A Cliche in Motion or Focus?

Izu Cliche

Another early Izu shot. Just look at the pin-sharp focus on that rock bisected by bottom of the frame! You could cut yourself on that. Slicing up eyeballs, i want you to know!

My guess is that this from a roll of Tri-X that i developed in Superprodol (my go to push developer over the years…) Superprodol, it turns out, is some pretty strong soup, and all the shots on the roll were at least a stop over by the time i was finished. Consequently this shot has a “high-key” look that i’m no naturally inclined to take.

Five (plus) years after it was taken, and with a little postprocessing, i rather like it. Somethings just take a while.

A Pastoral Scene


This was taken around Shuzenji, just after i’d first bought the Hasselblad. It’s the sort of shot that you can imagine yourself taking with a big medium format camera – nobody around to distract you, an idyllic scene, allowing yourself to get lost in the viewfinder.

And, ah, that viewfinder! I remember being entirely enchanted with the distinct 3D effect that you experience when you simply waggle the camera about a little. Things see to stand off the glass… quite distracting. Also quite disappointing when you look at the negatives, where you are left in no doubt that this is a 2D medium.

That’s Mt. Fuji hiding behind the smoke drifting in the valley.

New Magnesium Post: Izu Tripping

My second piece for Mg is now live. Brett dreamed up some text for me. He’s a very talented chap. The words flow out of him like honey slides… obscure reference for the day.

It has been good having another outlet for these photographs. Flickr is oriented toward the individual shot, and when you work on a series, it tends to get lost in the noise. This is especially true, if, like me, it sometimes takes a couple of years to feel that something is finished!

The shots in that piece were shot over a period of a year and a half. They’re all taken through train windows when going or returning from diving. Izu looks rather neglected these days, like an English seaside town, but with lush vegetation, torrential rain, and bamboo. Even though i obviously don’t remember it when it was a series of flourishing hotspring resorts, it evokes a feeling of nostalgia. Nostalgia, which is obviously fake, and therefore manufactured, or ‘falsely recovered’. If you know Izu, i hope it does something for you…

And, yes, the day that it hammered down with rain lead to some really memorable diving!


More diving on the spin cycle…

It looks oh so peaceful here, but under the waves the swell / currents were something to reckoned with. It’s always hard to guess, but i’d say that it was moving me about 3m with each push / pull.

To get the shot of this nudibranch shot i was hanging onto a ~20kg boulder, which still wasn’t heavy enough to stop the waves trying to fold my legs over my head, and had another diver pushing down on my tank…

[That’s an アカエラミノウミウシ which i’ve never seen before at IOP, but this year is hanging on for dear life under every rock that you care to look under. It used to be that ムカデウミシ were two a penny, but yesterday i think i saw only one. Talking to some of the older divers, they can’t remember a time when so much has changed so quickly. The water temperature rose 3ºC over night (from 13ºC to 16ºC) on Wednesday!]

Amazing that it can be that deceptive – calm above the water and raging below it. I tried to get a shot of the white out conditions near the exit point, but by the time it got really bad i was too engaged in staying alive to take another shot… This shot is probably 10m from the beach, in at most 2m of water. Just after this the diver in front of me (really shouldn’t be on that side of the rope – there be dragons… or at least really big rocks) lost his weights, and unceremoniously surfaced with great haste. Being the kind soul that i am, i picked them up for him… mistake! An extra 8kg of lead doesn’t do much for you buoyancy… but it does make you get thrown around by the waves a little less. After a little rough and tumble, involving me being picked up and dumped on a large rock, hip first, i got back to the beach. Honestly, it’s much easier to dive on your own… until these kind of things happen to you… hmm. The buddy system. 

Rather disturbingly i’ll own up to loving this kind of stuff – boat diving is for old people! My body however, is not as keen as it used to be. It was a great relief to be able to walk this morning. By the time i went to bed my right hip was feeling like it might seize up and never move again. Don’t laugh (too much) if you see me hobbling around.

Only one dive again – have to avoid making a habit of this… My left ear, the one that i perforated last year (or was it the year before?) wasn’t clearing properly, and while it was manageable, not stopping from diving to 30m, it’s not something that i want to push now. One more tear and i might have to hang up my fins for good. Better to err of the side of caution… which must sound a little off after reading my last couple of diving posts!