Saturday, 3 February 2018

Kiroku by Dadio Moriyama.

I was flicking through some book reviews, when I came across one about Daido Moriyama's new book 'Record' known as Kiroku in Japanese. It is the collection of the first 30 issues of his personal magazine dating back to 1970s. Basically it chronicles his image making and some thoughts over the time period.

After reading the revue I had an irresistible feeling that I should obtain a copy. Although I am interested in Japanese photography I cannot say I know anything about Moriyama's work apart from he is a street photographer, which has a strong appeal.

 With a copy of Record in my hand and weight being the measure of quality, this is in the five star category. When you slide the book out of it's slip case you are presented with black edged pages and flush black edge hard cover something I have not seen before. This in itself brings a drama to what is to follow. 

When you open the book you are presented with silky smooth gloss white pages that keeps you in suspense as Mark Holborn introduces you to Daido Moriyama and sets the stage for the images to come. 

Wow! And what a shock they are! pulling no punches in their very high contrast look making full use of the term black and white. It takes time for your eyes to adjust to the rich black, making it difficult to see what the images are about. This is partly because these images are made on film at night without the use of flash making them very grainy. This graininess has been translated to the gloss pages by the printing technique making the pages gritty to the touch and adding a textural impact to the pictures.

He does not just use monochrome film there are some magazines in colour where he plays with the vibrancy of the colour. 

For a book that I decided to obtain on a whim, I have been very impressed by the images within. Yes the blackness, odd angles and graininess of the images are an assault on your sensibility's but that is what makes his work different.

It is a book to be enjoyed at leisure over many days and not all at once.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Welcome to the new Year.

What a great start to the New Year for some with all that snow turning the landscape into a photographs paradise! Unfortunately, this part of the country is in the middle of a monsoon, in fact we have had that much rain I'm surprised we have not floated off into the North sea! Dull, dark and uninspiring, I am pleased to have a darkroom when the weather is like this.

A bit late I know, Welcome New Year! I had told some of my regulars that I would be posting a number of articles over the Christmas period. It did not happen and you have my apologies. December was so busy and passed by so quickly I feel I have lost a month from last year.

In case you did not know, this blog has always been a collaboration - so I need to say a big thank you to the editor for keeping it legible and concise. With that in mind we are looking for contributors and it does not matter if you blog or not. Maybe you have had an inkling to blog but do not want the hassle of doing the whole thing yourself or you would like to try it out before you get stuck in. Needless to say it should be photograph related. If you would like to contribute your thoughts and pictures please do. We have no set length, a few hundred words will do but definitely no more than a 1000. You will get full credit and links to your web site, blog if you have them.

 As you will have noticed I have refreshed the header for the new year. Something that has become a bit of a tradition. We may refresh the whole site in line with our mobile offering. Along with other subtle changes when we get the time.

I am not one for New Years resolutions it is just something I don't do. But I am going to try and use my Multi format pinhole camera even more than last year now that I have found a film, developer combination that gives the images a certain style that I like. I'm just not sure which of the 120 format family to use or what paper to print them on. I have some ideas as to what I will make pictures of and already know some of them will be double exposures whether I like it or not.

All I need to do now is thank you all for reading the articles from the year just passed and wish you all the best for the Year ahead. Keep well and creative.

Accompanying images:

Were all made using 35 mm Kodak  gold colour negative. A number of different cameras were used I know one of them was a Nikon FM. Locations of the images are not remembered apart from the first one which is Yosemite valley looking towards the falls.