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concrete lotus #2

Chairs Hongwanji

Kyoto Buddha small

Kamakura stone

Hongwanji room small

Daibutsu double

Five more images from a lith print series on Buddhism in urban Japan provisionally entitled “Concrete Lotus.”

From top: 1) Stacked metal chairs at Tsukiji’s Hongwanji, one of Tokyo’s most impressive temples, 2) one of many temples in Kyoto, 3) Buddhist relief on a stone pagoda at Kamakura, 4) view from Hongwanji’s main hall, 5) double exposure of the daibutsu (giant Buddha) at Kamakura

All printed on the wonderful but now unobtainable Forte Polywarm RC glossy. Click on images to enlarge.

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my father

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My father in 2000, shortly before his death at age 76.

Gordon3

Normal darkroom prints bleached out and then redeveloped in depleted lith developer, a process known as “fake lith.” The peculiar result, in which darker areas develop much slower, is probably due to the Arista Edu paper used. Click on images to enlarge.

Gordon2

endo ryokyu and lamani

Lamani

My old friend Ryokyu and his band Lamani playing in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo post March 11, 2011 to raise awareness of and money for the disaster-hit the Tohoku region of northeaster Japan.

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Printed on Ilford FB MGIV, with a scrunched grease-proof texture for half the exposure, then sepia toned. Click on images to enlarge.

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tokyo girls

Remo movie1

Remo movie2

Remo movie3

Prints from an all-day shoot Remo Camerota did last year for the “Tokyo Girls” video for his band Psych Carni. I only remembered this morning that I had these although Remo and Hisako have been staying with me for the past week. They are test prints done on some Fujifilm RC paper that I wanted to use up. I deliberately left the fixer on and added more later to see how stained I could get them. They’re far from perfect, but it’s a simple process I want to keep messing with. And there are a few good negatives among the many from that day. Click on images to enlarge.

summer of protest

On a scorching July day last year, tens of thousands of people took to Tokyo’s streets to express their opposition to Japan’s nuclear policy. The event was the latest in a series of such demonstrations that took place across the country. Since then, the anti-nuke movement in Japan appears to have petered out.

Currently, only two of Japan’s 54 reactors are in operation, and in recently posted earnings, almost all Japan’s power companies posted losses. With this in mind, and the heat of summer only a few months away, it seems increasingly likely that the government will allow the restart of more reactors.

If so, it will be interesting to see whether the notoriously faddish Japanese will take to the streets yet again. Or will 2012 be remembered as the summer of protest?

Click here for more images.

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nuke2
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nuke1

Shot on Tri-X and printed on some Fujibro WP FM2 I found in the darkroom. Some of these images appeared in the FCCJ’s No. 1 Shimbun magazine.

concrete lotus

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Lith sandals

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Three prints from a new lith print series on Buddhism in urban Japan provisionally entitled “Concrete Lotus.” The top one was printed on Argentone Polywarm FB glossy. It’s a poor substitute for the matt equivalent and so I decided to sepia tone it. The other too are on the glorious but now extinct Forte Polywarm RC glossy, of which I have dwindling supplies. Somebody somewhere must have more stock! Email me. I’ll steal if I have to!

Because of the inherent strong contrast of lith prints, getting a clean scan can be a pain. Even if the actual print is clean of dust marks (which can be spotted out anyway), it’s almost impossible to remove all dust from the scanner. Which is why a clone tool is handy. If you don’t have PS and don’t feel like paying for it, there are a number of free online pic editors, including Pixlr.com used for these scans. And for scanning tips, it’s difficult to beat Wayne Fulton. Click on images to enlarge.

two years since the disaster

water junk Rikuzentakata

mattress Rikuzentakata

Cars Kesennuma

Today marks the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck eastern Japan. These were taken in Rikuzentakata and Kesennuma, both badly affected coastal communities in Tohoku, some three weeks after the disaster.

I recently discovered Ilford MGFB Warmtone, a beautiful paper that split tones wonderfully. I’m now a convert (and Ilford/Harman needs all the support it can get). As always, click on images to enlarge.

NB- Feeling a bit nostalgic today, so I thought I’d add the blog that Charlie, James, Steve and I kept during our five trips to Tohoku after the quake.

more sabattier

Sabattier boys

Sabattier rod's feet

Sabattier accident

Random Sabattier prints. From top: shot from studio workshop with Tim Porter quite a few years ago; Rod’s feet and Zippo lighter fuel while camping in Tochigi; accidental reversed print (so a paper negative of sorts) of this print from Ishinomaki after the earthquake. Click on images to enlarge.

yangon grand central

Yangon station 2

As an example of the country’s crumbling infrastructure, Yangon Central Railway Station typifies the challenges the “new” Burma faces after years of neglect and corruption.

Yangon station 1

Both prints were overexposed on Oriental VC-FB II paper using a split filter and diffusion technique before being slightly bleached and sepia toned. Click on images to enlarge.

after the flood

sepia dark tractor

sepia dark ricefield

sepia dark road sign

Three prints from images shot in April 2011 that show damage inflicted on farmland in the northeastern Tohoku region by the March 11 tsunami. These were taken along the coast north of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. Click on images to enlarge.

With a view to a Tokyo exhibition in March to mark the second anniversary of Japan’s 2011 disaster, and having grown increasingly indifferent to “normal” photography, I’ve been experimenting with overexposure in an attempt to create black and white prints that don’t bore me within a few days. These prints were overexposed, diffused, split-filtered, bleached and sepia-toned. Weeks later, and I still like them…

After the Flood