Friday, 27 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
remember my frustration at the absolute lack of authentic old booths left in england? well the same is true of japan. there are photo booths absolutely everywhere, but they're the rubbish digital, low res, cartoon clip art variety...so imagine my excitement at finding la photocabine!
it may be cheating but neither london nor japan can provide me with the real mccoy, so cheating it will have to be. say cheeeeeeeeeeese!
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
the location was a wedding hotel which wasn't so such a hotel as a huge rent-by-the-hour chapel and function room. there were lots of weddings happening simultaneously. this got a little confusing at times when they all spilled out into the lobby at once. the ceremony was conducted mainly in english, by a bogus catholic priest ( /bald hawian surfer) who spoke about the majesty of marriage and the beginning of new eras. i detected an awkwardness to the whole thing which reached a climax at the wedding kiss, when the goom gave the bride a hesitant peck on the cheek as though she were a whiskery great aunt!
cultural differences can be so confusing. was i witnessing that famous japanese reserve?
i've been told that japanese people don't do public affection... or was this simply a couple who weren't that into what they were doing?
...at this point someone whispered to me that kiyo and yoko have in fact been married for 5 years already, and this was all a show for the benefit of demanding relatives!
the relatives did indeed get their pomp and ceremony, plus an elaborate 5 course meal (dessert with dolphins painted in coulis on the plate, worth the Y6000 donation alone i imagine.)
Friday, 20 November 2009
some friends of heidi's are on holiday in japan ( the good folk from the last post). they came to visit us this week so we went on a sightseeing trip to the historical town of kamakura. its only a few stops on the train, i've been meaning to go for weeks but was holding out for good weather and company. its a beautiful serene place, dotted with temples and lakes. we wandered from one to another under a firey canopy of maple leaves with that low autumnal sun, the smell of wood smoke and the distant sound of chanting monks. it was a welcome change from the unrelenting razzle-dazzle of the city.
a stones throw away from kamakura a hotel overlooking the sea is to be the setting of a wedding i've been asked to shoot on sunday....gulp!!
while I'm incredibly flattered, and excited, i'll admit to being more that a tad nervous about it, not to mention surprised that anyone would charge me with such an important task!!
i just hope its a sunny day with lots of good natural light and beautiful subjects! i've no idea what to expect from a western style japanese wedding. all i know is that they love their ceremony here in japan, so i imagine they'll be lots of that. and lots of speeches that i dont understand...and probably lots of bowing.
i've heard that another friend of the couple has also been put on photo and film duty, which is a bit of a relief... at least i'm sharing the huge honor (/scary responsibility).
it will be my first wedding as official photographer ( a bit of a day dream come true for me)...wish me luck!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
it was a weekend of meeting new people ( and re-meeting people too ). yes, its been an entire month of meeting new people thats true, in ebbs and flows but this weekend was most definitely a flow. we had a great time and i had several of those moments you hold out for when you're away from the people you love. those moments that remind you why you are doing what you're doing. you become a different person when removed from your natural habitat. you're pro active, you follow leads, you take chances. you meet people who you wouldn't normally. granted that this is not 100% a good thing. on more than one occasion since i arrived i have entertained the thought they wouldn't let you back even if you wanted to go home. ex pats can be an exceptionally strange bunch of people and Japan is dominated by the male variety, many of whom seem too have an entirely different motivation for being here to me. this weekend however, nothing but very enjoyable company and lots of beer, a winning combo. connecting with good folk is such fun.
Saturday, 14 November 2009
i am better, yes i have been holed up in bed with a mysterious fever, aches and pains and self pity but the lurgy has now departed and i feel human again. plus... i got a job. yes yes after two terrifying days of group interview...a full time real, propper job with a visa, a salary and everything...so i'm off to tokyo tonight to celebrate my new employment status
(picture richard hogg via boooooooom)
Monday, 9 November 2009
i am head over heals for this new lens.
heidi has a new job, yay!
i have some more part time work, hooray!
its still hot here, like summer during the day ( summer flowers still in bloom)
karaoke is brilliant and its everywhere!
i'm addicted to true blood (latest hbo tv crack.)
...which has lead me to watch twilight... and i have to admit, the 15 year old romantic that still lives in me sort of loved it.
now i have crushes on vampires. ( i'm 31)
i've had a fever all weekend which has blossomed into a full on snot fest. i feel vile.
i'm teaching kids for 3 hours tomorrow and i have an interview on thursday.
a man caught up with me on the way home on friday and before i knew what was going on, thrust a very full wallet into my hand and requested (by wild gesticulation and key words) that i give him a.....i'm sure you can guess *shudder*... my eyes nearly popped out of my head in disbelief as i hurriedly gave it back, spluttered NO and walked speedily away (imagining my protective vampire boyfriend, swooping in on the scene behind me to defend my honor)
... i wish i'd karate chopped him in the head and done a runner with his wallet.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
it just occurred to me that this would make a brilliant alternative to walking down the aisle in the conventional way... how about it? being lowered to the alter on a big glitter moon, into a sea of balloons to the sound of you've got the love, wearing a white leotard instead of a frock?anyone I know getting married soon? go ooooon. anything less would be disappointing now.
the first excellent discovery i made today is that i live 15 minutes from the beach.
the second is my new 50mm F1.4 manual focus lens which i picked up second hand yesterday. its been a long time since i used a manual camera. although the focussing is rather tricky for a visually challenged person like myself, with that minute depth of field, the colours and sharpness are uh-mazing. apparently all cameras used to come with 50 mm as standard, until the 80's when zooms became all the rage. i say bring them back damnit!
it's brilliant being forced to mess around with the shutter speed and focus and although my endeavors are somewhat experimental at the moment i think the results look interesting as a starting point. i cannot wait to get better acquainted. how exciting!
Sunday, 1 November 2009
yesterday my new friend joe showed me around town, or around some parts of town i had yet to discover (ok pretty much most of it). he had mentioned to me the day before that there was a big secondhand/flea market type place a couple of miles out from the centre so naturally, being the junk junkie that i am, i insisted that he take me there at once.
when we arrived... oh.my.god. i thought i'd died and gone to jumble heaven.
hard off, as its called,(que hard-on jokes) turned out to be an enormous warehouse stacked to the ceiling with carefully organised bric-a-brac and second hand clothes. they had a section for everything from camera lenses to snowboards to musical instruments and anything you could possibly imagine in between... and guess what...everything was really really cheap! at last! hallelujah!
i scurried up and down the aisles in an excited frenzy, gathering arm fulls of things i knew i couldn't really buy at least until i have my own place. in the end i exercised extreme self control and only came away with a couple of 200 yen ( £1.30) vintage dresses. woo-hoo.
... but good lord am i going back there! thanks joe!