Stumble In


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.



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!



Old unpublished shot from 2008.

Taken along the counter, presumably with the standard hassie 80mm lens. Given the volume of the mirror slap it’s pretty much impossible to stealthily sneak a shot. The best you can hope for is a lot of background noise, and looking the other way.

Aka Oni (a sake bar / izakaya) in Sangenjaya was for many years one of my favourite treats. Everything was expensive, but the dude running the place really made an effort to make it worth it – and generally it was. I’d guess he left about five years ago, and it was never really the same. The focus on quality turned into a more gimmicky attempt to try new things. Oh, Japan! You never seem to be conservative about the right things…

[Aside: take the 三軒茶屋 challenge – on a Mac (using Kotoeri) work out which kana to type for ‘sangenjaya’ such that all four kanji are the first choice!]


In order to fulfill a request for a high quality scan (more ragged trousered philanthropy on my part…) i’ve been looking at an old (01.09) of negatives and wondering how to do a better job of scanning them.

They are obviously over exposed, and have always scanned with a huge amount of grain. It has always seemed to be that it’s easier to rescue underexposed negatives when scanning, the opposite when printing. With some experimentation i’ve managed to badger Silverfast into giving me what, to me at least, is an interesting result.

Enoshima_0006Enoshima_0003Enoshima_0004 Enoshima_0005

Really like the feel of them now. An uneasy nostalgia.

Another situation where i fought with myself over whether or not to crop. There is nothing (?!) that annoys me more than un-intentionally off horizons, and yet i can’t bring myself to make the cuts!

Enoshima, Japan. January 2009. Hasselblad 503cw, CFE 80mm, Ilford SFX 200 @200, with an R72 Infrared Filter. Developed in Rodinal.

Think i’d like to print one of the last two… decisions, decisions.