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.

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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!”

Fragments of Tokyo Exhibition

My first photography exhibition is opening next week, Monday, 8th of February, and is up until Sunday, the 14th.

We are having a little soiree on Thursday afternoon (what is a soiree in the afternoon called?), the 11th. It’s a national holiday (建国記念日 – founding of the nation day) so hopefully a few people will be able to drop by, have a glass of wine, and a chat. The gallery (Place M) is open from 1pm, but that’s not a particularly civilised time to start drinking… so how about 3pm? Oh, and don’t get your hopes up, we’re not – so there won’t be cases of wine!

I’m putting up nine pictures… or maybe ten… or eight… won’t really know until i see them on the wall. It has been quite the experience getting from negatives to getting A2 prints hung on a wall. Along the way i’ve lost a little sleep, worried and drunk too much, and acquired a printer. Here’s hoping that it’ll be easier next time… assuming there is a “next time”.

Edit: also, this, which Watanabe-san kindly made as banner ad, but we don’t have anywhere to use it:

It’s great having talented friends.