Recent Tear Sheets

Here’s a couple of tear sheets from recent work…

First up, nice usage of some photography I shot on assignment for Greenpeace in Iitate, near Fukushima, in Japan, covering the nuclear radiation decontamination efforts there. It’s a shocking state of affairs there, the Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from finished and it is estimated the clean up will take at least another 40 years…but of course Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government wish to present a clean, decontaminated face to the world as the 2020 Olympics looms.

Here’s the cover and a spread from the recent Greenpeace report which used the images, and which makes for sobering reading.

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Image above shows a Japanese worker ‘decontaminating’ the forest, one stone at a time…the moss will grow back in weeks, and be contaminated due to the radiation held within the soil. A couple more spreads below from within the report…

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Another tear sheet just popped in to the studio is the below, a series of images shot for Historic Scotland magazine documenting a day in the life of one of their Rangers, and a journalist trying out the job for the day.  It was a fascinating reportage and portrait shoot, on Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, granting me a fascinating insight in the park life, its history and the archaeology of the area.

The job required it was shot in mid-Winter, but the brief required the images to look like Spring as that is when the article would run in the magazine. The day of the shoot was a cold, dark, grey, winter day. Nothing like spring. But then the clouds parted and for 10 minutes there was blue sky and sunshine. I shot like crazy. Hey presto, spring time.

Alas, I was disappointed by the usage of the images, by the spread. The design wasn’t to my liking so much, but the client was happy and that ultimately is the aim.

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More tear sheets to come soon…

Fukushima and Photography.

Last month I had the pleasure of sitting down, at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, with Japanese photographer and daguerreotypist Takashi Arai to discuss photography and the Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan.

I have known Takashi-san since my Japan days, and since March 11th 2012, when the Great East Japan earthquake struck, both Takashi and I have in our own ways and through our own photography photographed the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the consequences of it for large swathes of Japan and the population. In the below video, which sadly only records the first half of the talk, we discuss our respective works and photographs.

Takashi-san’s book, of his daguerrotype work, including his images from his nuclear project, ‘Monuments’, is now released, in a limited edition of 1,000. Takashi Arai ‘Monuments’.

 

Photographing Fukushima

This Saturday, 8th August, Japanese award winning photographer Takashi Arai will be talking at Street Level Photoworks, in Glasgow, about his work and experiences photographing the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear explosions in Japan. I’ll join Takashi-san, whom I’m pleased to have known for a few years now, since my Tokyo days, in his talk to discuss my own work from Fukushima and to discuss Fukushima in general. Please join us, the event is free, but you do need to reserve a ticket just for space and numbers purposes.

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Within sight of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (mast-like structures on horizon of pic) the police search Ukedo beach for bodies of tsunami victims, within the evacuated, and now uninhabited 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in Namie, Japan, on Monday 27th February 2012. The exclusion zone used to be home to approximately 73,000 people, but all have been evacuated by the government and are now restricted from returning home due to high levels of radiation contamination from the explosions at the TEPCO owned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, following the earthquake and tsunami of  March 11th 2011. Due to the towns and zone being uninhabited the police patrol to prevent crime and theft from unoccupied properties and businesses.
Within sight of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (mast-like structures on horizon of pic) the police search Ukedo beach for bodies of tsunami victims, within the evacuated, and now uninhabited 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in Namie, Japan, on Monday 27th February 2012.
The exclusion zone used to be home to approximately 73,000 people, but all have been evacuated by the government and are now restricted from returning home due to high levels of radiation contamination from the explosions at the TEPCO owned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11th 2011.
Due to the towns and zone being uninhabited the police patrol to prevent crime and theft from unoccupied properties and businesses.

 

From the Street Level Photoworks announcement of the show:

We are pleased to announce that Takashi Arai will give a slide talk on his work at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow, in association with Alternative Photography Scotland. Tokyo-based artist Takashi Arai is well-known as a unique contemporary daguerreotypist in Japan. His work is not meant to showcase the object being depicted, but instead the medium of photography itself.

Takashi Arai first encountered photography while he was a university student of biology. In an effort to trace photography to its origins, he encountered daguerreotype, and after much trial and error mastered the complex technique. Arai does not see daguerreotype as a nostalgic reproduction of a classical method; instead, he has made it his own personal medium, finding it a reliable device for storing memory that is far better for recording and transmitting interactions with his subjects than modern photography.

Beginning in 2010, when he first became interested in nuclear issues, Arai has used the daguerreotype technique to create individual records-micro-monuments-of his encounters with surviving crew members, and the salvaged hull, of the fallout-contaminated Daigo Fukuryumaru fishing boat, records that touch upon the fragmented reality of events in the past. This project led him to photograph the deeply interconnected subjects of Fukushima, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

Arai’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and in 2014, he received the Source-Cord Prize, sponsored by Source Magazine.

Found In Translation

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It’s always great to see your photographs in magazines and books, see how they’ve been used and see the layouts, the design…

This above spread comes from this month’s issue of Marie Claire UK, and is the opening spread of a 5 page travel article on Japan by Laura Miller. Four of my images, from my photography archive, grace the article. Both the photographs come from Kyoto, and show on the left – the Fushimi-Inarii Shrine with cherry blossom, and on the right is a portrait of a maiko (apprentice geisha), both photographs were shot in Kyoto. The article was picture edited by Kelly Preedy and Sarah Shillaker – thanks Ladies!

The title of the article, ‘Found in Translation’, made me smile a wry smile. Ever since Sofia Coppola brought out her hit movie ‘Lost In Translation‘ sub-editors throughout the land have borrowed and twisted the title to describe Japanese articles. This is at least the third article my pictures have been in which has the ‘Found In Translation‘ rift of the title. Sub editors gotta try harder to be original!

See more photojournalism and travel photographs from Japan on my archive site

Wabori, Traditional Yakuza Tattoo

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A little while back I came home from some assignment and waiting for me in the pile of mail needing attended to was this book, ‘Wabori, Traditional Japanese Tattoo’ by Manami Okazaki, and published by Kingyo books. What a sumptuous book it is.

I had given permission for some of my images of Shoko Tendo, author, and daughter of a now deceased yakuza boss, to be used. I had first photographed Shoko Tendo, and her entire body full of tattoos on an editorial assignment for The Guardian, with journalist Justin McCurry, then shot again for Marie Claire Magazine. They proved to be a popular set of images, although I can never decide which part of the sentence ‘naked girl with yakuza tattoos’ draws in the attention…

Today I got an email from the publisher Manami-san and she tells me that the book has almost sold out now. Printed in a run of 3,000 Manami now only holds the last 10 or so copies that she had. Great news to hear of a photo book selling so well, and congratulations to Manami-san for producing a book which, even to non-tattooed folks, is a fascinating read, and with some beautiful images, both contemporary and historical. If anyone is interested in getting hold of a copy of the book, drop me a line, I can put you in touch with Manami-san, or try online.

Here’s the cover, and two of the spreads from my section in the book…Hope you enjoy it.

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