A wedding: Miwa & Jun

I had a pleasure of photographing the wedding of this lovely couple.

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

It is funny how things happen sometimes. I was out on Lygon Street one weekend catching up with a friend. The cafe was pretty crowded so when another group came in just behind us, we offered the larger table to them and moved indoors looking for a small table enough for my friend and me. In the end, we ended up coming back to this group so we could share the table.

As it turned out, they were Japanese, and with my friend and I both speak Japanese, we chatted a bit. One person in the other group lives here in Melbourne, and looks after small events and stuff. Oh, my friend here is a musician and I am a photographer… let us know if you need a help. Oh, actually there is a wedding of friends coming up but they haven’t found a photographer yet. And it was only weeks away.

That’s how I got an introduction. I explained the style of my wedding photography, which is the same as my other event photography – documentary snaps. I imagine many couples expect more commercial/fashion shoot style wedding photographer, especially those who ask for pre-wedding shoots (popular in Asian countries – not Japan but seen a lot in other countries). They make saturated colourful images of the couple dressed up in dramatic, romantic setup, with relatively dramatic lighting and composition, and have the images done weeks or months in advance, so that they can be shown at the reception or used in invitational material and a wedding album. That is not what I do. Miwa and Jun had a look at sample images I have in public, on this blog and Facebook page, and agreed that they would be happy with my approach.

We initially discussed a possible 4-hour shoot but turned out to be a full-day work starting from 9:30 in the morning and finishing past 6:30pm. But thanks to some delays and the extra opportunities to shoot in the afternoon light, I was able to take advantage of the warmer late afternoon light for the street shots, which I thought I would have to struggle under the harsh mid day sun. In that sense, we were lucky things did not quite go according to plan and we were both flexible enough to make the best of the fluid nature of the busy day.

Miwa and Jun have kindly given me a permission to share some of the images with you, so here they go…

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

Miwa and Jun wedding 10 February 2014

So there you have it. They are really lovely, relaxed couple, just enjoying their day to the fullest. I’m looking forward to meeting them again, perhaps at another major family event in their life together…

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November

Sunrise 8 November 2012

It has been on the back of my mind pretty much every day. As I kept shooting on my artistic project, documentary coverage of the street artists, and even throwing in some commercial work that found its way to my in front of my lens, I kept thinking, geez, it’s been ages since I updated my blog!

So sorry, if you kept checking back on me to see what’s going on. I have been well. VERY well, in fact. As I said, I have been busy photographing, practically every single day of the short month of November. I made a few new friends who have become important in my life, so I no longer sit at home in front of my 4-year-old Macbook browsing the net and pondering on my reflection journey, here on this blog. But here I am, back again! If you are following my Facebook Page, you know that I have been constantly publishing my work from the day’s shoot.

Social is easy and instantaneous. That is good and bad. Just like everyone else I have the desire to share the beautiful things in my life, want to hear everyone go ‘wow!’. But as a photographer, and as an artist, it may not necessarily be a good thing. Back to school, we must have learned that step of reflection. (not the reflection project that I’ve been doing for the last couple of years :p  but) the time to sit, let them be, detach yourself from the subject matter, even your own feelings, and let the images be. Are they good images? Do they communicate? Do they work? What will the OTHERS feel? If there is unanswered on any of those questions, or ‘no, it is not quite’, then it shouldn’t be out there, not with my name on it. It just brings down the standard of my work as known to people. I am not perfect, far from it, and I shoot fair amount of wasted frames. I still make mistake of pressing the shutter when I was not sure I go the image ready in my frame of view. And those are the ones that will never see the light of the day. But even if they are good, again, they need to be good TO YOU, not to me. Social is not allowing me the time. At least, for me, I am caught in that situation similar to the caffeine addiction where I just need to keep going.

So hopefully this writing the blog ‘thing’ is going to help me get back down to the ground. No more walking on the moon, no more quite and instant gratification. Look at the long game.

Blogging and sharing high quality images on the internet has its own down side too. Recently one of the art community blog that I am following covered a photographer who shoot reflection in the water, putting it upside down. I know I cannot chase originality in the world of photography where everything has been attempted before already in this new and old medium. But I still feel like I’ve been cheated. The good side, though, is that this photographer is all technique, or just simple physics, really, and totally lacks the conceptual abstract value in his works. So, stay tuned. I aim at pulling together my reflection series 2010-2013 soon. Hopefully I’ll find some small gallery, even at a student group exhibition, where I can put my images to the proper test.

 

Well, enough reading for now. I’ll start playing catch up now. Lots of images from November coming soon, to this blog. Thank you, as always, for your support. I love receiving the notification email from WordPress saying that somebody started to follow my blog, or liked a particular post. That makes me realise what is working and what is not, without being subjective about it. Some of them are surprising, others reassuring, or disappointing. But I really like to hear your thoughts. So please DO drop me a comment, email, or just Like when you feel, ‘hey, this is all right. I can look at it over my coffee’.

Thanks.

Camera for a leftie

There are plenty of left-handed people in this world. It is known to be particularly common among the creative people. One theory says that it is because of the function of right brain, being the creative side that gets developed by using more actively (by the left hand side of body). But looking across the history of cameras, there are really only a single handful of models that were designed for use with a left hand. Try holding your point and shoot with your left hand – it is not easy to use it without twisting and spraining your wrist.

When I was a student, I was working at a photographic service shop in downtown Osaka. It was at the height of bubble economy. There were many very interesting (but not mainstream) cameras in store. I remember there was a Minolta (now under Sony) camera that was bulky, heavy and looked like binocular (horizontal hold shape), and had an ‘auto zoom’ with eye detection on the eye cap on view finder. When you look through it, camera starts zooming and judge how much you would want to zoom, on your behalf! Anyhow, in such times, there was Kyocera that made left-handed model in their ‘Samurai’ vertical hold models (which look like the small cam-corders that became popular years later).

While discussing with a handicapped friend on his blog about left-hand operation camera, I hinted that maybe the solution is to have one made for him on request. But it is not that complicated. Have a look at the photo of an SLR with a vertical-position grip. It has extra battery inside, and a set of shutter and primary operation buttons/dial on the same position as holding the camera at horizontal. Look at this – how difficult could it be to hold this camera with left hand? Compared to twisting your wrist to use one designed for a leftie, it should be much easier.

縦位置用グリップ

Obviously, I would not recommend that on SLR. There are too many operations that are not easy with only a left hand. Also the weight on a single hand is going to hurt your arm, shoulder, back, etc. Then I came across this image :

 

If you think about the vertical position grip I mentioned earlier, it is just a grip with a remote switch and a few bits put together. So, if you could find a remote trigger like this guy did on his mockup, you could have a shutter on the left hand side. If you could somehow mould shape or make a grip out of a block of aluminium or something, and nicely fit the trigger, add a zoom control and that’s all it takes.

On a small compact camera, taping up a control on the left or on the front of the camera could be a good start. What do you think?

Cups

At home on Saturday evening. After sending emails, reading the same novel again and while watching an old film on the monitor on coffee table, I was inspired by what was going on in front of me. Light is putting on the show for me. All I had to do was to concentrate on what is going on, and capture it.

cups

 

cups

 

cups

I still have not decided on the replacement street shoot camera since my beloved Panasonic and its beautiful pancake lens found a new home. But at least, my ‘bigger one’ has this lens that capture that delicate light on smooth texture.

Wedding photo shoot: Yukiko and Hiro

I photographed this lovely couple’s special day. They tied the knot, just the two of them, with the Japanese photographer running around them all morning. We have discussed a lot of ideas about where and what kind of images they had in mind. I did some location scouting shoots and shared the images. And then, the big day came. We came out with some beautiful images from our half-day’s shoot, but here is a small collection of my personal favourites.

They registered their marriage at the Japanese Consul-General. Unfortunately they did not allow photographing on site, but we agreed to do a sort of ‘before and after’ series, in which I suggested that they changed their outfit and shoot the first series about the confession, romance and relationship, while after they are officially married, it is about being together, where they go hand-in-hand. I showed some shots on the back of the camera to share the idea I was going for, while I also directed them to live the confession, becoming the gangster or ‘yakuza’ on the backstreet, and we had the Osakan comedian’s cheeky smiles. Starting off very nervous and a bit stiff from morning cold air, too, Yukiko and Hiro quickly got on with this and we had a lot of fun. Well, check out the rest of the collection. Leave your comments, please.

Thank you, Yukiko & Hiro. I look forward to seeing you happy and smiling together for years to come!