One of the oddest things I've seen next to a children's playground in Japan is this grounded fighter jet that was used for training the Japanese air force. The canopy was a bit hazy and has some anti glare coating on which caused some strange reflections and I had to reach over with my camera, so I didn't know what was actually in the cockpit until after I got to my computer.
I took this photo in January while in Fukuoka staying at an apartment style hotel next to a hair salon. I walked past one day and was interested in the owner's style and asked if I could take a photo. I used a Pentax 67 with 105mm f2.4 lens which I really love. After waiting forever for the negative to arrive, I'm glad that this image has the medium format film look I was after. There's something about this picture that makes me think of a modern cowboy stylist that's quick on the draw with his trusty side snippers.
I don't know how anyone can survive outside in a kimono with no proper shoes on when it is staying to snow.
There is a reason why Japanese shinkansen accidents are so low despite how fast they travel. The drivers follow tons of safety checks and procedures to the letter including handing over the train to the next driver at the final station.
Fires are set by local communities and families who work on the rice fields in the hope of a good harvest for the coming year. They stack up large bamboo bonfires for a few days before lighting them and roasting sweet potato, rice mochi and drinking hot drinks or beer in the cold winter air to keep warm.
I'm always amazed by how Japanese people embrace traditional methods of working in this technological era and how much effort and dedication they put into a craft that has been forgotten in western society. This man was cutting big blocks of ice into cubes, dipping them in water and then bagging them up for sale with a lot of care and precision. The shop sells frozen kakigori (Japanese slush puppies). As it is January I wasn't ready for one, but I bet they are the best around in summer!
Found the best place for coffee in Kagoshima for early mornings. Hay coffee stand is open at 7 and it's an inspiration to see the coffee begging made with every aspect of the brew weighed and times to perfection!!
A group of Japanese dancers with taiko drum performing various regional Bon odori festival dances in the middle of Frankfurt today. The drum beat and atmosphere took me back!
Finally! Waited an eternity for film to arrive from Japan after being delayed by the earthquake. I hope the wait was worth it!
I met this picture perfect Japanese couple while walking with my son in Ohouri Kouen, Fukuoka, Japan. They were having their photos taken by a photographer and even though I felt bad for getting in his way, I couldn't go past without asking if I could take a photo. It's been a long time since taking it but I hope they check it out!
Every year thousands of cranes make a massive journey from the cold northern lands of Siberia and Canada to Izumi, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan to stay for the winter before heading back again in spring. There were about 30 birds that have stayed behind this year. Cranes are said to mate with one partner for life so I wonder if any of them were there just to be with an injured loved one.
I tried developing a Polaroid negative or two recently. It's a simple process really but involves cleaning it with bleach. Actually, you clean only one side of the negative film with bleach. If bleach gets anywhere near the side with the actual image on, you get to watch it fizzle into oblivion as you cry and hurl curses and abuse at the harsh world of analogue photography. I like the gnarly look of this picture now and still have the original photo. The solarised green at the bottom of the bottle is actually how the Polaroid came out and not due to my clumsy dark room skills.
In case you thought Polaroids were just for kids and hipsters, here is a bit of closer detail of the above image. The negative is a lot bigger than a 35mm photo or digital sensor at roughly 9 x 12cm. It's possible to see the beads of condensation on the glass and the feathers that are part of the DHC logo clearly. I read about some photographers using Polaroid negatives for magazine and poster prints and can believe it!