I shoot street photos because I want to capture the beauty of world I see. I also shoot as a way to connect with my father.
I started shooting street photography about a year and a half ago. I had only recently gotten into photography in order to capture the beauty of the morning light while cycling in the mountains close to where I live. All my photos were landscape for the first few months.
One day, I found myself with a camera and some time to kill waiting at a train station close to where I live. So, I began to shoot people and the goings-on around the station, without thinking much of it. However, when I got home and had a good look at the images, I was astounded! They were fascinating, and that got me interested into street photography before I had even heard of street photography and knew street photography was a thing.
My father, who grew up in New York, photographed the streets when he was in his twenties. I remember some of his monochrome prints hanging on the wall of our house growing up. One was of the Washington Bridge. Another was a shot of some kids in Chinatown. They were beautiful photos.
My father shot his photos with a Leica M3. I became obsessed with wanting to experience what my father experienced. Thinking of him shooting the streets of New York got me interested in doing the same in Tokyo with the same camera and with film. I bought an M3 in good condition, got it overhauled in Japan, and began to shoot film on the streets of Tokyo. The first attempts were problematic, but I learned. I am now comfortable with the M3 and develop my own film.
I love the M3, but it is not the only camera I own, and these days I shoot both film and digital. I don’t plan to write a lot about gear, because I find that gear makes little difference to the quality of the photos. I am not going to gush about Leica or the M3. Every camera I shoot with delivers its own kind of pleasure. However, the M3 connects me to my dad, and that gives me a kind of passion about using that camera.
To me, photography is a kind of catharsis. The process of doing it is just as pleasureful as the end result, and I am thankful for that, because more than once I have ruined whole rolls of film! Photography helps me see world in a different way when I am shooting, but also see the world differently when I review what have shot–things I had not even noticed jump out at me.
Now, I just want to perfect my art. I am not interested in making a living from photography, or to become famous. I shoot for myself mostly. I don’t even care that much whether other people like my photos. Yet I do want to become a better artist for myself. I love the photos that move me. If they also happen to move others with whom I share them, all the better!
So, I am starting now this blog to document my journey. Perhaps no one else will read it, and that doesn’t matter so much to me. Perhaps others will come along for the ride. Perhaps we can all learn for each other. In any case, this is the start of my narrative.