September 20 2014

When you find a location with an interesting background you just have to stay there and work it. In the underground of Shibuya Station in Tokyo, I found this stretch with a wonderful black and white tiled floor and a wall with a single colour which people would pass by. The theme I am on is to have single individuals walking past. I want to capture in motion. I have an idea of the type of person I want; tall and skinny and ideally with poor posture. The poor posture will give lines when blurred that someone with good posture won’t. And it matches the narrative better.

In Tokyo, no matter what time of day it is difficult to get one individual into a frame, as there are usually so many people passing. At times, I see a figure approach and ready myself to frame them. Then others converge and I put the camera down in frustration. I like to get the full figure from head to toe in frame; if I don’t, I usually delete. Now, here’s the thing, I am changing. I am becoming more flexible and allowing those whose shoes are not in frame to go undeleted. In this little series, I have a few images like these. Today’s is one. The main guy is neither thin nor tall and the weight he is carrying, he carries well. Yet, I love the image.

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Slowly shedding

Each day, when I set out to write the blog, I do so one only one intention- to discipline myself. Somedays, it is quite easy to write; ideas come without too much struggle. Other days, it is a chore. And the frustrating thing is that my discipline wanes after I have written about the DSLR image. I get to the iPhone image and all I want to do is draw a close to the blog and give in to distraction and curiosity. Maybe I should reverse the order – write about the iPhone image first.

Getting taxis in Japan is different to anywhere else I have been. The first thing you learn is that the rear passenger door opens automatically for you. The second thing you learn is that it closes automatically also. This means you should not try to close it yourself as you exit. This will annoy your driver. Your driver who wears the cleanest of white gloves. Taxis are expensive, but probably no more expensive than in Ireland, but astronomical in comparison to Hong Kong and Korea. You do not tip the driver, which is a great thing, in my opinion. I do not get tipping. I do not see why you have to give that little bit extra for the service you are being charged for. The U.S is the worst for this. The most capitalistic country in the world, yet employers won’t pay their staff adequately and oblige staff to rely on the community to tip workers so they can make a living. Not having to tip is great. I remember one time in a bar in San Francisco, I got a coffee. It cost a dollar. I gave the barman five dollars. He gave me back four dollar bills. Now, what I supposed to do? I had to tip, but a dollar? A 100% tip? I did not enjoy my coffee. I left a dollar tip. Pay people properly, don’t make them rely on the generosity of others.

How did I get from Japan to the U.S in one paragraph?

Here is today’s image – a taxi driver working the night shift in Tokyo.

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The night is an unpatched quilt

 

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2 responses to “September 20 2014

  1. Thanks for writing this blog. I Love reading it. I also loved reading how you put your camera down in frustration when a possible shot is messed up. Yesterday I took CHloe to ballet for her pre-concert photoshoot. I somehow had thought there would be many lovely images just of Chloe twirling around. And like you I was frustrated, other children (lovely but you can’t post them) and then their mothers and all the bits and bobs lying about. Standing in the door,. MOving past just as you have your subject in your viewfinder. Etc etc so I know your frustration. But you are so much more deliberate, searching out a beautiful backdrop and then waiting. My photographs are hit and run by comparison.

  2. I am catching up on all your blogs this evening, and I enjoy them and your photos. Very busy work week and my email is piling up. I especially agree with you about tipping here in the US. Tom and I are very good tippers, and will give 20 – 30 percent when we have a meal or treat out. Here, we are also expected to tip for other services such as a haircut. I was having my hair cut at an expensive salon, and the expectation at Christmas was not only would they receive a generous tip for the service rendered, but a Christmas gift is in order also, and it is preferable for it to be a monetary gift, too. I left the salon, and returned to my inexpensive, small town salon, where old ladies sit under the dryer and everyone knows me and remembers my late mother. Pure comfort! Thanks for blogging!

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