Friday, June 6, 2008

Holga Japan -First Favorite Photos

On this trip to Japan we visited cultural sites in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka which were wonderfully photogenic and yet I wanted pictures which were more than a reflection of reality. I wanted photos that were, as Susan Sontag writes in an excerpt from On Photography, "as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are. " And yes, my Holga was the camera to use for these impressions of Japan. First Favorite Photos are pictures that initially captured my attention. I sat in my car outside the photo shop and tossed the prints I liked onto the empty passenger seat next to me. They can be seen below. Next time I look through my photos I'll probably make other choices and those will be titled Second Favorite Photos.

Tumbling Osaka. We arrived at Osaka Castle too late to tour this recreation of an early 16th century castle. So I climbed up some ladder like concrete steps to rocks surrounding the castle and took the above picture of modern Osaka. I like how the turquoise/green tint adds to the surreal quality of the picture. I used fujichrome and had the double exposure cross processed.

After school in Nippori. I was sitting on a bench by a bus stop in the fabric district of Nippori in Tokyo on a Friday afternoon. I took several pictures from bench level and think this one best captures the mood of the school girls walking around with friends laughing, eating snacks and happy to be out of school and hanging out with friends

Girl resting on a bench in Nara. The Garden of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine is on the way to the Shrine and was a pleasant walk and peaceful place for a short rest. Formerly the Manyo Botanical Garden it brings together 300 plants which were written about in the Manyoshu collection of poems in 8th Century. I used fujichrome which I had cross processed thus the green/turquoise look to the double exposure.

School children crossing the street in Nara. In both Kyoto and Nara we saw hundreds of kids on school trips. These elementary school age children were the youngest group we saw. The 'ghost kids' effect is the result of yet another double exposure taken with fujichrome and cross processed when developed. In case anyone wonders the kids were well behaved.

Five storied Pagoda at the Kofukuji Temple in Nara. There was no temple that day as it's currently being rebuilt from the ground up. We saw ground. There was a pagoda and some other small shrines. Again a double exposure taken with fujichrome and cross processed.

Signs in Okubo. This double exposure fell off the tray while being developed and is from the same roll as the photos in the blog 'Holga-Okubo Japan-Interesting Mistakes' 5/31/08. I like the red and yellow color in this rescued while being developed photo. A much different look than the 'negative' look of other pictures on the same roll of film.


YTSL said...

sbk, these are great! The double exposures -- are the more planned now? They seem so. Really like the Osaka castle photo, BTW.

sbk said...


thank you. Some are more planned but they don't exactly come out as expected. The Osaka castle was a creative 'accident' ie I didn't think it would come out as well as it did.