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.
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.
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.
All of my photos have people in them. I like taking photos of people so it makes sense to me. Lately though, I’ve been trying to take more pictures without people in them. Not that I’m avoiding shooting people. I just want to broaden my horizons a little.
Like a lot of foreigners living in Tokyo, I make my living teaching English. Not a career I ever particularly expected to be in at this time of my life, but one I enjoy none the less. A big part of that enjoyment is that I like the way language works. I like the little rules of grammar and pronunciation. I like the way moving your tongue or using your voice gives you different sounds. I love phonemic script. But I’m also a big fan of the photographer’s collocation of choice: to make a photo.
I went into Shinjuku today for my Monday photo walk / mental recharge. On the train I felt a little down and distracted and couldn’t wait to get outside and just shoot for a couple of hours. After arriving, the better part of the next two hours was spent taking photos that made me want to throw my camera under the next passing train. After that, I felt refreshed and ready for the work week to recommence. I’m grateful for days like today. I enjoy the never ending process that is making things.