Araki, Genius

Nobuyoshi Araki is one of two demigods of Japanese photography (to international audiences anyway, the other being Daido Moriyama), and probably the most quotable photographer in the world today, right next to William Eggleston.*

Some snippets from the interview Araki had with SFMoMA; that exchange when he was asked if they could “go again” is something I can identify with, and I promise I’ll share that story soon. Click on this link (sorry, can’t embed the link on Format) for the video interview:

* I’m biased; I wonder if there are photographers who have influenced my work more than these two.

Old work is worth keeping

I’m unsure if this is just me or if it happens to most photographers, but there are times where I wondered why I keep all the photographs I took, even those I would never show to anyone. They could be terrible photos, or embarrassing ones, or just mistakes, but I keep them. The archive just grows bigger every time I press the shutter button.

Then I go through some older work and find photos that catch my eye, photos that I did not fancy when I first looked through it. Maybe my tastes have changed, maybe my headspace is altered, but it feels somewhat rewarding, and surprising, to find a new angle or a new sensibility that I missed the first (or even second) time around.

[NSFW photos below]

These four photos certainly didn’t strike me as something I’d pay much attention to when I first looked through my “contact sheet” months ago, but now I noticed the subtle expressions on Sara’s face. I remembered that day: she was terribly jet-lagged and I felt rather terrible at having to push her through a session, plus I wasn’t feeling it that day; I couldn’t get into that ”zone”.

Yet we still got some good work done that day. Sometimes, we just have to push that little bit more, even though it’s the last thing we want to do at that particular moment. 

But I digress. The point is, keeping previous work can provide you with surprises later on, and perhaps more importantly, it allows you to look back and see how you and your work has evolved or changed. And no matter your inclination, understanding the path you have taken can only be good to chart the road ahead.

That makes keeping the old work worth the effort. The accumulation of hard drives, though, is still a royal pain in the arse.

Breaking before the year ends

Hopping off to Taiwan for a long-overdue vacation over the next couple
weeks, so I’m going to leave you with a photo I hope you’d enjoy. It’s
been 8 years since I traveled there, and it should be fun catching up
with some friends and taking in the changes and the sights. It’s a good
way to kick 2016 out of the way, given how terrible it has been.

May 2017 be better for everyone. See you in time for Christmas.

A portrait to end the week

It’s the school holidays around these parts, which means that I have to spend some time with my son, along with all the pros and cons of that. It’s not a complaint, just another cycle of juggling time and work and enjoying it before he grows too old to want to spend time with his old man.

I did manage to work on this particular portrait of Ivory Flame, shot back in May. I’m not sure if this can be considered a portrait or not, but hey, it’s a photo I like. That’s all that matters.

Have a happy weekend, people.

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