I am a musician and have been spending quite a lot of time in Krakow, especially as it’s a great city for jazz. For the last say 3-4 years I have been enjoying photography especially film photography, this bug started when I bought a Canon digital 750 for the purpose to film gigs and take a few promo shots.
Leica 50mm Summicron
About a month before Japan’s world-famous cherry blossom season in late March, is the lesser-known plum blossom season in late February. Plum blossoms in Japan are the first hint of the coming spring, and while not as explosively striking as cherry blossoms and the warming weather than accompanies them, plum blossoms are enough to attract Japanese for plum blossom viewing if not tourists from overseas. There are some famous Japanese gardens for viewing plum blossoms in Ibaraki Prefecture where I live, like the Mount Tsukuba Bairin and Kairakuen in Mito, the prefectural capital, but I don’t need to travel too far from my front door to see plum blossoms, as there are many plum trees in my own neighborhood, and these make excellent subjects for photography.
I love Paris. While I live in Japan, my business often takes me to Europe, and whenever it does, I always spend a weekend or so in Paris before moving on to wherever I need to go. Paris is of course a wonderful city for street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson made a subject of the Paris streets for decades and never ran out of interesting people and scenes to photograph with his Leica. I find the same is true for me and my Leica M3.
Tsukiji is one of the few remaining neighborhoods in Tokyo where you can get a sense of what the city was like in the 1950s and 1960s, and a favorite street photography stomping ground of mine. Tsukiji had been to be home to Tokyo’s famous tuna auction for seventy years, which has only recently been moved to Toyosu a few kilometers away in a modern but clinicalesque facility. Fortunately, Tsukiji’s outer market remains with its myriad shops and food stalls, and is still popular with not just tourists but also local Japanese. Without the early morning tuna auction, Tsukiji is less frenetic until about 10:00 AM or so when throngs still pack its narrow streets and alleyways.
I’ve returned to film photography fairly recently, having impulsively bought a Yashica TL-Super (plus three lenses and a parts body) for $30 at a garage sale last September. Since then I’ve found that my lust for cameras roughly matches my magpie-like tastes as a photographer: I’m a sucker for anything that catches the light in a nice way, and I’ve had to learn to say “no” to friends and coworkers, as well as to Goodwill’s online store. But when you’re offered a Leica IIIf on a long term loan…?