square

Feeling Like a Square in Ebisu

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Window Oleander Ebisu, Tokyo

I went out to the center of Tokyo for a house warming party for two of my close friends.  I don’t get out to trendy Ebisu very often even though it is home to the Tokyo Museum of Photography in Ebisu Garden Place.  Actually, the last time I had been in Ebisu was to meet up with a mate at his office located on the edge of Ebisu and Shibuya.

Among the high class restaurants and private homes, I came across a few square gems.  Homes that must have been in the neighborhood long enough to see the urbanization creep around every narrow street.  Homes with unruly gardens that spoke to me as as out of place as myself.

The ivy creeps up the window sills, flowers bloom in spaces that would have been forgotten in the west.  I love the way that no space is left unused in Japan.

So, it is just me, feeling a bit square in Ebisu.  That is all.

Ebisu Crooked Smile Wild

 

21-3 The Wilds of Ebisu, Tokyo

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

The Japanese Maple are Exploding with Color

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

The autumn colors have been super late arriving this year in and around where I live.  I has very happy to have found that the Japanese Maple trees around are finally displaying their explosive colors.  These five-pointed leaves are alive rich hues that bound from the deep wine burgundies to multicolored mix and matched colors of yellows and reds.  The hues awaken my senses and I am always amazed at how vibrant these colors can be.

I found these all at a little temple complex on top of a small hill in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan.  There were all amazing hues that teased my Ricoh GR IV out of my pocket and into my hand.  I searched out those hues that pulled me like a magnet towards them.   I wasn’t the only one wandering around this small complex looking at the autumn leaves.  There were several groups of mainly older Japanese looking at the trees.

Just another reason to be thankful.  I am thankful to the Creator for splashing my cold gray day with the explosions of color from the Mimoji trees.

Burgundy Japanese Maple (Momiji 紅葉)

Starbust Japanese Maple Leaf  (Momiji 紅葉 )

Autumn Red Japanese Maple Leaf (Momiji 紅葉)

Ginza’s Backstreets and Alleyway Gardens

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I had to bring my mac into Apple last week, and today I returned to scoop it up.  Ginza was one of those places that I avoided.  I thought that it was only good for shopping with your platinum credit cards; however, my view of the neighborhood has really changed over the last couple of years.  Besides Ginza being home to designer brands of all makes, many fabulous ethnic and Japanese restaurants are found lining the main thoroughfares and even more intriguing ones lie in wait on the backstreets.

For those of you that know Tokyo, the area that I really love to wander around is between Ginza and Shimbashi station.  There are so many beautiful little alleyways that are populated with tiny shops serving up all kinds of cuisine.  Today I was interested in how many of these backstreet shops decorated their entrances with plants.  Even though we live in a sea of concrete and steel, many Japanese make an effort to green up their spaces.  It doesn’t matter if it is their home or place of business.  The greening of the concrete landscape is beautiful in my eyes.  These tight little garden spaces that flow out onto the asphalt streets, but not in a way that will impede foot or car traffic.  The potted plants hug the tiny strip of space between the walls of the buildings and the streets.

They seem so ordered.  Everything is in its proper place.  All the plants, usually, well cared for.  It is a small greening of Ginza.  It might not be very much, but it makes those backstreets a pleasure to wander.

Cuisine Street Garden

5 Potted Plant Line Up, Ginza

Leaning Potted Plant, No Entry

Squared in Ginza, with Plants

Monday, October 17th, 2011

My friend Brancolina reminded me the other day about how much she enjoyed my urban wabi sabi images.  Those are the images I created using the canvas of the urban constructed world of Japan.  How all the structures and creations that man has built can fit neatly into squares of my eye.  I loved taking these images.  I still do.  I still am surrounded by these blending of mundane urban elements.  It is not that I no longer desire to enjoy these geometrical collaborations, it is that after the March 11th disasters and the subsequent problems in Japan I needed to change my view.  I needed to chase after a new image.

This is when I became interested in photographing the natural world.  Those flowers that began to bloom soon after the quake were signaling my spirit the rebirth of Japan, and in essence the rebirth of my own character.  I remarked to Brancolina and others that if you had asked me a year ago would I be taking images of flowers and fruit I would have thought you to be mad.  I never considered it.  Do not get me wrong.  I love nature.  I enjoy going out and being in the Creators world, but I never thought about trying to express nature though my photography.  That now has changed.

Even now as the days get shorted everyday.  I still am amazed that there are flowers still in bloom.  These late bloomers are there catching those long autumn rays and giving an explosion of color before the cold Siberian air arrives.

So, I livicate these to images to my fellow photographer Brancolina (and her blog) and her respect for my photography.  I look forward to sharing more challenges and discoveries through the lens.

Finally Shuttered in Ginza

Trendy Tree in Ginza

Two Sides of the Same Bush

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The weather peaked at a high of nearly 25 (77) today.  It actually felt a lot hotter than that.  We are back to having that schizo weather that afflicts Japan in its transitional seasons.  The light from the autumn sun was beautiful and hitting at just the right angle as I was making my way back from the station to my home.  The walk back always gives me some time to reflect on my day.  The walk also gives me a challenge by training my eye to seek out something that I had not seen before.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that I haven’t seen today’s focus on a urban bush before, but it is more in the way that all of the photographic elements of light, composition, color and subject all align themselves and move my spirit to photograph the scene.

The combination of these elements have to speak to me as a human being first and then I must be able to communicate what moved me to those that view the images created.  Today was about how the light were hitting these tiny fruit on urban bushes.  These were plain bushes that had been planted as a hedge to hide some of the industrialness of Kasai Rinkai Station.  But here they were; one blue and one red.  The setting sun was just hitting them with that autumn glow and moved my spirit.

The idea of change began to bubble up in me as I observed these two stages of fruit.  One in it blue hue that has yet to mature into its red cousin on the same bush.  How does it feel to change?  Do we, as humans, change as slowly or quickly as these fruit? Or are they (we) just two sides of the same bush?

Blue Fruit, Autumn

Ripe Fruit, Autumn

It is All Available in a Square

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Everybody has heard how tightly packed everything is here in Japan.  No room at times to even stretch ones legs.  For the most part this is true, and to show and this image shows it in a visual exploration of urban Japan.  It is all so neatly packed and full of the essentials, stamps, drinks, smokes, a door, and an izakaya (drinking place).

Get Stamps, Chu Hi Can, Pole, Door, Nobori

Blue, Blue Harajuku

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

On a beautiful winter day I hopped on the train and headed for the happening spot of Harajuku.  It was a great day to be out.  The sun shone brightly as the crisp air blew around the back alleys and streets of Harajuku.  I am always amazed at how the Japanese have managed to fit so many people, stores, and streets in such chaotic order.  There is no wasted space.  Every bit of useable, and livable space has been built on.  All the pieces fit together with no margin or error just like a jigsaw puzzle.  Sometimes is seems to me that if one house was taken out of the picture, the whole neighborhood would collapse like dominoes.

Harajuku Geometrical Living

Blue Bump Square

Simply Squared on a Friday

Friday, November 26th, 2010

It is Friday.  The end of the week is here.  Time to pause and reflect in the simplicity of the beauty that surrounds us, wether we see it or not.

Line Square Circle Line

Saturday Blue

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

It is Saturday.

The images are blue.

Uplift!!!

Corrugated Postbox Wall, with Doorbell

Potted Plants Blue Door

MOZE on a Friday

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Today was the calm before the storm.  The temp was cool but the sun managed to peek out from behind the clouds for at least a few minutes.  Staying close to home, I ventured over to Nishi Kasai to hit the thrift shops and just to see what was about.

Soon after my arrival I saw this MOZE tag just staring at me.  I then knew my mission for the day:  I was on a MOZE tag hunt.  I wandered the streets of Nishi Kasai peering everywhere along the way.  There goes another one.

Happy hunting, tags that is…

MOZE, Looking at You

Rony Wrinkle MOZE tag

MOZE Parking Violation

Temp Drops, the Color Comes out to Play

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

The temperature has dropped over the course of the day.  By the time I made my way back to the station the wind was picking up and little icy droplets of rain had begun to fall.  No problem for me, because the saturation of the colors just soothed my face against the wind.  It made it all worth it, especially finding the Tidy Blue Niche.

Blue Tidy Niche

Patched Over Wall

201 or 202

Step Walled Door

The Lovely Side of the Street

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

My pendulum like mood swings has caused me to see things a bit more darkly that I would like.  The politricksters and their loudspeakers (this irritating noise is easily filtered out and ignored by the Japanese) hits a nerve deep in my soul and bring out some long rooted frustrations; however, there is another side of the street.

This side of the street is full of life. This other side of the street are full of neighbors that say hello, even to me a complete an utter stranger.  On this side of the street the kitty soaking up the rays smiles as if to say to me “I know.”

Wandering the back alleys no bigger than for a single bicycle to pass I found the lovely side of the street.  I will and always try to find this side to the urban jungle where I trod.  I can not ignore the sights that trouble my soul and they will emerge in my work from time to time.  But keeping this is check, it is the lovely concrete, and potted plants that bring out the best in me.

Seek it.

Look for that lovely side of the street.

Flower Potted River Front

Gas Door Grate

Urayasu Living Zen

Nothing but Slots

Beauty Salon Fat Cat

Segmented Detail, Tsudanuma

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

A collection of some segmented fragments from my afternoon in Tsudanuma, Chiba.

15-5 Taped Up

After Glow 01

Time Roll

Exclaimed Fade

After Glow K

Sun Shone through Colored Glass

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

The sun shone high in the sky.  The moisture has returned to where it came from.  The light brightened all the land as the streets glowed under it’s weight.  I was freed from my cold, and awoke with colors in the heart.

Frosted Glass Happy Ending

VIne pon Wall

Can't Go

Wall of the Time

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