So after shooting with a disposable camera around Osaka, I decided to bring out my grandfather’s antique Canon AE-1 camera. I actually saw one displayed in the Canon showroom there before I decided to use it, the unit is much older than I am. Thankfully, I got some help figuring out the necessary technicalities from staff Yodobashi Umeda, a store I frequented during my stay.
After using the disposable camera, I remembered why film is great. However, after using it in fully manual mode with my grandfather’s camera, I remembered why film is love.
In as much as I adore my digitally captured photographs, there is something inexplicable when shooting with film. This exercise taught me to savor moments more, to be still when it’s dark and to have patience.
Though I’ve had the camera for ages, it was the first time I ever used it. I could almost hear it shout, “Use me!” in Japan. I’m glad I did. I used quite a lot of film on the Osaka skyline.
Also practiced capturing defining moments in street photography. Must say, takes a lot of patience. I would just stand still in one spot until there is an urge to press that shutter.
Streets are usually very chaotic but as I walked down these streets, it was actually very peaceful. I could almost feel my mind reorganize itself with more structured thoughts than just rely on what I feel – thanks Japan! Balance is key.
In relation to my previous post, I mentioned that personally, to travel is to experience light in different destinations. While shooting fully manual, I was more sensitive to the light that presented itself in various instances.
Personally, I realized the magic in the medium of photography when I researched on the etymology of the word. It was in 1839 that the term was coined by Sir John Herschel.
“Photography” was created from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), “light” and γραφή (graphé) “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light”.
Putting the technicality of the medium into consideration, it’s pretty amazing how this form came to be. I mean, if you really think about it photography does the following:
- It freezes a particular moment in time.
- Time stands still with the light captured.
- Those captured moments brings back memories.
- Remembering distinct memories brings you back in time.
- Essentially, it allows you to time travel!
I have no mathematical formula for this, but it sure would be interesting to converse with one who does.
Point being: photography may be the only activity that allows one to capture light and still time in a form sensible to actual reality.
I have had fond memories as a child in InterContinental Manila, it has been torn down since. However, those cherished memories seemed to have had a rebirth during my stay in Osaka. I honestly felt like a very independent five-year old human.
Without knowing the language, I was able to ask people to be part of my photographs. I surprised myself because the only Japanese term I know related to photography is “bokeh” and that does not come in very useful when asking someone for a photograph. I surprised myself, I guess it’s the courage of my inner child.
I really admire seeing them wear their traditional garments, with the contrast of the modern environment – it’s a refreshing sight.
I am very grateful to Japan for being the safe place where I was able to bring out the child in me once again.
Photography: Ritz Marie