Looking Searching Seeking Finding in Okachimachi

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Looking at Okachimachi with Corrugated Wall and Tree


The day was cool.  Much cooler than it should have been for a late May day, but we should enjoy the break from the heat and enjoy the coolness before it is gone till autumn.

It was late in the afternoon as the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds.  The Okachimachi streets I wandered around were quiet, all the offices were closed.  The homes stood empty.

Looking for me as much I was looking for them. They are out there waiting to be seen framed shuttered and admired.

Just the streets, the gardens, the people, and how they all intersect.

Lined Up Street Garden with Tags and Text

Avoiding the Crowds in Monzenakacho

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Sub Door with Potted Plants, Monzennakacho


It took me quite a lot to get motivated today.  I’m not sure why.  It just seemed like quite a pain to get myself to leave the comfiness of my home.  It was partially due to the weather that had turned a bit cooler in the last 12 hours that I needed to throw on a hoody to keep warm.

I finally gulped down a glass of my homemade espresso and jumped on my bicycle to the station.  I really had no destination in mind.  I just knew I didn’t want to go anywhere crowded.  I just wanted to be on the street with my camera.  I decided to keep to the Tozai line and I got off at Monzennakacho Station.  An area known for it’s large shrine and temple and back alley restaurants.

My wandering started off slowly.  I went left where everyone else went right.  It took a while to get into the rhythm of the wandering and the clicking, but it all began to sync up.  I lost track of time.  I lost track of where I was.  All I had to choose, was straight, left, or right.

The clicking became easy.  Homes angles, potted plants all lined up for my enjoyment.  The streets were for the most part empty except for the occasional housewife, and school children.

Sometimes the hardest part of a journey is just getting started; however, once started the journey is never completed.


Door with Ferns and Bicycle, Monzennakacho



Green Potted Plant with Sliding Door, Monzennakacho



Ledge with Potted Plants, and Potted Plants Door, Monzennakacho

Geometric Homecoming in Chiba

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

I love geometry.  Now you might think that to be a little crazy.  Even if you are thinking about the geometry that we all have to study in school, but honestly out of all the math that I studied in school geometry was the only one that made any sense to me.  My reasoning behind that is I am without any doubt am a visual person.  I think visually.  I approach the world and how I relate back to the world though how I visually experience the world.  Now, I would never really go back and study geometry again.  I’m pretty sure the boat has sailed on that part of my life, but the lines, tangents, and bisecting lines have become part of my visual vocabulary.

The cubists did it the best.  They oversimplified the world that they were apart of into line, shapes, and tone.  A world that is visually experienced through shapes.  I have learned to see the world very mush though these same lenses.  I cannot help but look out into Tokyo, where I live, and see the world sometimes reduced to nothing more than lines and cubes.  I, however, know in my heart that the world is far more complicated than that.  There are shapes that cannot so easy be reduced to just a square.  The natural world, even though, it is full of repeating fractal patterns they are never quite as straight as a line of hewn stone.

This is where my lens comes in to help me navigate my way through the visual world.  Trying to bridge the two ways to seeing the world together.  That world of the straight hard edge lines that follow the rules of geometry and composition.  Then there are the rulers of the plant and natural kingdom.  The ways in which a branch grows divides and multiplies as it reached out to the sun.  I am a part of both worlds.  My physical form comes from nature.  There are now straight lines to be found on my person.  Yet I love to see a rectangular door, meeting a window at just the right moment in space and forming can conforming to our geometric rules.

The door in todays group of images is a geometric homecoming.  There are no plants visible.  There is only the hint of the natural world by the shadows that are being cast on the image.  A piece of my inner mind has left its imprint on this image.

Welcome home.  Welcome to lucid communication with myself.

Split Shadow Geometic Homecoming

Trio One Life, Potted Garden

Keeping it Geometrically Shady

Brancolina: Geometric Architecture Squared

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

This is the third addition of the Lucid Thoughts section of the Lucid Communication website.  Today I am going to introduce the photographer who we all affectionately call Brancolina.  I have known Brancolina for about 4 years and she has been kind enough to share my images on her website, that I am thrilled to return the favor and spread her wonderful square images with the Lucid Communication viewers.

Brancolina is an amazing photographer based in Europe and is strongly influenced by the architecture that she comes across in the city.  Her images always show the trace elements of humans beings.  Meaning, that she is most interested in how humans construct their world around them.  This idea is very similar to mine.  In fact, I like to show the work that humans have created, especially when it comes to their private dwelling spaces.  Brancolina’s interest in showing the spaces in often more public settings.

One thing that I really love about Brancolina is that she fully supports the artists that she enjoys.  She curates exhibitions on her Red Square Gallery site, which, she was kind enough to include a selection from Lucid Communication on Geometric Wabi Sabi.  In the Flickr world Brancolina strives hard to write thoughtful provoking comments.  It is always a blessing to receive a comment from Brancolina, because I know the time and energy that it takes to truly absorb an image to be able to write something thoughtful.

She has just released a new book entitled Urban Stories available on blurb.  It is a collection of images that show the city in its beautiful and sometimes changing cities.  In the Brancolina’s lens the geometry comes alive.  The square framings of the city include such lovely details, and allow the viewer to meditate on what the urban environment first of all means to Brancolina, and more importantly how the view then related to her images.  I strongly recommend that you take the time to explore this book.

Urban Stories available on blurb.

I wanted to know a bit more about Brancolina; therefore, I decided to interview her to find out more about how she creates the images that she does, and why building a community of photographers is important for her.

JS – Where is your home?

B – I live in Antwerp, Belgium.

JS – What is it about geometry that attracts you?
B – I am educated as an architect, it is the essential part of my profession to invetigate forms and proportions in the process of designing architectural space. I love geometry and its principles, so I tend to express this affinity in all my creative projects.

JS – Your images (and mine) rarely feature humans, why is that?
B – From the aspect of urban photographer I am more interested in how humans are creating the city’s architecture and adding personal marks to urban environment than in people’s direct presence on the scene. With my photography I often explore architectural structures as boundaries that delineate and define the urban space, on desolate places significant fragments and proportions of urban elements that compose the scenery are better visually emphasized.

(author’s note:  I find this idea intriguing.  It isn’t necessary to show humans in a photograph to be able to show how they have a presence in images without them being there.  I am fascinated by her exploration of the edges of public and private space.  How do humans interact in these spaces without having to be shown.)

JS – Who are your influences?
B – When I joined Flickr in 2008 I met some photographers who inspired me to take a different approach to photography, getting to know the Rhizome group from Fernando Prats and Jef Safi, and Azurebumble’s Cream of fugu and contributing to Y SIN EMBARGO magazine’s issues especially encouraged my photographic activity.

In the last two years I was influenced by photography lessons that I took at Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts, but this year I decided to take a pause and independently continue with my photographic activity by following my own ideas and concepts.

(author’s note:  Learning and studying how to do photography is an important step for any photographer to take, but eventually the artist needs to be able to create a pathway to artistic expression that is uniquely theirs.  I am proud to see Brancolina starting to forge her own way.)

JS – What do you want viewers to know about your photography?
B – My main motivation to be busy with photography is the artistic need to express myself with images. I like to create photographic visions that intrigue and excite the observer with more than just the prettiness. I think an artistic photo should act like a visual catalyst for emotive, aesthetic or intellectual impressions that affect mind of the spectator.

JS – You give support and exposure to other artists. Why is that important to you?
B – I’m doing that as a sign of respect for some of my favorite photographers who expose on Flickr and because I enjoy curating. In Shadé group the chosen members were curating thematic exhibitions by selecting photos from the group’s pool, and then those photos were awarded by other members of the group with a goal to publish the best voted works in the annual photo book (edition 2009 and edition 2010). After 2 years of administrating the group and realization of photo books I decided to close it and try a different project.

Since March 2011 I have been administrating the Red Square Gallery, where I am organizing exhibitions of architectural and urban photography. Curated selections of 6-8 images accompanied with the artist’s short interview are presented about 3 times a month on the gallery’s blog, which is channeled via a ‘sister’ gallery on Flickr. I could have probably organized those exhibitions in the galleries on Flickr, but I decided to transfer them to the Wordpres platform, because I like how photos look there, and I hope that WordPress exposure could benefit artists to get extra exposure outside the Flickr domain. It is my goal to create an online directory of photographers by introducing a selection of their works with an interview that reflects their artistic point of view.

JS – What is your internet presence? Web sites, links etc?
B – For the time being I am mainly exposing on Flickr, my blog and Tumblr, my photo-books are available via Blurb publishers.. The website is currently under construction.

My photos have been published in the following internet locations:
Hypo – X – Series, A digital curation by Alan Wilson
Y SIN EMBARGO #16, Du-champ-issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #17, Mess-up mess-age issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #18, Inside-out issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #19, super#F issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #20, Extimacy issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #21, Ink or link issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #22, cap-it-all/off issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #24, In-betwen the net issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #25, Just a memory issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #26, Uroborus issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #28, you/END/me issue
Y SIN EMBARGO # 29, end/s issue
U.K’s The Building Mag
Photographer #8 photos + interview
on Azurebumble’s blog Aesthetic investigations: Brancolina: photography pr. 1, Brancolina: photography pt 2, Breaking the darkness, Blue room and Symmetrical spaces.
DOZE#5, Visionär issue
cameraobscura online photography magazine

JS – If there is anything else you would like to say?
B -Thank you very much for inviting me to introduce myself on the Lucid communications. Greetings to all who will be reading this.

I too would like to thank Brancolina for taking the time to answer my questions and help us to be able to better explore her photography.  She has been an inspiration to me in a way to approach internet communication as a collaborative effort.  I will always be thankful for the lucid communication that we have been able to create together.

Photography is my passion, I love everything about it.  I am happy to share my explorations with a beautiful human being and photographer Brancolina.

I will present a small curation of her images below.  I invite you all to explore her Flickr to see her world through her lens.


untitled feeling


this way ...

ceci n'est pas une banane

keep it cool

the images in this blog posting are copyrighted by Brancolina.

Just a taste of Brancolina’s world.  The geometric shapes that inhabit and live on in the cities.  The lines squares, circles all dance and sing in her photographic squares.  Again, thanks again Brancolina for giving us the beauty that you see in the world.

Windy Afternoon Delight

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

The brisk autumn wind was really blowing today.  I stood on some steps for a few minutes and just listened to the leaves rustle as they were blown across the pavement.  I do love this time of year, the slight pause before the real cold weather hits.  It is always a nostalgic times that makes me think back to my college years.  A lovely feeling, and some beautiful light.

Wired Post Door

Stepped Garden

Lost Scarf

I’m Going Back to Ichikawa, to Ichikawa

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Back to my afternoon stomping grounds of Ichikawa.  I had missed her over the summer as I spent most of my time in Tokyo.  It still amazes me that I can walk the same streets and still find something I haven’t seen before, or see something in a way of seeing that I hadn’t noticed.  It is definitely a challenge for my sensability as a photographer.

Vine Culture

Stepping Spider Cone

A Creature of Wood and Metal

I Left Paul in Shinbashi

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I was fortunate to be able to link up with my mate Paul who is visiting from Australia who is here visiting Japan.  It was great to chat tech, photography and just plain catch up with each other.  We walked over to Shinbashi station and said our goodbyes till the next time.

I took the opportunity to wander around in the humid afternoon sun.  There are some crazy backstreets with pubs the size of closets along side massive electronic stores.  It was a good end to a great day.  Good friends, good weather (at least is wasn’t raining), and lots of photographs.  A few of my favorite things.

Cycling Triangle

Indigo Tangent

Construction VInes

Quick Escape

Windy Backstreets and Galettes

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

I had never been to Kagurazaka before venturing there today.  I had heard that it was a bit of an old part of town, but what really got me to want to make a stroll around is when I heard that there are more French restaurants there than anywhere else in Tokyo.  I  enjoyed the little backstreets, that alternated between little bistros and exquisite Japanese places.

And finally after a beautiful Galette stuffed with cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes I was treated to my favorite coffee, a noisette.  yummy!

Perpendiculalyr Closed

Hot Crossed Wall

Yellow Square

Yochi Wada Photo Studio

Kagurazaka Compositional Still

Higashi Ueno: The Other Side

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

I had never walked much around the eastern side of Ueno until the other day.  It was filled with business hotels, small shops, homes, and a scattering of jewelry shops.  It had all the elements that I enjoy, tight packing of so much visual information into a tight space.  The other side.

Going Down

Building the Pyramids

Double Door Tear

Pipe Window Pipe

Ginza for Three

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

A few more images from the wandering around the backstreets of Ginza yesterday.

Coffee Ledge

Black Square Bar

Great Escape

Ginza is Hot and Cubic

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Made a recent trip into the Ginza shopping district. I love wandering around those backstreets between Ginza and Shinbashi.  A mishmash of very exclusive shops selling hard to find items like handmade kimono slippers, to lots, and lots of bars.

The cubes, the rectangles,  the shapes that all squeeze into a square.  They are so lovely.  So organized.

Power Lantern Poster

Stair Stair Down Down

All in One

Pipe Light Organ

Seemingly Random

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Seemingly random is a concept I have been exploring recently.  I guess one can say that nothing ever is truly random,  there is always some pattern, or some reason behind everything I see and do.  It takes an open heart to see those seemingly random connections.  I will try my hardest this summer to explore and discover more.

Corrugated Blind

Key Head

33-24 No More

Seemingly Random

Ueno: Deconstructed Constructions

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The world in which we live is full of rectangles, squares, angles, triangles, and so on.  Most everything can be reduced to these simple shapes.  Even the organic nature of plants lends themselves to be studies as shapes.

Here in the back streets of Ueno, all of the shapes come colliding together.  The round leaves, contrasting with the angular structures.  They all work together to form an interesting picture of Tokyo that I love.

Striped Awning Front Garden

Window VIne Suit

Ping Pong No Here

Under the Portection

Dusty Jewels

Oh My It’s Full of Windows

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

I won’t be seeing much of Ichikawa for most of the summer.  As I only got 4 hours sleep the night before stacked on top of mid 90 degrees weather, It was a miracle that I made it back to the station without passing out.

So, here they are the windows of Ichikawa.

Look, See, Open and let in the cool (cooler at least) night air.

Criss Crossed Wink

Rectangluar Window with Corrugated Metal

Wndow Swirl Square

Geometrical Saturday Live

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

They are all out there laying in plain sight.  The basic shapes that make up the world around us.  The squares, rectangles, triangles, lines ovals, circles.  They are all there.  They are sometimes perfect, and other times they are beautifully imperfect.  I will continue to search out these shapes.  I see them now when I close my eyes.

Exhaust Window Window Wall

Can't Stop Art 4

Pole Gate Window Meters

Red Wrinlke in Time

Arrow Head Circular Zen

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