Entries in Photography (16)


Lesson: Mathmagic Land

I am currently taking a math class that deals with ancient architectures and painting. This video was really amazing to watch since the animation shows you how framing and proportions are used. I know that there are other proportions other than the golden mean but there is a part of the video that you get to see how the golden proportions are being used. 


-Are these proportions intentionally being used in paintings and other pieces of art?

-How can you apply this into photography and film making?

-Is there anyway that you can subconsiously learn this so that the framing becomes second nature?

-My teacher said that Egyptian proportions are much more obvious rather than Renaisance painting since the proportions are well hidden and subtle. 

-Why do other kinds of framing do not work? While proportions like the golden mean are “eye catching” in a sense. 


School Notes: Some Rules for Students and Teachers by John Cage

It has been awhile since I updated my blog so for people who have questions kindly send me an email either on this blog or on Flickr. I'd be happy to answer your guy's questions whenever I get to it and I do reply as soon as I can to all of them. = )  

To tell you guys the good news, I have been accepted and I am currently have been attending at the San Francisco Art Institute. I feel that the school works more on conceptual ideas more while still addressing the technical issues of making a photograph. I am really excited going to this school this semester and I look forward sharing what I have learned. Let me know again if you guys have any questions = ) 

This passage is called "Some Rules for Students and Teachers by John Cage" This passage has been handed out in two of my classes and is a worth while read. I think that these rules are great advice for students who are just getting into something new and for teachers who only expect the best out of their students. Hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I have = ) 


RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student - pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher - pull everything out of your students. 

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined - this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: "We're breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities." (John Cage)

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything - it might come in handy later. 


The Return of the Near-Future Photography Skill Talk Part 3 Final

I finally present you the last part of the Near-Future Photography Skill Talk. If you haven't watched the first two videos, Here are the links of the video and english translation of the group interview. 

The Return of the Near-Future Photography Skill Talk Part One 

The Return of the Near-Future Photography Skill Talk Part Two

In this final group interview, Mr. Kishin Shinoyama gives the audience a chance ask questions to Ume Kayo, Yurie Nagashima, and Rinko Kawauchi. Questions ranging on what camera they use, how ideas come into fruition, dealing with deadlines, and why they do what they do. I hope you enjoy this insightful interview as I have.

Note: If you find anymore videos on Rinko Kawauchi, Ume Kayo, and Yurie Nagashima that you want translated kindly please get it to my attention by contacting me so that I can get the article or video translated into english. 

Near Future Photo Technique Talk Show

Part 3  Q&A

Sponsored by Magazine Brutus

December 10th 2010 Tokyo Shinagawa Canon S Tower Hall S


Rinko Kawauchi   FOIL  Nao Amino

Yurie Nagashima  Akaakasha  Nozomi Himeno

Ume Kayo         Little More  Yoko Ohmine

Hosted By Kishin Shinoyama


Kishin Shinoyama: OK, so we are slowly starting to run out of time here, so....to any one of these ladies sitting here today... if you have any questions which you would like to ask them, please go ahead and raise your hands, I think they would really appreciate it.


Question  1

When putting together a photo book, is there a certain guideline of when you decide to publish it?

Rinko Kawauchi: OK, so...maybe I have mislead you with what I said at the start...it's not that everytime I take a photo, I am always thinking of taking all of them and putting them togeter in a book....but there is a point where the photos I have taken starts to stack up, and then this vague image or ideas starts to take shape in my head slowly. So I take some of those photo prints and put them into files and look at them...that's when it hits me sometimes, like hey, I think this is going somewhere...So I take the photos, keep putting them into files, add more, and then eventually the files get thicker. That's when I feel like it is enough to show other people. It does hit me. But of course, it depends on each book, it is different each time. For example for my "Utatane" book, it was my first work...I tried including everything in it, for the "Hanabi" book, well the title is hanabi( fireworks) so it took about 3 years to gather enough photos, for the family photo book, again there were a lot of photos I wanted to include...so each book has a different timing when I feel like the time is right...like the time is ripe, should I say. I think it's like wine. You take a sip and decide, is it too early, should I let is sit for a bit more, something like that. I am the only one who can tell myself when the "wine" is ready. Does that answer your question?

Audience: Yes, thank you.

Kishin Shinoyama: You know, I would like to ask Ms.Nagashima...actually, everyone here...so let's say that you all need to decide, like OK! This is ready to publish! Or nah, we need to spend more time on it...you know, things like that....when do you actually make that decision? Do you just wait for the other person to say something?

Nozomi Himeno: Actually, I would like to hear that too. 'Cause for the photographers, this so-called timing is something only they can tell, not us. I do wonder, when do you feel like it is the time to move on and say to yourself, so like for your other book, when did you think it was time for me to contact Ms.Himura? 

Yurie Nagashima: Yeah it's true, when the number of photos start to pile up, I start thinking....( she is not so clear around this part)

Nozomi Himeno: OK, so when do you decide it's a good timing?

Yurie Nagashima: Actually you know what...I have no idea! (chuckles)

Nozomi Himeno: But I'm sure there is a point where you tell yourself, OK, this is it, right? So it's something like OK, I have this much number of photos..and you have gathered enough and thought about it enough where you can take those photos and clearly explain your ideas to another person...that should be a good timing. It's like you feel satisfied...you feel like OK, I think I have worked on this enough, I think I can go ahead and explain my ideas to people with confidence. I'm sure you have something where you feel like that.

Yurie Nagashima: Well, I guess it does depend on what kind of photos I am taking at that time...

Nozomi Himeno: Yeah, that's true.

Kishin Shinoyama: What about you, Ume Kayo?

Ume Kayo: Awe geez, you're asking me?

Kishin Shinoyama: You know, like your book "Danshi," how was that one?

Ume Kayo: Well for "Danshi, " I took the photos in Osaka. Well, that one was actually easy, I went to Oasaka to take the photo, so once I left Osaka, it was pretty much done so that was when I thought it was ready, as for "Jichan,"....well, he was getting pretty old...you know, pretty much was ready to die any minute, so that was done in a bit of a rush..the rest was...well, I guess I'm the same....I just feel it when it's ready.

Yurie Nagashima: You sometimes have that gut feeling, right?

Ume Kayo: Well, for me it's more like....oh hey, it's been about a year since I got that book out...OK, so one year...maybe it's about time I work on something again.

Yurie Nagashima: Yeah, I see what your saying, but after all it does take some power and effor to get something out there, right? Isn't there some motivation...something that drives you?

Ume Kayo: Motivation? Motivation .....Motivation??

Yurie Nagashima: Wow, you don't have to repeat it that many times! (chuckles)

Ume Kayo: Well..... I get so many feelings...Um, well, if I say something like this, people might think that I'm joking or fooling around...but I am serious...When I come up with a book, I want Mr.Ohno from Arashi (a popular boy's singing group in Japan) to see it...I have that feeling in my mind a lot...

Yurie Nagashima: So you're saying you have that feeling, hoping that someone you like...someone you care for would look at the book someday?

Ume Kayo: Of course,it's not just that, but I think it's more like when I take a good photo, I just want to show it around to people...you know, something like this one (points at the screen)...I just want to show it off, because I'm proud of it..

Yurie Nagashima: OK, then what about the timing, you know, of when to publish a new book...

Ume Kayo: Hmm...well, I don't think I have any...oh wait...Ms.Ohmine...yeah, it's her! She usually says hey, it's about time a new book came out! Oh yes yes, it's her, now I remember. Each time, she says it. ALL the time.

Yurie Nagashima: But it's important, right, to have someone like that...someone who encourages you every now and then...someone who gives you a good amount of pressure...so in that sense, deadlines are actually good.

Ume Kayo: I think so, I'd be finished without a deadline!




Question 2

Ms.Kawauchi is known for keeping an "idea notebook,"  but is there anything she is being careful about?


Rinko Kawauchi: Oh yes, about my "idea notebook," well, it all started when I was a student. When we were working on our graduation project, our teacher encouraged us to take notes and keep it with us...and he pointed out that everything that came to our minds, anything that got our attention, we should write it down. That really worked for me. Once I wrote things down, it gave me the chance to really organize my thoughts, keep track of what I was thinking at the time, and it really helped me create ideas later on. So it became a habit for me. Recently, I don't write down just ideas, I write down pretty much everything...like a good movie I saw, or a good quote I heard, everything. But it really is a good chance to organize your thoughts, so for younger people who are having problems with creating things, it's something I personally recommend. ...What do you think?

Kishin Shinoyama: You know, it's mentioned here in this book too, but I usually ask people what is the origin of their thoughts and ideas. Most cases, people can't really answer that question...it's more like they come up with the answer later on. Like for example, especially when you go to a foreign country...you need to be able to explain your work. Just saying oh, I took this picture because I thought it was nice, that's not enough. So it is a good idea to be able to explain your work, even though it might be something you came up with afterwards. But to be really honest, I think it's just that these people here really, and simply LOVE to take photos. It's that simple. They just want to take photos because they enjoy it so much. So at first, it's not that they want to do something with it, but as they continue to take photos, they soon realize and start to see ideas. Then, you take those ideas, pile them up, and then make it into a book. So, you see these ladies sitting here... they can say all they want, they can come up with concepts and ideas and stories behind the photo, all that good stuff and make it sound all fancy...they usually come up with the so-called concepts AFTER they finish taking the photo. That's how it is in most cases. So, when you hear photographers being all logical and telling nice stories...you shouldn't really trust them.

<audience laughs>

Kishin Shinoyama: But that's the bottom line, what really matters is that they just simply love taking photos. They love photos, they want to take photos, that's what they want to do, and that's OK...but here's the problem, as professional just simply saying "Because I love it so much" doesn't sound cool. So that's why they have to come up with fancy stories and stuff....but the root of all that comes from a very pure thought, which is simply the love towards photography. There's nothing wrong with that, I think.

We are very lucky, these ladies are very lucky and happy because they are doing what they love so much. So I would like to ask, so let's say these younger people...the people in the audience came up to you one day, and they wanted to show their photos to you...what kind of work would you like to see? Anyone is OK, anyone who can answer that...Ms.Himeno, what about you?

Nozomi Himeno:  Well, personally I tend to pay attention to work that has a strong message...where somebody took the photo because they felt like they had to.

Kishin Shinoyama: What about you. Ms.Amino?

Nao Amino: Let's see...I think that concepts and ideas are very important as well, but sometimes there are photos that has a certain power...the moment you see it, you get pulled right in...a work that can only be done by that particular person...I would like to see something like that.

Kishin Shinoyama: And you, Ms.Ohmine?

Yoko Ohmine: I think I have the same opinion...just like Mr.Shinoyama was saying earlier, that feeling of loving photography, loving taking pictures...that pure and strong feeling does show clearly. You can feel it. So for me, the photo having that certain power, that is the most important...having that said, the photos with the strong will...in this case, something like strong desires and ambitions...those are the winners, I think.

Kishin Shinoyama: So, these ladies have answered quite honestly, I think...so for me, I think the bottom line is yourself. It's yourself. If it is something YOU wanted to show, something that YOU want believe in, you take that photo, march up to these people and show them what you've got...they will see it. They will feel it for sure.

I think Ms.Ohmine mentioned something interesting....she said ambition.

I think something like that is interesting...and important too. You are thinking in your mind, hey, this is going to be good...this will get me a lot of money...it will get me an award...something really dark like that...it can be really fun, you know..that kind of a feeling taking shape.




Question 3

What is it about photography that you like so much?

Also, one of Ms.Kawauchi's photo with the light shining on the students going up the stairs, that piece almost looks heavenly in a way. Can you tell us about the situation when you took that photo?


Rinko Kawauchi: Well, as for that photo... that was just a lucky shot...It was really spontaneous, I liked that moment and I had to take it. I have photos where it was either taken by coincidence, or it was something where I waited for hours and hours to get the perfect shot, both ways...but that photo, it was simply a coincidence, more like a miracle I would say, with that light shining on the stairs in a straight line...and it just happened to be during lunch break when the students were walking up and down, going back to their classrooms..I just happen to be there...but it was a great shot. Such a great shot, it made me so happy. When it comes to photos where it made me that happy, I think I don't have that many. I've been taking photos for more than 15 years...but that one photo, I clearly remember the feeling. I felt so happy, so peaceful...well, maybe happy is not the right word, how can I explain it... I heard that when an athlete runs, and he or she is getting very close to the goal line...and right before they reach the goal, they feel like their body floats in the air for a second...I think my feeling was very similar to that one. Like getting high.

Yurie Nagashima: Well, for me...it's not really about whether I have a camera or not...I look at something first...and by looking at many things, I judge what I see, I judge the world I see. I meet many people through my own feelings...So when I decide to take photos, I didn't feel strange or uncomfortable. I think that's one thing.

Another thing is that when I started taking photos,I realized that my face gets covered. I was taking a lot of people's photos at one point, but I have problems with meeting people..I'm not good at it. But when you use a camera, your face gets covered, and the other person doesn't see you. But through the lens, you can see them. That feeling is something I felt very comfortable about. I use my left eye when I take pictures, so the camera completely blocks my face. So me being comfortable, that was an important thing for me.

Of course I do enjoy taking pictures...and the reason why I take photos is that I take photos of the things and people I care about. If it's a person, that person is important to me, I love them and I want to get closer to them. It's not that I want to capture that moment in a film, it's not like that for me. It's more like me remembering that moment in a different way. At first, I was trying to capture that certain moment, but then I had experiences when I saw the photo later, it wasn't as good as it appeared in my memory, and I thought that there is no way a camera can overpower the actual memory in your mind...but on the other hand I had cases where I thought it didn't appear that good when I saw it with my own eyes,but when I saw the photo of it, it looked great. So through that kind of experience, I came up with the idea of "remembering that moment in a different way." And of course,I guess the bottom line is, I enjoy it every much.

Ume Kayo: OK, so what was the question again? Why I like it? Oh, why I like photography? Wow, why....well, you can take pictures, that's why. To be honest, that's it. The beauty of it is that you can "take pictures," right? You know, you see something nice, or cool, you pull out your camera...and you are able to take a photo. That's it. Then, you get to show that photo to other people. That makes me happy. That's what has kept me going until this day.

.....Awe dang it, I knew it!! I knew this was bad, me being the last one to answer the question!!!!

Rinko Kawauchi (I think): No, don't worry, that's great. I liked it.

Ume Kayo: Are you sure? Really, that was OK?

Rinko Kawauchi: You did fine. You did a good job with wrapping it up.

Ume Kayo: Great...so does that answer your question?



Question 4

Do you use the digital camera, or the analog camera?


Rinko Kawauchi: I originally started off using the analog camera, but recently I have tried the digital one too. It's fun!

Yurie Nagashima: I usually always used the analog type...but again...recently I bought a digital camera...and I took pictures of my kids at the sports festival at school...well, it's a lot of work to print them all out...but it's fun.

Rinko Kawauchi: Didn't you have one of your photos on a magazine or something before, the one with your kids?

Yurie Nagashima: A magazine...oh that was a long time ago. I didn't use a good digital camera then, it was really unstable, very small too. The one I got recently is something better.

Rinko Kawauchi: Which one?

Yurie Nagashima: Um, a Canon.

Ume Kayo: For me, it's film all the way.

Yurie Nagashima: No plans of changing?

Ume Kayo: Well, I do get digital cameras from people sometimes...but it's just that I rather get a Canon one...oh no, that's not what I meant...don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that I want people to give me a Canon digital....no no...um well, it WILL be great if someone did give one to me...but that's not what I was trying to say!

Yurie Nagashima: So you're saying that if someone gave it to you, you'll use it?

Ume Kayo: Yeah, I'll use it and tell people hey, I took this photo using Canon.

Yurie Nagashima: So it's not like that you have a particular reason of why you keep using the analog camera?

Ume Kayo: Nah, it's just that this is the only one I've been using.

Yurie Nagashima: It sound like if you ever get the chance, you won't have any problems switching over to digital then.

Ume kayo: I guess that can happen, yes.

Yurie Nagashima: Judging from your work, I think digital would be better for you.

Ume Kayo: Well, the problem for me is, that I'm pretty bad with computers.

Yurie Nagashima: Ah, I see. But if that's the problem you're having, can't you just someone else to do it for you,just the computer part?

Ume Kayo: No, I don't think I can! It will create strange tension.

Yurie Nagashima: Oh...OK, I got it.

Kishin Shinoyama: In my case, 99% of the time, it's digital.

Rinko Kawauchi: Where is the remaining 1% then?

Kishin Shinoyama: Right here, the Brutus "Relationship" section. For this one, we all used film. We wanted to take photos using polaroid camera, but it was pretty rare. We tried collecting them but we didn't get that many. So the Polaroid camera is slowly disappearing, and so is the film for it. That's what is happening. Nowadays, the whole process is all digitalized, so...in a way, people who are using film is very retro...I think. But that's just the way it is now, all digital. I have heard people using film cameras making fun of digital cameras, but the world is changing, it's different. There are so many fun things you can do because it's digital. Plus, it's so fast. You take the photo. You can go back and check what you've taken right away. You can pull out the data and hand it to other people and show it right away. The end. So quick. So when people say hey, I want to buy this data, I give them a 20% discount! That's how photos are made nowdays, it's going so quickly, that's the world we are living in right now. The way we express things will change.

Rinko Kawauchi( I think) : That is so true...

Kishin Shinoyama: But you know,how you express things...well, like for example, some people say that paper books will soon disappear and will be taken over by digital books which may be true. But, as for this thing called "photo collection book," this only exists as an object. That will not change. But the way we take pictures will change. I mean, think about it, almost everyone in this room has a camera, right? Your cell phone comes with a camera, doesn't it? We can all take photos anytime. It will keep changing. The world of photography will keep changing...AND, if you read this book...you will get to understand our world even more!


Part 3 End

Special thanks to

Brutus  Editorial Department



Little More


Canon Marketing Japan


Contact Sheet Study: Dallas Fort Worth Airport Welcome Home Troops Event

Contact Sheet Study Video: Dallas Fort Worth Welcome Home Troops

First of all, I am not an expert on techniques and I am still learning photography so this is solely my opinion on how to work the scene. If you see something that I could do to improve or have experience in these types of events let me know. I am learning the best I can to improve my photography and these are just observations that I noticed in my contact sheets that I would like to share with you.

So the story starts me rushing into the airport when I heard that they are doing the last welcoming home party for the U.S. Military coming home from Afghanistan. I've battled through traffic and thinking that I am already late since there are a lot of people already in the scene. Fortunately, even though there were a lot of people already situated, I was not late so it gave me a sigh of relief. 

To start off, I brought the Leica M6 with a 50mm Summicron Type 5 lens attached to it. I also put in Ilford HP5 Plus rated in 320EI since I am depleting my stock before I totally move on to Kodak Tri-X. 

Here is the summary of what I did during this roll of film:

Frames 3,7: I got attracted to the Vietnam Veterans waiting for the troops to arrive. My heart really fell to photograph them since during their homecoming from Vietnam some protesters spat on their faces and maimed them coming home. Technically speaking, I think I could not use any of the frames since it was people's backs and I would have rather chosen photographing them from the front.  

Frame 8: I looked back to see what is going on, I maybe also looked back since people were cheering.

Frame 9: I photographed the kid sitting down waiting for the troops

Frame 10: I looked back again to see if there is anything interesting

Frame 11: I did a vertical composition but it seems like someone was blocking the way on the right side of the composition, cannot use that frame. 

Frame 12: Looked behind me again but I was too far from the subject.

Frame 13: I went to where the cheering was to see what the composition was like but I was too far from people coming out of the entrance.

Frames 14,15: I came in closer and started to crouch down to see if I can get something interesting. Troops are starting to arrive

Frame 16: I get closer

Frame 17,18: I am doing a vertical composition but as you can see there is too much space on top of the composition.

Frame 19,20,21,22, 23: Nothing really going, I feel that there are no gestures to take a note of or anything interesting in the frames.

Frame 24- I feel that there is something here, I feel that the Soldier is glad to be home but in the right of the frame the lady is blocking the photograph. It is a "maybe" for me at this time.

Frame 25,26,27: I am starting to get blocked by the crowd. People extending their smart phones trying to get a picture too so I moved to the right side of the crowd where the troops are going in on buses.

Frame 28: I think this is where I was lucky enough to capture this moment. I did not setup the background then but when I was editing in the darkroom I was very happy with the results. The background, the gesture of the soldier and the boy saluting made the photograph.

Frame 29,30,31, 32: The scene started to die down plus the composition of frame 28 disappears as I move in and out composing the frame.

Frame 33: There might be something in the composition but I have to make a work print just to make sure I am not missing anything interesting. 

Frame 34,35,36,37: The scene dies down as I move around trying to find anything interesting. I feel that everyone is scattered at this moment. 

Final Welcome Home Troops / Dallas Fort Worth Airport



The Return of the Near-Future Photography Skill Talk Part 1

Recently, I have been following Ume Kayo's work. Since then I bought a couple her books, I got a great deal on an Canon EOS 5 film camera and I got a few of her videos translated on YouTube. I just really want to dive myself into what she is seeing and how she captures her images. 

And the more that I delve in to her work the more I discover awesome photographers like Rinko Kawauchi and Yurie Nagashima.  

Lately, I've been looking around for videos and I stumbled upon another gem in the YouTube Universe. I got the video translated so we can have a better understanding of Rinko Kawauchi, Yurie Nagashima, and Ume Kayo's work. I am currently translating Part 2 and Part 3 at the moment. 

 This is a three part series so enjoy Part 1 


The return of the Near-Future Photography skill Talk

Held by the magazine company "Brutus"

December 10th, 2010 Held At Tokyo Shinagawa Canon S Tower S Hall

Rinko Kawauchi ( FOIL Nao Amino)

Yurie Nagashima  (Akaakasha Nozomi Himeno)

Katsuyo Ume (Littlemore Yoko Omine)

Hosted by Kishin Shinoyama


Kishin Shinoyama: OK, so today we have all of these lovely ladies here...

I'm so sorry that the host is some not-so-looking dude like me. Well, most of you might be thinking that it's actually a nice job to be up here with all the ladies, but actually it's not as easy at seems.

I've been to these photography symposiums before in the past, and I've gotta tell you, it's so boring! SO lame in most cases! So, for today, my idea is to make it more fun, so I hope that the ladies here will have fun as well. So, in this magazine, 5 photographers were introduced, and 3 of them were able to come today, thank you so much for showing up, I know all of you have a very busy schedule. This magazine right here is going to a "guideline" for the talk show today, so for any of you in the audience who does not own this book...march right outside and get one please, now!

(people laugh)

So, in this magazine we have this special corner where we show the photographers that are here today...And by the way, all of the 3 ladies who are here today have won the famous Heisho Kimura award, and also, I was one of the judges when we chose the winners of the award, so just to let you guys know, all 3 ladies are here today because I am the one who help them get the award!

( laughs again)

So, again, all these 3 ladies here have great skills, and let me point out that it is very rare for people like them to all gather in one place to have a talk show. I'm really looking forward to it myself. But the thing is, just asking each ladies about their work, what's the story behind the photos, what's your idea/concept, stuff like that is so common and not fun. It's pretty boring in fact, so that is why we also invited the people who helped the ladies get their works together, the people who works hard behind closed doors along with the photographers. This is really important,I'm sure you can learn a lot from them today.

(Scene skips) 

OK, so let's look at the actual photos that the ladies took. Let's start with Miss Ume Kayo.


Ume Kayo

Born in Ishikawa prefecture in 1981

Graduated from a photography college

Published works include

"Umeme" 2006  won the 32nd Heisho Kimura award

"Danshi (means boys) " 2007

"Jiichan-sama (means Mr.Grandpa)" 2008

"Umeppu" 2010

All published through Littlemore

Ume Kayo: OK...so, well, I don't really know what to say...these photos...I simply took them because I happen to come across something that suprised me, that's pretty much it...well, that's my leg...And this image...it was used for the cover. A lot of people asked me why these kids are crying, it's actually a scene I took when these kids just came out from the haunted house at some carnival...And this one...well, I obivously went to the restroom at my friend's house....and this is what I saw. I don't know wha the heck that was, but I had to take a photo of it.

And this photo...many people asked me what I will be working on next, and I just randomly told them, oh, maybe a waterfall...I wasn't really serious when I said that, but then I came across an actual waterfall one day, so there it is.

Next one...well, this cow is...well, you know. I don't know why, but when I see an animal peeing, again, I have to take a photo.

Next photo...broken umbrellas...I don't know why I took it..but I just did, oh, same with the next one. So random stuff...a water kettle in the middle of some random street. It's quite embarrasing, showing these photos in front of all of these professional people...OK, I'm done!


Yurie Nagashima

Born in Tokyo Nakano in 1973

Graduated from Musashino Art University

Masters degree from California Institute of Arts

Works include

"empty white room"  Littlemore  1995

"Yurie Nagashima" 1997 Fuuga Shobou

"Kazoku ( means family) Yurie Nagashima Photos" 1998 Kourinsha

"Pasttime Paradise" 2000 Madora Won the 26th Heisho Kimura award

"SWISS" 2010 Akaakasha


Yurie Nagashima: Wow, so I have to go after Miss Ume Kayo...that's a lot of pressure, I have to make it fun!

Ume Kayo: Oh know, I'm sure you'll do great!

Yurie Nagashima: Well, let's see...I don't have any fun stories to tell. OK,I'll go through some of the photos from my latest book SWISS...back in 2007, I was in Switzerland for a month with my child. I stayed in this country side area, a really big house...it was more like a mansion, I rented that place, I got a lot of help from other people around me...so I was there for a month with my son, and I took photos of mostly flowers as you can see..and along with that, I wrote a diary while I was there, that's included in the book...like a diary essay. So the reason why I took flowers is that at first when I got there, I really wasn't sure what I should work with...and I thought nature, pretty flowers would be a safe choice. ( she doesn't speak clearly here,not really sure what she said) And actually, these photos right here...they were taken by my grand mother years ago. I still remember it, but she used this really strange looking camera, and to be honest, her photos weren't that good. But she used to get all excited every time the flowers bloomed, and she took photos of every one of them. When I went to Switzerland, it reminded me of my grandmother. They are just flowers, but the pure and simple joy of seeing pretty flowers blooming...I think that's what I was trying to capture.

So here, there are actually 20 different colors for the covers.

When I was talking with the staff, we all agreed that a fabric cover would be nice...but the problems was that I was told by the printing company that fabric covers would cost a lot. Then I remembered that I had TONS of old fabric at home and asked them if they can use that, and they actually said yes..so yeah, that's pretty much it with me!


Rinko Kawauchi

Born in Shiga, 1972


"Utatane ( means napping)" 2001 Littlemore

"Hanabi ( fireworks)" 2001 Littlemore Won the 27th Heisho Kimura award

"Aila" 2005 Littlemore/FOIL

"Cui Cui" 2005 FOIL

"the eyes, the ears" 2005 FOIL

"Tane wo Maku(Plant the seeds)/Semear" 2007 FOIL

Rinko Kawauchi: It's true, when Miss Ume Kayo goes first, there IS this

strange pressure where I feel like I have to say something funny...

Oh well, I'll try to get serious here! OK, so about my photos...I bought my photos from "Utatane" and "Hanabi", that's the one that got me the award..So I worked on these first 2 books, and then on "Aila," this book is where I captured the moments of birth, in this case animals..So I went to so many different places to get the shots, like for this one, the image used for the cover, I went to a chicken farm in Gunma, I made a phone call and made an appointment and went there. So as you can see, it's when the chick is about the come out of the egg shell, I thought it was interesting because this is the moment of birth, and I know the chick is alive, but at the same time it does look like its dead..Well, it's not that I was intested in taking "births" only, so I went out and tried other things, like scenery..and people too...and it was all made into this book.

When I decide to make a book, I don't decide on the topic or theme. I just go with my gut feeling, I take photos of stuff that interests me... and from there, I gradually create a concept or theme later on. That's how I usually work. This one right here are photos of my family, and here again, I wasn't planning on making a book about my family. I was just taking as a kind of a record, and then one day I thought hey, maybe I can put these all together and make it into a book. I think it came out pretty good, the thing was, my grandfather passed away, and right after that, my neice was born...and seeing this cycle of life right in front of me was quite surprising. It was the first time I saw the members of my family taking turns...taking turns of leaving and coming into this world. It was shocking and surprising, but it happens to everyone...and because I experienced it myself, this cycle of life, it is real, it feels real, and it shows in my work. I think making it real is very important, and for this book, I think I did a good job.

So this one...Actually I showed these photos to Mr.Shinoyama too, and it's been introduced in the Brutus magazine, its like the extension of my "Utatane" book...but here, I went pretty free with it, I just went out and took whatever got my attention..It might look the same for some people, but for me, I can feel like it is evolving.I can feel the change. Oh, these, you can see in the magazines...and here, it's an example of some of the gallery stuff I had. Usually the book comes out first, then I have the gallery, but I think working on the gallery first next time might be an interesting idea..for the next project, OK, thank you, that's it with me.

Kishin Shinoyama: So, when the 5 people were chosen, I had the chance

to meet Ms. Kawauchi first. I went to this cafe in Tamagawa, it's a place I like very much..and she showed me her stuff from Apature. It really amazed me because I knew she was a good photographer, but when I saw her stuff...I can't really explain it, but I can feel the "Rinko" world spreadin and jumping out to me, very original stuff. I was like WOW. So, I said this in the Brutus magazine too, but the photo of the Naruto Waters... the big water swirl thingy...when I saw the photo, I asked her why did you go all the way down to that area just to take that photo, I mean, the Naruto water is nothing new. Then she told me she went down to that area just to take ONE good photo of it. I mean, why?

Rinko Kawauchi: Well, um it was very random...spontaneous. The word "water" just popped in my head. I just had to go down therem even for just one photo to take a picture of that water. it really makes me feel like wow, I really must like my job a lot. It's like, I HAVE to be there in person, I HAVE to see it with my own eyes. So once I go there, and get the perfect shot of the beautiful swirl in the water, that's enough. Just one is enough.

But getting the right moment is really hard, I was on a tourist boat, and you can't see the swirl in the water the whole time, it's usually only twice a year around spring and fall, and I can't charter my own ship so I need to get on the tourist boat, and that boat is not going to stay in that area forever. So capturing that one moment, the perfect swirl is really hard. Plus the camera I was using was a pretty tough one to handle, and I was very greedy and wanted to take a video of it too, so I asked the staff to hold the cameras for me, three of them in total, and I was busy changing cameras and trying to take differnt shots. But it feels so good when I get the perfect shot. For someone like Miss Ume, her shots are like capturing that one moment, like a second. It's done in a second, and she needs to capture that moment. It's really hard.

Ume Kayo: Actually, I had some disappointing moments where when I saw it with my own eyes, it looked so cool and nice and I took a shot, but later on when I saw the photo, it didn't look that good because I missed that perfect timing. Or in other cases, when I thought I got the best shot, I am getting all happy and excited...and that excitement doesn't appear in the photo. Duh, maybe I'm just bad at taking photos.

Rinko Kawauchi: Awe come on, you're good, you took a photo of me once,and I thought hey, this person's good!

Ume Kayo: Oh, really? Ok, hehe, cool!

Rinko Kawauchi: Um, it's like...well, I'm sure many people know about this because she's appeared on TV several times, but when she takes those photos, she is REALLY fast, and she doesn't forget to set up the whole thing. I think she's really good at what she does. I felt good when you took my photo. I don't know...she's like a different creature. Not human.

Kishin Shinoyama: So going back to the Naruto water thingy...what really gets to me that is that she went all the way down there, just to get ONE good photo of that, I mean, it's not cheap to travel down there and it does take a long time...right?

Rinko Kawauchi: I know, but for me...I don't know, the harder it is to get it, the more happier I am when I get it done.

Kishin Shinoyama: I mean, you wanting to take this water swirl...it was very spontaneous, right?

Rinko Kawauchi: Yes, um, one day I turned on the TV, and some TV program was showing it...and I felt hey, I want to take a photo of that.

So I decided to put these 2 photo together,  swirl and a swirl, I thought

maybe it might look like a lame thing to do, but I think the colors were really nice, and I think it did some magic.

Kishin Shinoyama: Well, what really got my attention is that for this photo, you see, the 2 people with the umbrellas...there are red and white. And it's not like the staff put those people there, right? Those 2 people just happen to be there, and just happen to be holding a red and white umbrella.

I mean it is just coincidence, but you have the ability of attracting these things. I guess the photo gods are on your side.

Rinko Kawauchi: What about you, Mr. Shinoyama, do you get any help from the photo gods?

Kishin Shinoyama: Oh me? Oh no, they almost never help me!

Rinko Kawauchi: Are you sure? Your work is amazing!

Kishin Shinoyama: Well that's because I pray for them to come down to me and give me a hand, it takes a lot of preperation! So I get things ready, prepare the setting so the gods can come down and help me out! Otherwise, they never come to see me. We need to prepare, just randomly taking photos is not going to work, right?

Rinko Kawauchi: So, how do you prepare? Can you tell me one example? What's your secret?

Kishin Shinoyama: Hmmmm, secret? Well, I guess one important thing is that whether it's a scenery or a person...when you are taking a photo of them, you need to like them, respect them. I think that's important. So for example, if I'm going to take a photo of Mt.Fuji, well, it is the highest mountain in Japan, so I will say "Hey, Mt.Fuji, you're the best!!" before I take out my camera!

Rinko Kawauchi: Haha, I like that, that's a good one!

Kishin Shinoyama: So if I am taking a photo of a girl, for example, I will tell her she is the best, she is the prettiest girl! And then, the next girl comes in for the photo shoot, and I tell her that SHE is the best and SHE is the prettiest!!

(people laugh)

The Return of the Near-Future Photography Skill Talk Part 2