At in the lobby of a theater in Shinjuku (waiting to get in to see Inception for the second time) last weekend I spotted a black Leica MP hanging off of the shoulder of a man at a table with his wife. I approached him and got two shots of his camera for Tokyo Camera Style. He mentioned then that he has shot an M4-2 for years before getting this MP and that its condition matched this well worn Summicron lens. I was incorrect in thinking that the aperture ring had been replaced, it is made of a different material and thus is resistant to wear the way the barrel has been affected.
After I photograph a camera I usually hand the owner a small card with the address for Tokyo Camera Style on it. Through this he was able to send me two views of his camera.
Not at all in the technical sense. Or really even in the aesthetic sense. Definitely not in the Internet Forum sense (or lack of).
Photographing in many cases embeds that particular location into one’s memory. When (mostly accidentally) revisiting these locations shown in the monochrome images, I always have that first memory- both of the moment and experience of taking the picture and the actual print at home in my apartment. I’m not one of those conceptual photographers by any means, but this might be an interesting experiment to continue on with.
Each digital re-photograph is another memory laid over the first.
As photographs though I do prefer the monochrome ones.
Two years of Tokyo Camera Style.
Many thanks to all 1,600+ followers on Tumblr, and to everyone else (about 1,000 a day) who visits this site from time to time.
It’s exciting to see how Tokyo Camera Style has gotten the response that it has. I think it is totally cool that there are other Camera Style sites out there (Singapore & Manila that I know of for sure). Within 24 hours a this photo of Yamauchi san’s Nikon FM3a got over 100 re-blogs and likes.
This is a great project to keep on going with as I enjoy the continual interaction with people out on the street and creation of new friendships. The concept is simple, but the ability to give back to photography lovers by creating a site about something that other people find as interesting as I do is a blast.
This is what Tokyo Camera Style is for me; It is both an investigation and a celebration into a culture (in Japan and online) that finds enjoyment in the clever tools which people use to interact with the world around them. I can’t see any difference between someone adapting a camera to their own private tastes or doing a similar thing with their car, bicycle, or living room. There is no real economic reason for people to get into analog photography in 2010, but more and more young people are. There is no real reason for anyone to be riding a vintage Triumph Bonneville nowadays than there would be for shooting a Leica M4, but a few people still do despite the fact that they could purchase a prefectly sensible Toyota Prius or Nikon D-300.
There are a lot of us out there who refuse to limit our photographic experience to the sterility of Digital Imaging. There is nothing wrong with the appreciation of the joy of analog photography and it’s beautifully crafted tools.
However you choose to go about what you do, love how you do it. And use what you love.
Sometime this (last?) year Fuji stopped selling 20-roll packs of super presto, their glorious 1600asa black and white film. It is still fairly common in these single rolls, which I keep acquiring every time I end up at a Bic or Yodobashi Camera. Overexposed just right the results are gorgeous and the negatives are easy to print. The contrast matches the heat and the grain the humidity of a Japanese summer. That and I like shooting f16 at 1/500 a second out on the streets. A Shallow Depth of Field this hath not.