Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Man reading a book in front of a train door.
Man reading a book in front of a train door.

Riding the train in Tokyo swings wildly between being horribly crowded and uncomfortable to terribly interesting. The difference is rush hour. In rush hour you are jammed tighter than a sardine in a can. In summer time it sadly becomes closer to oil sardines. There often isn’t even enough room to read the news on a smart phone. Everyone’s goal during rush hour is to get to their destination with as little interaction as possible with the stranger crammed against them.

In slower moments, the train gives people enough breathing space that they can indulge in a hobby to pass the train ride. Last night, a gentleman sitting beside me was studying the music for a difficult looking piano piece. Judging by the tiny title at the top written in cyrillic alphabet, it looked like a Russian composer. He was busy making notations on the piece. Another woman was studying Chinese from a book. Several people were absorbed with their smart phone. They could be doing anything from learning a language, arranging a date or slaying dragons on the latest MMORPG. I love that potential but the phones are more discrete than my inquisitive self would like. I enjoy these fleeting glimpses into people’s live through their activities on the train.

I took this picture a couple years ago. I had bought a Petri 1.9 Super Color Corrected rangefinder camera from a junk bin at an antique market for $30. It is a heavy beast and everything is manual. I took it everywhere testing it out.

The day I took this photo the afternoon light filtered through the train windows giving everything a romantic golden glow. The man reading the book was silhouetted nicely. I adjusted the focus ring by number, guessed the aperture and took the shot. Normally, I don’t like photographing on the train. It feels more invasive than regular street photography. But since I didn’t capture a face and I doubted my exposure was anywhere near accurate, I took the shot. I got an image but the color isn’t as I remember the day. I used Agfa 400 color negative film

Re: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/weekly-photo-challenge-fleeting/#more-28924

Used Camera Shopping in Tokyo Made Easier

When I should be doing other things, I like to look at camera gear. I just found Camerafan which makes the whole joyous slog of looking at classic camera gear a whole lot easier.

It is a Japanese site that has listing for a lot, if not all, second hand camera stores that sell online in Japan. This saves me from dead-links and awkward page searches. Some shops have definitely got better search features on their pages tan others. With this site, you can enter some basic parameters and it gives search results from several different stores. Oooh, lovely! Comparison shopping made easy! You do need to be able to speak and read some Japanese.

My favorite second hand camera shop in Tokyo is Map Camera.I find them consistent and really reliable in assessing the quality of the gear they sell. They tend not to have super-obscure B-class cameras and that is what I have developed a passion for ever since I bought my Petri 1.9 rangefinder.

Here is a link to the Petri cameras that show up from a search on Camera fan. No cameras similar to mine available… nanninannibooboo!

Still Using Film

I had a big surprise while scanning film I took in London. I used a 35 mm film called Solaris 400 and was really surprised by the color.

The film camera I used is a Petri 1.9 Super Color Corrected 35 mm rangefinder. I bought it from a junk box at an antique market in Yokohama for ¥3000. I had planned to just use it for a decoration, but on a whim, I tried a roll of film and it worked fine! I decided it would be great camera to use Lomo style.

Generally, I shoot black and white film with this camera. I find color often doesn’t have a fun, retro feel. The Solaris 400 definitely has the retro vibe. The image hasn’t been digitally manipulated yet. I probably will change it up for fun some day.

I’m still going through the film and I’m surprised by the yellow cast. I remember the weather being more grey than sallow. I don’t mind the color cast. It gives the image a Euro-sepia filter effect.

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