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December 22, 2007

Mah Ladure

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CameraNikon Corporation NIKON D40
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureNormal Program / 1/13 s @ f/5.6
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/-0.67 eV @ 200

When I visited Paris my friend Mika took my out to take photographs in the morning. When we passed Ladure and she found out that I hadn't tried one of their Macaron we had to come in out of the cold and take some with us to go.

Here I am at odds with trying to describe to Mika's mother exactly how good the caramel Macaron is. They truly are great!

Photograph: Mika

 

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December 13, 2007

Bicyclette-sur-Seine

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CameraCanon Canon PowerShot G9
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Canon 7.4-44.4mm f/2.8-4.8 IS (Unknown)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAv priority / 1/159 s @ f/6.3
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 80

Taken this morning in Paris.

 

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November 8, 2007

Announcing ?? (Jyouji)

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm (42 mm)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 1/15 s @ f/4.5
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 3200

His head roughly shaved, he was announced to be ?? (Jyouji).

 

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November 7, 2007

Leaving this World

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
LensTamron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 85 mm
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 1/13 s @ f/4.5
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 3200
 

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November 4, 2007

Jesse's 得度式 (Tokudoshiki)

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 48mm (75 mm)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 1/25 s @ f/4.5
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 3200

Last week my friend Jesse became a monk in a ceremony called a "tokudoshiki" (Japanese: 得度式). The monks were very gracious to allow me access to take photographs and although I was able to take many I will try to be respectful by only posting a few of them. Allowing photographs at an event such as this is very unorthodox.

The ceremony was very long, perhaps four or five hours in total. At this point in the ceremony Jesse had not yet had his head shaved nor received his new name.

 

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November 2, 2007

Alms Practice

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 48mm (75 mm)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureNormal Program / 1/500 s @ f/2.8
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.30 eV @ 100

Jesse took my friend and I to Kawasaki-daishi temple. After watching and participating in a Buddhist ritual peppered with the esoteric—fire, chanting, and a monk beating a large drum—we walked around the grounds and finally back out into the surrounding town. There we saw not an atypical sight: pacing up and down the street was a monk chanting the heart sutra and collecting alms.

I understand it was part of a monk's practice to collect rice or vegetables through public offering but now food has given way to money. Today money is even non-essential as many temples have large endowments. Money has yielded simply to practice.

 

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October 31, 2007

Harajuku Fashion Sample

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Minolta 50mm f/1.4 (75 mm)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 1/640 s @ f/4.5
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 1600

While crossing the street I saw this boy waiting. "Nice boots," I thought to myself.

 

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October 30, 2007

Kyoto Smoke Break

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CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
LensTamron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 40 mm
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 1/160 s @ f/5
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 100

A person taking a moment for themselves, near the Gion district of Kyoto. Among the mid-day hustle which is standard in urban Japan this individual was of note.

Taken blindly from my hip, focus preset.

 

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October 26, 2007

Stillness in Nikko

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If I could give any advice to a traveler who wants to come and see Japan it would be simple: do not try to see everything and try to spend as much time away from Tokyo as possible.

Japan has such a variety of things to offer and such a well developed transportation system that it is easy to yield to the temptation that one should try and see it all as quickly as possible. Tokyo too has the allure of being so large and well documented, either popularly in films such as Lost in Translation or in guidebooks, that it is all too easy to hop from place to place while actually experiencing very little.

Instead I would advise breaking the journey into two segments: megapolis and countryside. See the big cities and resist the urge to stay. Try to be fully aware of the crowds, the concrete, and the looks of exhaustion you see everywhere. Did you make any real connections with anybody or were they merely being polite?

CameraKonica Minolta MAXXUM 7D
Lens (35mm Equiv.)Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm (42 mm)
Exp. Prog. / Shutter @ ApertureAperture priority / 2 s @ f/8
Metering w/Adj. @ ISOPattern w/0.00 eV @ 100

Next, travel to the countryside and notice how everything improves: the temples, the food, the prices, the people. Stay in a Ryokan. Bathe in an onsen. Eat the local specialties. Talk to the people that are interested in talking with you, often their interest is genuine. Above all, try to forget yourself for awhile.

If you want the Lost in Translation experience it is actually very easy to come to Japan and have it. It is entirely possible to arrive in Tokyo with grand dreams of acquiring a new cultural awareness only to find that hope somehow dashed when dotting from tourist clich to clich and attaching oneself from one lonely and alienated foreigner to another. It is the busiest emptiness you may ever experience. Is that what you really want?

 

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October 9, 2007

Viva la France

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Objet trouv dans arrondissement 1.

 

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