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  1. #1
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Looking for a good Japanese-language photography book...

    Howdy, konnichiwa!

    So I'm always doing my best to get my girlfriend into photography and so far it's working. She's Japanese and I'd love to find a good book that she would enjoy reading and learn something.

    What I'm looking for is something akin to the books by Andreas Feininger; namely "Photographic Seeing", or "The Complete Photographer", but written by a Japanese photographer, in Japanese (not translated from English).

    I like Andreas Feininger for many reaons. For one, he writes in the vernacular and he has a good sense of humor, and most importanly of all he has insight into how beginners perceive the study of photography. He's wary of technical speak, yet doesn't shy away from it, but rather makes it seem easier than most authors do. His books deal with film and paper from the 60's-70's which for the most part is still appicable today. He deals with black & white and color in equal measure, and his philosophy is refreshing, simple and noble.

    Even if you have no idea who Andreas Feininger, point me in the right direction and I'll be super thankful.

    Arigato gozaimasu!

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    These look promising...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakae_Tamura_(photographer)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Domon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dnosuke_Natori

    Particularly Sakuga no daiippo by Sakae Tamura.

    Would love it if anyone has personal opinions

  3. #3
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Its not necessary to teach someone on photography with photography books.
    Buy a Akira Kurosawa film dvd to your girlfriend - for example RAN - and it would be a great lesson to composition.
    Akira Kurosawa is one of the best director you can ever find.
    Give her a camera and let her take photographs. Than let us analysis her style and give the best match with in movie making. She will not bored and may be she swithches to cinema. More fun for her.
    You are young and you will learn to not try to educate your woman Try what you can learn from her.
    Banzai !!! Banzai !!! Banzai !!!

    Umut

  4. #4
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Hahaha, that's all well and good but I want to find her a good book. I learned a lot from books!

    I love Kurosawa though, so that's a good idea. And she does take pictures, some turn out quite well; especially after she learned what the bright-lines of a rangefinder are. Before that though, lots of very weird compositions...

  5. #5
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    bump.

    I know there are a lot of APUGers who live in Japan. I just need some guidance, and maybe some translation of the bibliographies on those wiki pages.

    Christmas is coming!

    Something like Sakae Tamura's book Sakuga no daiippo, 'A guide to the practice of photography', sounds promising or any of the books by Domon or Natori that seem oriented towards learning photography in general.

    These photographers were picked fairly randomonly, but I'm somewhat familiar with Ken Domon, and I definitely want a book written by one of the "greats" of Japanese photography.

    Any more photographers you can think of?

    Thanks in advance

  6. #6
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that there are many classical photographers that actually wrote instruction style books...
    I had a look on Amazon jp and there's only modern ones... mainly digital of course
    I think the best bet to get a vintage book would be a used store but it most probably won't be by a big name photographer. Most big guys seem to put out only picture type books.
    I had a look at those links and the references don't seem to list anything...

    As an alternative, have you tried a photo book from a Japanese photog? Is this book for you or her? If its for her its probably good to get her creatively inspired and that I found leads to a natural desire to learn the tech stuff.

    My wife, also Japanese is a bit of a camera nut too and she started with just the creative desire. She had almost no idea about shutter speeds and "correct technique". She just shot pictures how she liked. Then we met and I slowly taught her about the controls and stuff on her camera and now she even sometimes uses sunny 16 to estimate exposures
    I found that you can't really rush these things or there might be a risk of less interest from all the perceived pressure of having to learn about all the tech stuff.

    I'm not sure about the type of photography she likes but a couple of contemporary Japanese female photographers are Mika Ninagawa and Kawauchi Rinko.

  8. #8
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Hey sumo,

    Thanks for the advice. I think you're right, I will look for a good picture book as well. But, I still think an instruction book is good to have, particularly if the author is good. Reading something from Feininger, for instance, you don't feel like you're trudging through some instruction book, it's like taking a lecture from an excellent photographer.

    Thanks!



 

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