Idiot Mode

A while back i bought a Fujifilm Natura Black ƒ1.9 off Yahoo! Auction!, and then forgot about it until we were in Japan last month. They are supposed to be hard to find, but maybe that’s an issue with not many getting outside japan, or not so many getting produced. My idea was that it would be a good small camera that i can take everywhere, and it’s fast enough to use out and about at night.

Let’s not talk about me not having taken anything since getting back… ok?

This afternoon i took apart the scanner and removed the single fiber on the underside of the glass that has been bugging me for months, and did some scanning. The backlog had got a little out of hand… there was (and still is…) stuff from Berlin, and stuff from Japan. There is also stuff to be developed. Oops.

One of the shots from Berlin Hauptbahnhof i’m very happy with. Has all the layers and complexity that floats my boat. The only issue i have with it is the size of my head… but that’s nothing new.

But, back to the Natura Black. It has a feature of printing the date on the shots… and a manual in Japanese. Consequently the first couple of films are going to be a little… derp.

Espsecially as i didn’t bother to set the date in the camera…

The other amusing consequence of not reading the manual was that i didn’t know how to override the film speed, which is automatically picked up from the DX encoding on the canister. This resulted in me sitting in a bar in Shinjuku looking at wikipedia on someones iPhone and scratching paint off film with some keys. Surprisingly it actually worked! And, while i have subsequently worked out how to disable the timestamping, overriding the film speed is still a mystery.

Update: an update from Tom. Apparently the way to override the film speed is via exposure compensation. Thought i’d tried that and it wasn’t making it past turning the camera off / on. The other option is buying some stickers – which i’d assumed existed, but was having a hard time finding. The ‘paint removal with a key’ method turns out to be only removing one square of the matrix for my most common push (ASA 400 –> 1600)

2nd Annual ‘Fragments of Tokyo’ Exhibition

It’s on! Do drop by if you can.

We’re planning to all be there on the Saturday (3.19). Not sure if we’ll manage to organise a party at the gallery, but if there are enough people around at the end of the day on Saturday i’m sure we’ll find a way to get in to our cups.

Update: my part of the show is now up on the Magnesium Agency site, here.

You’re probably wondering what happened to Mg. The answer is something like ‘it’s on semi-permanent hiatus’. I’m being a little cheeky and using it as a means for getting some better WordPress hosting, with proper galley support…

Golden Gai (in Blue)

Took the venerable 10d out for a ride the other night. Forgotten how slow and clunky it is to use: autofocus doesn’t work in the dark; it takes an age to save one shot; and the shutter button is almost dead!

Playing with a 50D for a few minutes was a bit of a revelation… perhaps i’ll have to get one of these new fangled digital camera things?

Been a while since i shot and processed a batch of digi-snaps. Hate to have to admit it, but it was quite an enjoyable change of creative pace. There. I said it. Happy now, Adrian?

Wrap

Fragments of TokyoWhat a week! Last night we took the exhibition down, packed it all up, and went home… after a few beers.

It has been a great experience, and good to have so many people turn out. Don’t really know how many people we got through the door.

On the three days that i was there, there wasn’t a quiet moment… actually, around 6:30 last night, watanabe-san and i were the only ones in the gallery, we both thought it was all over. The relief was cut short by a couple of swedish photographers that we’d met in Golden Gai the night before, followed by a posse of drunk Mg’ers.

I’ve learned a couple of good lessons: everybody likes different shots, you have to get over all ideas you might have about which ones will be popular; pulling a series out of the mess on flickr, getting a consistent set of shots, really helps you see them for what they are; talking to people about photography for hours several days in a row takes it out of you!

The show as a whole came together really well. Even though we worked from a very loose theme, the four sets of pictures worked well together. That was luck, as we certainly didn’t plan it…

Wouldn’t say that, right now, i’m looking forward to doing it again, but give a few months and that’ll probably change. It’ll certainly be nice to get out there and shoot again without having this hanging over me.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the show, especially all of the friends who came along to support and helped out in so many ways. Love you all.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, i’ve posted my shots on the Magnesium site. Will have to see if the others are going to do something similar. If so i’ll send out links.