maggio 30, 2012
maggio 9, 2012
It`s been a while since my last post: I had a lot of stuff to do and couldn`t manage to sit down and write. So, to apologize, I put together some of the pics I took during the Golden Week in Tokyo.
Golden Week is a term applied to the week starting on 29th of April until 5th of May, and it contains several japanese national holidays, like the Emperor`s birthday on 4/29, the Constitution Memorial Day on 5/3 and the Children`s Day on 5/5. During this week a lot of events and celebrations occur all over the country, and especially in Tokyo.
This year Golden week was a rainy one, we got storms and strong wind until the 5th and 6th of May weekend, yet I have a chance to partecipate in some events and take some snaps.
Inokashira Park Art Market
Inokashira Park is a really big and beautiful park located near Kichijouji station in Tokyo. There`s a beautiful lake, lots of green and cherry trees, and also a pretty famous zoo. I was there on 5/5 in the morning to shoot an Art & Crafts Market that is held every year. There were a lot of handmade goods, paintings, street performers and musicians: Tokyo is great for this kind of things…and off course it was free!
“Koinobori” at Tokyo Tower
Koinobori means “carp streamer” in Japanese; are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Children’s Day on 5/5. This year I was able to go to Tokyo Tower and attend the koinobori event that was held there. Wind socks floating in the wind, and the Tokyo Tower, until now the most recognizable symbol of Tokyo, in the background made a great “japanese” composition.
Anti Nuclear Demo around Tokyo Tower
On my way back to the station from the Tokyo Tower I walked into an anti nuclear demo, and took the chance to take some shots. There were so many people, and they had such an energy, that I ended up shooting more than 100 pics! After 3/11 and the accident at Fukushima reactor, a lot of Japanese started to protest against the use of nuclear energy, cheap but dangerous if not well controlled. This protests, together with the problems that everyone in Japan is facing after the Fukushima leak out, brang to a big turn in the Japanese attitude towards nuclear energy, and last week the last active reactor in Japan, located in Hokkaido, was shut down.
2012 Oktoberfest in Odaiba
On 5/6 I was able to attend and shoot at Odaiba Oktoberfest 2012. It was a good way to have some good beer from Germany and to have a lot of fun shooting. Oktoberfest is held in Japan for some years now, in different locations, like Yokohama or Hibiya park, but I thought Odaiba was the perfect choice: German beer, food and live bands made me almost forget I was in Tokyo, until I watched up and saw a big 1:1 size Gundam statue next to me!
How did you spend your Golden Week? Let me know! And thanks for stopping by!
aprile 21, 2012
aprile 19, 2012
あなたはレストラン・オーナー又はオーナーシェフですか？もしそうなら、美味しい物を提供するには、料理を作ることだけでは足りないことをご存知で しょう。素晴らしい物にはそれを更に引き立てる素晴らしいイメージが必要です：お皿、テーブルクロス、店内で流れる音楽と同じように、メニュー、ショップ カード、ホームページ等で視覚的に顧客を惹きつけることが大切です。そのイメージを作るのが写真です。私は何年にも渡る日本での飲食業界での経験から、料 理人がどれだけの努力と愛情を込めてひと皿を作るのかを知っています。そして、その努力と愛情を写真で多くの人に広めたいと思います。料理写真や店内写 真、スタッフ・ポートレート、メニューやショップカード等の写真までご用意出来ます。写真だけではなく、ホームページ、ショップカード、パンフレット等の 作成まで色々なサービスをご提供します。
Are you a restaurant owner or a chef? If so, you know that most of the times a tasty dish just is not enough. A good meal is nothing without a good presentation: as for the plate, the table cloth, or the background music in your restaurant, same goes for the menu, the shop cards or the website. These days you HAVE to be on the internet to promote your business; and what shows a good dish better than a gorgeous picture?
I have worked in the food industry in Japan for years, and I know how much effort and love a chef puts into making a tasty meal, and I strive to show his/her effort to everyone, to make that dish pop out from the page, or from the web. I can provide food shots, interior shots of your restaurant, staff portraits, and pictures for your menus, website or shop card. You need more? Just ask! I can build your website, design your shop cards or your pamphlets, or help you with the menu design.
See some sample shots HERE and HERE and CONTACT ME putting “RESTAURANT” in mail subject: I will get back to you in no time!
aprile 7, 2012
I was recently reviewing my shots, back from 2007 until now, and I noticed something: little by little human presence was fading. (you can see it in the archive of this blog) When I started living in Japan in 2007 everything was so new to me, so was people, that I just couldn`t stop shooting… lots of people shots, mostly useless, mostly colour.
When I reached 2011 archive, suddenly everything was B/W, and people almost disappeared: I think this happened for some reasons.
*I started a project about japanese shrines in BW, wich took me to shoot at places and times where not so much people is around.
*I started to feel at home in Tokyo, so what was strange at first became normal, so it was the people. I think this made me bored.
*I didn`t want to shoot without an idea, a project, and in that moment I didn`t have any project involving people.
*I think I felt shy and guilty, in a way, shooting people without asking for their permission.
This approach changed recently, when I started to follow other photographers blog, expecially street photographers. I got particularly interested in Eric Kim and Thomas Leuthard way of shooting, and decided to try and get closer to people myself.
I have to say it was quite difficult at first, as I felt somehow I was stealing something from them. I also got a strange feeling, as I was walking out from my “safety zone” and doing something new.
But little by little I started to feel more comfortable doing it, and I suddenly realized I quite like it.On top of that, my images started to get more heart, more life.
To actually become invisible, enter an on-going situation, portrait it, and go out without being noticed, without changing it, is quite an emotion. Yet I still feel that maybe being a part of the situation can be better than just watch it and portrait it.
I will try to become more visible, talk with the people I portrait, care more about them, and see if this gives even more life to the pictures. In the end there`s not right or wrong in the so-called “street photography”, I think, what is really important is to portrait our time, the everyday life, in the best way we can.
Thanks for stopping by.
aprile 1, 2012
March is a really busy month in Japan.
Haruyasumi (Spring holidays) for students, Shinseikatsu (New life) for the newly graduated people coming to Tokyo to start working on April, the end of winter and the coming of Spring, perfectly symbolized by Sakura (cherry blossoms).
Japanese people use to celebrate the coming of Spring with Hanami (watching flowers), getting together, eating and drinking under the blooming trees.
This is a scene you may have seen somewhere, but what a lot of people don`t know is that before Sakura, comes Ume (plum).
Plum flowers bloom around one or two weeks earlier than sakura, and have a lot of different colors, from clear white to deep red. It`s nice to see plum trees bloom after a cold winter; it kind of makes you taste the upcoming spring, the trips, the walks, the world waking up from a long sleep. It also gives a lot of color and contrast to the city, wich made me go out and shoot color, wich I wasn`t for a long time.
This time I walked to a park not so far from home, near Umegaoka station (梅が丘), filled with plum trees, and also with people, called Haneki Park (羽気公園). I don`t shoot flowers or macro often, but this particular time I was so relaxed and linked to the place, that when I figured out some hours already passed: I could also took some satisfing shoots.
While shooting some flowers I looked around and saw a lot of interesting human interaction, like sweet potato (石焼芋) selling, kids playing soccer, and some beautiful old ladies eating their bento in their kimono: so I took the chance and got some snaps.
This particular year this blooming has a deeper meaning for me: in some months I am going to become father, and on top of that I finally took the hard decision (after a really long thinking) to leave the job that supported me for 4 years here in Japan and go freelance to shoot full-time, to surrender myself to the beauty around me. On my way home I didn`t forget to thank the gods for giving me this opportunity of blooming in a new form.
Thanks for Reading.