Back in 2012, a significant shift occurred in my photography journey as I bid farewell to the substantial Nikon D3 system, embracing the much more compact Olympus EM5 along with its diminutive lenses—a notable departure from the bulkier Nikon counterparts. Over the years, the lenses on my Olympus setup have grown in size with wider apertures, now reaching f1.2. Despite this evolution, the system maintains its compact nature, albeit appearing comparatively substantial when lined up against cameras favoured by street photographers, such as the Ricoh.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, early November 2024, when I met up with friends Joan and David Jordan at Clumber Park near Worksop for a photography outing. David graciously loaned me his diminutive Ricoh, the GRIIIx, for the day. Opting for a moodier approach, I delved into capturing black and white images. Impressively, the images presented here are straight out of the camera as jpgs, a feat I found noteworthy, especially considering the learning curve I navigated throughout the day. The camera’s rich and deep monochrome rendition instantly drew parallels with the style of Japanese street photographers, reminiscent of the legendary Daido Moriyama, often regarded as the Godfather of the Street. Their work resonates with me, and I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with this new tool.
I’ve compiled a video showcasing some of my favourite images from that day, contemplating the possibility of further exploration with these compact cameras. Clumber Park has become a frequent muse for me, offering an abundance of inspiration during my recent visits. The allure of these small cameras and the dynamic environment of Clumber Park seem to be weaving together a compelling narrative in my photographic journey. Time will tell where this exploration leads me
Thinking Daidō Moriyama and Photo-Haiku
Reflecting on an article from 2013 that captured the essence of Japanese photography and its luminaries, I find myself drawn to the profound connection between Shomei Tomatsu and Daido Moriyama. The Guardian’s obituary marked the passing of Tomatsu, shedding light on his influential legacy. The journalist not only acknowledged their friendship but went on to portray Tomatsu as Moriyama’s revered teacher and mentor.
John Szarkowski, the curator and critic, played a pivotal role in the narrative, describing Tomatsu as a central figure in recent Japanese photography. Szarkowski eloquently conveyed that Tomatsu’s images were “an intuitive response to the experience of life itself.” This sentiment resonates deeply with me, forming a strong link between the works of both photographers.
Intriguingly, Tomatsu imparted to Moriyama that his photography echoed the spirit of haiku, a poetic form that captures the essence of a moment in a few words. This revelation sparked my Photo-Haiku project, a journey I have embarked on for over a year now. I am on a quest for a deeper understanding of how photography can embody the spirit of haiku, distilling moments into visual poetry. Each click of the shutter becomes a brushstroke, painting a canvas of life’s fleeting moments, seeking to encapsulate the profound in the seemingly ordinary.
A few of the photobooks from the first year of the Ginko Photo-haiku Project I have been running