Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,199   Posts: 1,531,472   Online: 880
      
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 27
  1. #11
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal (QC)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,351
    Images
    132
    Quote Originally Posted by medform-norm
    En lieu of a very long answer, for which I have no time at the moment, I can say that the book "In Praise of Shadow" by Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) - original title In'ei raisan - available in (modestly good) English translation by Seidensticker - made great impact on us.

    Shadows and darkness are very important for the Japanese sense of aesthetics, whereas Western aesthetics tend to have more emphasis on light This is dictated by our cultural history with a strong orientation towards light in both religion and philosophy. But there is more to it than that. We, amongst ourselves, call it a different awareness of how things are present. Like there are also difference in 'being aware of the presence of things' between photographers stemming from predominantly catholic or predominantely protestant regions. For instance, we can tell for 99% sure if a photo was made by a German raised in a catholic region or not. These photos have a certain undeniable mystical quality - in the true (religiously oriented) sense of the word, not the romantic one. If you grew up in a protestant region, you will have a hard time even understanding what quality we're pointing to. This makes discussions on these topics very hard if not impossible.
    I think your observation on darkness is a very important trait to consider in approaching such artworks. As it is the case in calligraphy, the darkness of those pictures is not what is not there: it's what you're supposed to look at. I guess that's where the analytic approach can bear some fruits. The Dasein of being Japanese, however, is a more difficult topic to consider.

  2. #12
    medform-norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Netherlands
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    863
    Images
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    The Dasein of being Japanese, however, is a more difficult topic to consider.
    But could be quintessential to finding an answer to your question.

  3. #13

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Plymouth. UK.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,400
    Images
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    OK, the name is probably over-reaching, but I can't tear myself away from seeing a pattern in Japanese B&W photography, in that they often have a look like this:

    http://www.minox.org/mhs_contest/sug...arbershop.html

    Soft gradations, deep blacks, creamy mid-tones, strong contrasts that don't feel harsh, absence of grain, and "that special feel" all seem to be characteristic of Japanese photography. It seems to me that those picture attain a high level of contrast with a very soft, even light.

    Can anybody (especially if you are Japanese!) comment a little on what is the origin of this look, and how it is attained (exposure/film/dev/paper combo)?
    There`s nothing special about these images, even if they were taken on the Minox sub-miniture format. Getting the right exposure and development along with choosing the optimum grade of photographic paper has a lot to do with it.

  5. #15
    medform-norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Netherlands
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    863
    Images
    1
    Regardless of the value of his work, I personally would not include him in my list of Japanese BW photography that has that special something I'm looking for. I don't find in his pictures what I find in e.g. Toshio Shibata's work, of which some examples here: http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/shibatalist.htm

    http://members.aol.com/shibata810/3rdpage.htm

    To me, Moriyamas work is already too much influenced by American photography and popular culture. But that's a very personal opinion.

  6. #16
    bjorke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    SF & Surrounding Planet
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    2,032
    Images
    20
    masamania will help solve this.

    One thing about old Japanese photos, everyone had black hair. New technologies in imaging have helped to correct the problem.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    284
    I guess I could see how this idea of Japanese photography having a certain look makes sense. I studied some Soviet photographers work and found that during a certain period of about 30 years it was easy for my eye to spot what seemed like patterns in the work of certain Russian photographers.

    If I were to discuss why I feel that certain cultures might photograph in a certain way that others might not I would go back to the feeling I have had, and which was expressed above in an earlier post, that we photograph certain ways based upon our own personality and how we were brought up. In the world of handwriting people can theorize certain traits of a person merely by how they form words with a pen, sometimes they are quite correct. I think the same can be applied to photography or nearly any other form of creation. The way we grew up, the people around us, our home-life dictate how we see photographically. If this is true it would make sense that a certain culture would mostly gravitate to shooting photos in a similar way. I would say it has more to do with what I like to call a 'sociopolitical device' than the equipment they are using. The specific area they live(lived) in, the photography they have been exposed to, the people they talk to, the way their work is commented upon, the age, life experiences... all effect what they see as a photograph. If they are Japanese, and surrounded by Japanese photographers and Japanese culture to me it would be obvious they would photograph like a Japanese person.

    Our surroundings effect us greatly, even if we don't notice it. How many folks have lived in a certain area for a few years only to find they are picking up the accent of that area in their speech? Some things wear off on us without us even realizing. I am pretty sure its the same with these photographers, its more about where they live and what is around them than it is about the camera or techniques they use.
    "Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."

  8. #18
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,205
    Images
    20
    Responding to Dave Wooten above, I think you're thinking of another thread on the Nicola Perscheid lens, where I observed that one of Perscheid's more well known photographs was of a famous Japanese actor.

    If there's a characteristic "Japanese look" I'd guess it comes from other influences in Japanese art like sumi-e or ukiyo-e where smooth gradations of tones are considered a sign of particular skill.

    But then there is Hello Kitty.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #19
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,205
    Images
    20
    I've moved this thread from "Exposure Discussion" to "Photographers."

    "Exposure" is more for things like the Zone System, using a light meter, sunny 16 rule, etc.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #20
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal (QC)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,351
    Images
    132
    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    I've moved this thread from "Exposure Discussion" to "Photographers."

    "Exposure" is more for things like the Zone System, using a light meter, sunny 16 rule, etc.
    My initial intent was to discuss what aspects of exposure were involved in that particular look, but as the discussion is changing directions, that is a proper move.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin