Buying gear gives me a headache. Whenever I need to buy something or replace something it does my head in and I almost never buy anything. It’s easy for me to visualise my camera as a necessary part of my day to day life. I can’t do that with any other item I own – maybe my glasses or fitbit or this watch my parents bought me before I moved to Japan. Buying a new camera is annoying, but fortunately something I rarely have to do. It’s also easier. I know what I want. I know what I need. My current source of frustration is my bag. I’ve had it for five years. It used to be waterproof. The coffee stained pages in the bottom of it tell me I need a new one. I’ve since picked up probably 15 bags in different stores since I realised that. They all went back on the shelf. I’m not interested in bags.
In Japan, April 29th in the start of Golden Week. A whole week (if you’re lucky) of national holidays / paid leave and mine and Yuka’s first holiday of the year. It was the first holiday of my first year in Japan and it’s the end of the longest holiday-free stretch I do at work. I love Golden Week. Maybe lifted by the weather I shot a lot of colour. I also made a zine entirely in black and white.
Sometimes I get weirdly into those ‘my camera bag’ posts. I’m always interested in what people feel is necessary to make a photo and why they always have it. I don’t think the camera is particularly important – DSLR, mirrorless, compact, iPhone, whatever, it’s all good. A camera is a given. I know a lot of people love their gear and a lot of people don’t give a shit about it. Here’s what I take when I go out to shoot.
The last two years I’ve printed a collection of photos from the year for my nan. Last year she got about 20 A4 size prints on the second best quality paper Staples have. I put them in a project wallet I bought in the pound shop and gave them to her on Christmas day. She can see them online – my parents can easily show her pictures on their phones or computer. For her though, I always want to put the paper in her hand. It feels more real.
Spring in Japan is a wonderful time. It’s not cold anymore and the humidity hasn’t hit yet. It’s often T-shirt weather on my days off and the Spring seasonal food and drink starts showing up. It’s also the time of year the cherry blossoms make their appearance, everyone goes to the park to hang out and even the dourest salaryman wears a grin for the flowers. It’s fantastic.
I use Instagram every day. I check it too much. In those weird in between times when I know I won’t get through the full 50 questions on my favourite study app. I check it in the queue for lunch and then again 10 seconds later when the person ahead can’t find the right change. I wonder why no one has posted anything in those 5 seconds and then shove my phone back in my pocket, annoyed with myself. On several occasions I’ve thought about deleting it altogether. I don’t have Facebook on my phone. I don’t have Twitter. Why do I keep Instagram around?
The 24 Hour Project is a global photography event that’s happened every year since 2012. Photographers post a photo of their city every hour for 24 hours. It’s always in support of a charity – this year Lesvos Solidarity. Every year’s been bigger than the last. This year was my first. A couple of month’s ago I was debating spending one of my five bookable days off to take part. In the end Yuka convinced me it was a good idea – likely since I’d talked about it a bit too much. I’m glad I did.