Decotora by Tatsuki Masaru

In the summer of 1988 Tatsuki Masaru spent time with Japanese truckers who take part in the unique culture of decorating their trucks – DECOTORA. Masaru explores how they used decorating to turn a job that was perhaps an ends to a means into a hobby and passion they loved. Like all subcultures the dedication and devotion these truckers have is mind blowing and fascinating.

This Game We Play by Franck Bohbot

Franck Bohbot is a French photographer who recently moved to New York (April 2013), after moving to the big apple he created the series ‘This Game We Play‘.

Franck doesn’t give us much information on the project other than the title – leaving it to us to read what we like. As a UK resident where basketball is something you play at school for one term and little more, this series is reminiscent of American youth culture of the past. Whilst I assume (maybe wrongly) the courts are still used a lot, Francks desolate representations seem to be making a comment on the uncanny atmosphere of a “playing” area with no one on it, could this be a comment on today’s electronic youth culture? Kids not playing outside or a simple attempt at making beautiful imagery? Either way it is a thought provoking and visually stimulating project with a stillness and juxtaposition of busy cityscapes and desolate playing fields.

See the whole series here.

The Wild Places

Anna Fischer is a talented fashion photographer whose work has been published in The New York Times and The Wallstreet Journal just to name a few. However Anna’s Cosplay photography is probably what she is best known for, particularly her project ‘The Wild Places‘.

The Wild Places is a photo project taking top-tier cosplay talents on  a photo-odyssey across the untamed landscape of America.  I want to expand the scope of what cosplay photography can be. I think it’s time to go big. It’s time to break cosplay out of the photobooth, the pool deck, the hotel lobby. I want to take it to the desert, to the ocean, to the mountains. I want to take cosplay away from the tame spaces, and to the wild places.

– Anna Fischer

I LOVE this project, America provides great landscapes from deserts to dense forests. The only issue is money, cosplay photography isn’t that lucurative in the West. Anna Fischer tackled this problem with her Kickstarter project – The Wild Places. When Anna posted ‘The Wild Places‘ on Kickstarter she aimed to get $3,000 in donations, to date she has received over $26,000, and here’s why people want to fund this project:

I think this is a really strong project and set of images that give a breath of fresh air to the world of cosplay photography which is often repetitive and never leaves the convention grounds. I love seeing when new images are published and the next locations. It’s one to keep your eye on if you love cosplay or photography in general, you could always donate and get involved! See the project website here.

Naruto x Fashion

Every once in a while you come across a very special blog – this is one of them! Let me introduce all you Naruto nuts out there to Naruto x Fashion – a hybrid of high fashion and pop culture. As a fan of Naruto I love how not only has an appropriate outfit been chosen using colours and styles but also how the body language and facial expressions are a perfect match, these images have undoubtedly been made by a fan who knows each characters personality.

These images are just the tip of the iceberg, check out Naruto x Fashion for more characters and their runway looks.

Daria Cosplay

So often cosplay photography is overdone, saturated with colour, photoshop and an excessive amount of flesh. That’s why I think this series is a breath of fresh air. The simplistic approach may have been influenced by the show itself, unlike most cosplay characters Daria and her friends have a subdue almost deadpan energy.

Props to photographer Annet Voronaya who knows when to tone it down and how to compliment the characters and their show through cosplay photography. A skill that is often forgotten about in and replaced with cleavage and crotch shots.

Credits:
Fandom: Daria (MTV)
Jane Lane by *FaultyFrame Proj.
Daria by *DuertenSchreiber
Photo by ~AnnetVoronaya
Make by ~Int0XiKate
© Copyright by FaultyFrame Proj.

See the full series here.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Jee Young Lee (Korea)

Korean photographer Jee Young Lee is the ultimate artisan – using her small studio space she spends weeks at a time coming up with concepts, creating props, putting the scenery together and making photos. Her inspiration comes from Korean Fables and events in her own life.

The outcome are these beautifully haunting images which are not just aesthetically pleasing on the surface – they must be very special to Jee Young Lee who spends weeks on end spent immersed in/ creating one idea within a small intricate space which must then be taken down to make room for the next concept. The process of creating and replacing adds a depth and respect to the artist and her images.

Jee Young Lee fulfills my ultimate ideal – locking myself away in a room creating and experimenting.
Read more about her work here: www.opiomgallery.com

Phantastic420 on Instagram

Phantastic420 is an Instagramer based in Shizuoka Pref, Japan. With images focused on Japanese scenery around the Mount Fuji area. A lot of the shots are taken at night and I am particularly interested in the reent uploads of the Sakura in Japan which I will be around soon. I love the lighting and colours in the images, it’s making me second guess my time of shooting. In Coventry the images were coming out too dark even at twilight but i think there are so many City lights in Tokyo I might be better off shooting at night and choosing well lit areas. This is something I will have to experiment with on my digital camera whilst i’m there.

You can see Phantastic420’s instagram feed here.

All images ©Phantastic420

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One taken at nightღ
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N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at nightღ 24.Mar.2013 20:44:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at nightღ 24.Mar.2013 20:34:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at midnightღ 24.Mar.2013 00:04:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400

 

One taken at midnightღ 24.Mar.2013 00:04:20 N35°07′19.799 E138°55′08.400
One taken at midnightღ 24.Mar.2013 01:42:00 N35°07′10.800 E138°49′33.599
One taken at midnightღ 23.Mar.2013 23:04:20 N35°11′84.025 E138°91′85.126

 

Snapshot poetics

In exploring the vernacular of cheap cameras/ snapshot images I decided it would be beneficial to read ‘Snapshot Poetics’,  a collection of photographs taken by Aleen Ginsberg between 1953 and 1991. Although I am not making snapshots per se, I do want to use the visual styling of snapshots in order to add a sense of reality to my dictional story images, with the hope this styling will make the project relatable to my audience. So i’m reading this book with one question in mind. Is it the candid nature that make these images so intimate and true to life?

image

 

The images tell the story of one of the first rebellious subcultures in America, the beat generation. After the horror of WWII and the cold war Ginsberg and other creatives took to writing poems about the hopeless culture they lived in. After a while the became nomadic, refusing to be part of American culture they were always on the move. The images in this book are taken by one of the founders of the beat generation and poem writer Ginsberg, this book is a collection of the beat generations travels.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

 

There is something beautiful about the snapshot, perhaps it’s because we all have our own set we can easily relate to other peoples. I am stil in the generation that used film cameras as a child, perhaps this memory isn’t there for the younger generation, I suppose it has been replaces by the camera phone used to snap those unplanned moments. One thing I really ant to utilise in this project is the grain of the film, there is something comforting about it, adding warmth and familiarity to the images. Using digital we get noise and it is regarded as a negative thing, but is embraced when using film.

Interchangeable Icons

TOKYO, 2013

21st Century Geisha, Magical Girl and Product Placement. These are all “looks” of our protagonist. Female pop cult icons change their visual identity in order to comply with whichever product or theme is in demand.  They become like dolls boundlessly changing whilst simultaneously being branded as unique and liberating. Consumers are led into a false sense of empowerment, told we are free to choose how these icons look, when really we are being drip fed options. Our so called freedom is choosing from a series of pre-selected branded looks which demand we pay before getting access. This transcends into all aspects of consumerism surrounding these transmedia icons, figures, photos and trading cards all offer different variations, we buy into choices in order to show we don’t conform. When the act of needing them suggests the opposite.

Digital Rest

UK, 2012

We live in a society in which we passively communicate, and whilst many people see this as a negative thing, I don’t. I made this series to portray the emotion and comfort technology can bring us in relationships, long distance ones in particular. Each Image is named after the singular light source used in the image.

Izima Kaoru

Izima Kaoru is a Japanese photographer based in Tokyo, his ‘Landscape with a corpse’ series which spread over 13 years explores themes of death and beauty via depicting the fantasies and fears actresses and models have about death and then bringing that situation to a photograph. What makes the images so powerful is the juxtaposition between these beautiful women, their perfect appearances and the unusual surroundings.

©izima kaoru

Kaoru discusses how fear of death is one thing we all have in common and is a fear that he has too. His work is a visual exploration into this fear. What’s interesting is that in exploring death and subsequently religion Kaoru was unsatisfied with what the world had to offer, so turned to nature and produced the series ‘one sun’.

After fifteen years of exploring the macabre in his ongoing series Landscapes with a Corpse, Izima Kaoru looked to spirituality to ease his fear of death. Dissatisfied with what organized religion had to offer, he found his comfort in the natural world. The sun and its constancy in our existence proved to be his solace and inspiration.
http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=40526#.UUBTv2VU32E[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

©Izima Kaoru

‘One sun’ is a beautiful series, however ‘Landscape with a Corpse’ is more relevant to my project. By taking elements of reality and fantasies Kaoru creates a character and places them in a relatable scene, then positions the character so they resemble a corpse. This is something I need to start thinking about, I am always talking about how I will show consumerism as a poison so how will I do this? Without being cliche?

Here are some more images from Kaoru’s ‘Landscape with a corpse’ series.

©Izima Kaoru

 

©Izima Kaoru
©Izima Kaoru
©Izima Kaoru

 

 

Photo Art: The New World of Photography

Photo Art: The New World of Photography

Edited by Uta Grosenick & Thomas Seelig

photo (2)

I consider my photography Art, but this doesn’t have clear boundaries. I am looking at the photo as art to so how I can be influenced in my work and what makes a photo Art. This book seemed the perfect place to go to see some photo art and hopefully get some inspiration.

©Valerie Belin

Belin’s work inspires me through it’s aesthetic nature, the lifeless faces and use of lighting make the models appear to be made of plastic.

©Rut Blees Luxemburg

Rut Blees Luxemburg’s images use the strange nature of twilight much like the photographer I have been looking at, the colours and light are beauitfuly and carefully composed.

©Izima Kaoru

Despite only finding 3 relevant photographers it was worth carrying that giant book for this one. Kaoru’s work is stunning, it has elements of Cindy Sherman and Mariko Mori, who create characters and places them in a story to make a comment on an issue in society. I will explore her work in more depth in a futur post once I have read up on her work and read interviews.

Photographer Hal – Flesh Love

Photographer Hal‘s series ‘Couple Jame’ & ‘Flesh Love’ both explore relationships and love in very unique and unusual ways. 

He writes that his work is a comment on relationships and love, exploring intimacy. Whilst this is obviously true there has to be something else to explain why they are shrink wrapped together in ‘Flesh Love’ and why did this seem like the natural progression from the bath tubs used in ‘Couple Jam’?

Couple Jam (2009)

Flesh Love (2011)

The harsh light and reflective plastic in ‘Flesh Love’ remind me of strange exotic meats you see in the markets. The lack of context plays on the viewer’s sense of proportion, we know these are real humans, but we almost feel as though we could pick them up off a shelf and take them home. Is this a comment on how love is commercialised? How two people become one mushed up person? Or something completely different, I guess it has a different meaning for everyone (which is one of the best things about a good photo series).

When I see a couple of interest I will begin to negotiate. I’m sure that many people initially think of my proposal as unusual or even look through me like I am completely invisible, but I always push forward with my challenge to them. The models appear from all walks of life and individually have included musicians, dancers, strippers, laborers, restaurant and bar managers, photographers, businessmen and women, unsettled and unemployed.
– Photographer Hal

You can see all of Photographer Hals work here.