A real half-frame camera photographed by a fake half-frame camera.
Both of which I no longer own.
The Pen EE-2 got some mold on it and for the health and safety of my other cameras I had to take it behind the barn and shoot it. I would always tape the film’s box end to the camera because, at 72+ shots per roll of film, I’d always forget what I had in there looooong before I finished and developed the roll. Most of my favorite shots were taken with that camera though. Which is why I bought it’s digital descendent instead of another high end DSLR.
The character is Misshi Chan, the tourism mascot of Miyazaki City.
The iPhone was sold to a friend. Did you know Softbank carrier-locks the smartphones they sell you and are under no obligation to set you free? Add that to poor area coverage in Japan and you get a company that can go do one of the dozens of rude suggestions running through my mind right now as I think about them. The app was called Half Camera by Korean company B1VFX. Don’t bother looking them up. Their logo is all they have on their website “About" page. Twas a nice little diptych-making app though. 
The photo was taken in Miayakonojo one late November near the Jusco. I know this because the leaves don’t fall there until late November. 

A real half-frame camera photographed by a fake half-frame camera.

Both of which I no longer own.

The Pen EE-2 got some mold on it and for the health and safety of my other cameras I had to take it behind the barn and shoot it. I would always tape the film’s box end to the camera because, at 72+ shots per roll of film, I’d always forget what I had in there looooong before I finished and developed the roll. Most of my favorite shots were taken with that camera though. Which is why I bought it’s digital descendent instead of another high end DSLR.

The character is Misshi Chan, the tourism mascot of Miyazaki City.

The iPhone was sold to a friend. Did you know Softbank carrier-locks the smartphones they sell you and are under no obligation to set you free? Add that to poor area coverage in Japan and you get a company that can go do one of the dozens of rude suggestions running through my mind right now as I think about them. The app was called Half Camera by Korean company B1VFX. Don’t bother looking them up. Their logo is all they have on their website “About" page. Twas a nice little diptych-making app though. 

The photo was taken in Miayakonojo one late November near the Jusco. I know this because the leaves don’t fall there until late November. 

IMG_1229 on Flickr.
This is a man sitting on top of a giant drum and playing it with very long sticks during the Okage Matsuri a couple of years back. I assume it happened at the start of this month like scheduled. It got cancelled one year due to a hoof and mouth outbreak. That was a pretty dull summer. I always had a lot of trouble getting to the local festivals due to my Tuesday - Saturday/ 10am -7pm work schedule interfering with the strict Saturday evening scheduling they always had. Luckily the shrine was about ten minutes from my apartment so I could at least catch them rolling in the floats and some of the performances before the fireworks ended the show. But being an hour away from Miyazaki City, and ninety minutes away from Kagoshima, by train meant that I always missed out on what those cities had to offer. Maybe one day when the stars align and the wallet is fat…

IMG_1229 on Flickr.

This is a man sitting on top of a giant drum and playing it with very long sticks during the Okage Matsuri a couple of years back. I assume it happened at the start of this month like scheduled. It got cancelled one year due to a hoof and mouth outbreak. That was a pretty dull summer.

I always had a lot of trouble getting to the local festivals due to my Tuesday - Saturday/ 10am -7pm work schedule interfering with the strict Saturday evening scheduling they always had. Luckily the shrine was about ten minutes from my apartment so I could at least catch them rolling in the floats and some of the performances before the fireworks ended the show. But being an hour away from Miyazaki City, and ninety minutes away from Kagoshima, by train meant that I always missed out on what those cities had to offer.

Maybe one day when the stars align and the wallet is fat…

IMG_1591 on Flickr.
There’s a concept called “reverse culture shock” when people return to the land of their birth after being in parts foreign for a while.  You do pick up local habits even if you don’t mean to. Bowing while shaking hands. Pauses as you look for the best words to use. Pushing into the bus as other people are leaving and then the driver yelling at you to wait and everyone looks at you like you’re an asshole. I did that after returning from Korea. No one waits there. I’ve been back and forward enough now that I can flip my mental switches relatively quickly. And while I still bitch about the constant chill in the Canadian air, I don’t try to pay for bus after I ride it like they do in Japan. I also look both ways before crossing the street correctly. Left, then right, in Canada. Right, then left, in Japan. To be honest, I’m a bit embarrassed by how quickly I slipped into my Canadian comfort zone. Like my Japanese comfort zone was nothing. And to be honest, it really was nothing. I’ve pointed out before: Take your boring life in North America* and translate it to Japanese. There isn’t much adjusting to be done. That’s part of the reason I have an urge to return to Korea. I’m never comfortable there due to the first world comforts going hand in hand with the third world personality. Or maybe I felt that way about my time in Japan due to my having been an expat for seven years by the time I got there. YMMV. I tell you this, though… I’d get a full body Brazilian wax in exchange for Japanese style bath tubs in every house here.
I think this was shot with the Camerabag App. But since I got rid of my iPhone, I have no way to confirm that.
*Living in Tokyo/ Toronto/ Taipei/ Seoul/ Dubai/ NYC/ Rio/ etc… don’t count. Big cities are different planets entirely and don’t really represent the nation they’re in.

IMG_1591 on Flickr.

There’s a concept called “reverse culture shock” when people return to the land of their birth after being in parts foreign for a while.

You do pick up local habits even if you don’t mean to. Bowing while shaking hands. Pauses as you look for the best words to use. Pushing into the bus as other people are leaving and then the driver yelling at you to wait and everyone looks at you like you’re an asshole.

I did that after returning from Korea. No one waits there.

I’ve been back and forward enough now that I can flip my mental switches relatively quickly. And while I still bitch about the constant chill in the Canadian air, I don’t try to pay for bus after I ride it like they do in Japan. I also look both ways before crossing the street correctly. Left, then right, in Canada. Right, then left, in Japan.

To be honest, I’m a bit embarrassed by how quickly I slipped into my Canadian comfort zone. Like my Japanese comfort zone was nothing. And to be honest, it really was nothing. I’ve pointed out before: Take your boring life in North America* and translate it to Japanese. There isn’t much adjusting to be done. That’s part of the reason I have an urge to return to Korea. I’m never comfortable there due to the first world comforts going hand in hand with the third world personality.

Or maybe I felt that way about my time in Japan due to my having been an expat for seven years by the time I got there. YMMV.

I tell you this, though… I’d get a full body Brazilian wax in exchange for Japanese style bath tubs in every house here.

I think this was shot with the Camerabag App. But since I got rid of my iPhone, I have no way to confirm that.

*Living in Tokyo/ Toronto/ Taipei/ Seoul/ Dubai/ NYC/ Rio/ etc… don’t count. Big cities are different planets entirely and don’t really represent the nation they’re in.

I don’t know if it’s the city that’s doing this or if it’s the local power companies, but a lot of the chronically empty spaces (Where failed businesses leave empty lots in their wake) around Miyakonojo have been filled up with solar panels. 

Being situated on a very wide, flat, mountain plateau gives the city access to a lot of light. As the area ages out of being a commercial center I think turning into a center for green energy (If that’s the plan) is a wise move.

I don’t know if it’s the city that’s doing this or if it’s the local power companies, but a lot of the chronically empty spaces (Where failed businesses leave empty lots in their wake) around Miyakonojo have been filled up with solar panels.

Being situated on a very wide, flat, mountain plateau gives the city access to a lot of light. As the area ages out of being a commercial center I think turning into a center for green energy (If that’s the plan) is a wise move.

Ah, back when photography was new and exciting and I was doing all of the things first semester photography students do. 
Ah, back when Japan was new and exciting and I was doing all of the things new arrivals with no money or internet but enough cash to develop film do.
This one of many uncountable small Shinto shrines that dot the countryside of Japan. They’re great sources of cooling shade during the summers here. It was shot with a Holga WPC120 camera. I was always unsatisfied with my ability to get the timing right on the manual shutter. And with 120 film steadily getting rarer and more expensive to develop, I couldn’t really bring myself to use it more often. I did like it though. Real primitive Ur photography type of stuff.
It’s funny how quickly things changed here. 120 film wasn’t too hard to come by even though it was slightly pricey and took a few days to a week to get processed when I arrived five years ago. Now I’d have to buy the film online from a different country, or travel to a big city like Fukuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo. Even in the big camera stores in those places film takes up less and less shelf space. And I’ve only ever seen old fellers in those sections. The times they are a changin’, as the old song tells us.
Assuming my friend Grace didn’t eat my WPC120 in the years between my return to Halifax this summer and when I loaned the camera to him (he lives in Dartmouth, yo), I might get it back and convert the spools to hold 135 film. That’s also getting hard to buy and use, but it might have a year or two left to it.

Ah, back when photography was new and exciting and I was doing all of the things first semester photography students do. 

Ah, back when Japan was new and exciting and I was doing all of the things new arrivals with no money or internet but enough cash to develop film do.

This one of many uncountable small Shinto shrines that dot the countryside of Japan. They’re great sources of cooling shade during the summers here. It was shot with a Holga WPC120 camera. I was always unsatisfied with my ability to get the timing right on the manual shutter. And with 120 film steadily getting rarer and more expensive to develop, I couldn’t really bring myself to use it more often. I did like it though. Real primitive Ur photography type of stuff.

It’s funny how quickly things changed here. 120 film wasn’t too hard to come by even though it was slightly pricey and took a few days to a week to get processed when I arrived five years ago. Now I’d have to buy the film online from a different country, or travel to a big city like Fukuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo. Even in the big camera stores in those places film takes up less and less shelf space. And I’ve only ever seen old fellers in those sections. The times they are a changin’, as the old song tells us.

Assuming my friend Grace didn’t eat my WPC120 in the years between my return to Halifax this summer and when I loaned the camera to him (he lives in Dartmouth, yo), I might get it back and convert the spools to hold 135 film. That’s also getting hard to buy and use, but it might have a year or two left to it.

This is the excitement of Miyakonojo at night. Shot with the Olympus Pen E-P3.
I never make the mistake of telling myself that I’d be living a lot more exciting life if I was in Tokyo or Osaka. I lived in Seoul for a long time and my life wasn’t particularly exciting there either. Excitement is for people who can tolerate beer, cigarettes, and other people. 
It’s funny though, I associate certain types of music with the places I’ve lived in Asia. Seoul brings The Good The Bad and The Queen album to mind. Not sure why on that one. Dare by Gorillaz as well. Must have been a Damon Albarn phase for me. Cheonan brings What’s Going On? by Marvin Gaye just because Cheonan looks like somewhere the album would take place. Taichung brings the Pussycat Doll’s When I Grow Up (Watch on mute) to my head. I can explain that one since the local English language radio station was obsessed with it and played it non-stop. Switching to the Taiwanese stations didn’t make the music situation any better.
What about Japan? 
I’ve only lived in a single spot here since I’ve arrived. That’s the thing about job security and a good employer: Not so much moving about. I don’t have a Fukuoka nor Tokyo song or record since I’ve never been in those places long enough to make associations with them.
What about Miyakonojo, then?
I think I may need to leave the place for good before I can let the devil of nostalgia make those associations for me. I’ve been consuming a wide variety of music here. But I did discover that I can do this song pretty well at karaoke and this song even better. 
That has to count for something, doesn’t  it?

This is the excitement of Miyakonojo at night. Shot with the Olympus Pen E-P3.

I never make the mistake of telling myself that I’d be living a lot more exciting life if I was in Tokyo or Osaka. I lived in Seoul for a long time and my life wasn’t particularly exciting there either. Excitement is for people who can tolerate beer, cigarettes, and other people. 

It’s funny though, I associate certain types of music with the places I’ve lived in Asia. Seoul brings The Good The Bad and The Queen album to mind. Not sure why on that one. Dare by Gorillaz as well. Must have been a Damon Albarn phase for me. Cheonan brings What’s Going On? by Marvin Gaye just because Cheonan looks like somewhere the album would take place. Taichung brings the Pussycat Doll’s When I Grow Up (Watch on mute) to my head. I can explain that one since the local English language radio station was obsessed with it and played it non-stop. Switching to the Taiwanese stations didn’t make the music situation any better.

What about Japan? 

I’ve only lived in a single spot here since I’ve arrived. That’s the thing about job security and a good employer: Not so much moving about. I don’t have a Fukuoka nor Tokyo song or record since I’ve never been in those places long enough to make associations with them.

What about Miyakonojo, then?

I think I may need to leave the place for good before I can let the devil of nostalgia make those associations for me. I’ve been consuming a wide variety of music here. But I did discover that I can do this song pretty well at karaoke and this song even better. 

That has to count for something, doesn’t  it?