) crossing shot from 2009. Rails on the busy lines (this is yamanote or saikyo-sen… maybe) are a lot more curved than you might imagine. If i can find this negative it’s one of the ones that would be nice to hang in the house. Düster!

Starting to think that 2009 was a very creative year. Quite where the time came from to shoot and develop all this film remains a mystery.

Giza (not Ginza) by the Bay

Tokyo Big Sight

While working on my shots for the second Fragments of Tokyo there were a lot of attempts that simply wouldn’t work out. These mostly got posted on flickr under the monicker “Various Failures” (shamelessly stolen from The Swans album of the same name), which mostly prompted people to tell me to that they liked them, and that it wasn’t a failure.

What i was really trying to get across was that the shots were a failure in the context of what i wanted to show in the exhibition. Some simply happened too late, others didn’t really fit in with the general feeling, other needed to be re-attempted.

That exhibition was the first time that i’d really worked with a vision of what should be on the walls firmly fixed in my head. The process was in turn endlessly enjoyable, frustrating, and exhausting.

Tokyo Big Sight was an attempt to see a little differently through perspective and bring the pyramids to Tokyo Bay. As you can see above it didn’t really work out. There is definitely a time of day, a focal length where it could have been made to work… but that never coincided with any of my attempts to have it happen! There are, of course, numerous others that will never see the light of day.

One day i’ll go back and get it right… shame it’s such a pain in the arse to get to!

Skynet

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This started back in 2007 with a digicam shot taken in Yoyogi (on the crossing near the NTT Docomo syringe tower). As noted in that post, it wasn’t something i’d thought of as square, but became that way due to the camera strap being in the top part of the frame. Oops.

Apparently it made quite the impression on me, and getting the reflection of the overhead cables in the rails became a minor obsession. The example above isn’t my favourite, which is probably why it languished unseen for five years. Even though the cables make an interesting pattern in the sky, and the reflection in the rail is clear, the shot is probably a little too wide, therefore lacking the density that would give it more impact. There are several other examples that work better.

Taken (literally!) on the Sangenjaya line (三軒茶屋線) on the way back from a pizza lunch at Tonino‘s in Shimotakaido (下高井戸). The pizza was good, cheese-less(!), but often accompanied by a few beers that needed walking off…

Stumble In

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Another one of those shots where nothing is in focus, maybe there is camera shake, and it shouldn’t really work. Yet, somehow, it evokes a mood which i really like. So, er, “works for me!”

Going solely off the file name, it was taken in Hibiya, or between Hibiya and Yurakucho, in 2009. There is a little row off shack like izakayas, near where the railway line cuts across the main road at an angle… i could be describing just about anywhere in central Tokyo.

Red Shift

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According to the original file name this somewhere out on the Arakawa line, and given the skyline, over in East Tokyo.

It’s taken with Ilford SFX 200, a bit of a gimmick (is that the second time i’ve used that word today?) film, which is hard to use without a rangefinder. At the time i didn’t really understand how best to focus to compensate for working at a different wavelength… Consequently a lot of the pictures have this “mysterious” soft look, which leaves you searching for the point try to be made. In this case you’d have to hazard that it was in someway related to the pointlessness of life, and the inevitability of death. Or something equally existential.

Live and learn. As someone like Goethe would no doubt say, “Bildung!”

Flurry

It looks like there will be more photography posted here for a while. The world conspires to reinforce my tentative steps.

For some reason i’ve been enjoying looking back at older stuff, re-thinking it, and finding a way to enjoy it. Perhaps it’s writing about them, or just nostalgia…

Nevertheless, more photography.

Stretched

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Dread to think how many of these shots i’ve taken. No doubt most find them dull / uninspired. For me they are endlessly intriguing (when they go right…) With inspection the wash of blur gives way and yields up all sorts of little details, and fragmentary glimpses into other spaces. In this one, the passengers of the stationary train on the next platform, the elongated shadow, the hard lines of the door… yeah, i guess it’s just me!