A bit late again this time but I have a very good excuse. Nothing to do with my mojo, and everything to do with having just returned from the most fabulous trip to Japan. Back in the days of my corporate life, I was lucky enough to travel to many different countries. My favourites were always to be found in the easterly direction. Despite much nagging and cajoling I failed to visit Japan for business so I was super-excited to experience a tiny fraction of what this beautiful country had to offer with my wonderful photo friends.
Two and a half weeks was long enough to travel around and experience life and culture in some of the more remote places. I now feel privileged to have enjoyed a small slice of Japanese life. We even experienced a minor earthquake (4.2). Given that I was relaxing in a small Onsen (hot spring bath) at the time, this was slightly alarming! Best not to overthink that one…
While it is always nice to come home and to sleep in your own bed, even if sleep is a bit elusive for a few days, I shall miss quite a few thing. Politeness and courtesy prevailed. Masks were the default but I will miss the smiling eyes and joyous tinkling laughter. Maybe we were lucky. I also felt a deep sense of a task well done. If any job was worth doing it was worth doing not only well but with love, kindness, attention to detail plus a liberal sprinkling of pride and humility. I feel certain that if Japan were to find a way to export these simple qualities the world would be transformed instantly.
My Personal Challenge...
...for the trip was to step outside of my comfort zone and try to make images in styles that were not my default. I didn’t want to come home with endless images of doors, windows and otherwise obscure angular shapes which say nothing of Japan. I wanted to immerse myself in their landscape and try to create some images which speak a little to the country and culture. Taking this approach ran the risk that I could very easily come away with nothing but I felt it was the right thing to do. Not sure yet whether I have succeeded but I guess time will tell on that one.
Images sprinkled through this blog were all processed on the very long plane journey home and (apart from one film!) helped the endless hours pass quickly. Whether they are the best from the trip I cannot say. In a few months my memory of the taking stage will have faded and I will see the work with fresh, more objective eyes. Maybe then I will choose different images to share.
Overall I am pleased with the images I have taken. It's easy to forget that it's not all about photography… mooching around bustling markets and stores trying to navigate the strange and unusual. The often hilarious assistance of Google Translate will certainly stay with me for some time. Friendships were further cemented as we shared so many new experiences. Truly a happy few weeks.
And now I am home and reunited with my gorgeous little dog, thankfully she remembered me. We are now trying to get back into our routines while I try and weather what I am sure will be horrendous jetlag.
I thought I would finish with a fun image, probably the closest I am likely to get to a selfie! While in Tokyo we visited a crazy exhibition - one room was full of mirrors and tiny lights. It was truly a magical space and I could've very easily stayed there for days, maybe longer... If you look closely you can see me reflected in the mirrored ceiling.
So that's it for this year. I hope you stay safe and well and thank you for indulging me in these posts. If you do get this far please leave a comment and let me know what you think, I will always reply.
Quick Links to previous blogs...
Time to Re-Engage
Hi Everyone, It’s been such a long time since my last post. When I started this blog I promised myself that I would try and write something interesting at least once a month. It seems that this was a bit of a high bar of late! During September and most of October my mojo deserted […]
Hi Everyone, Where does the time go…? It’s nearly the end of August! Sadly the evenings are drawing in far too quickly… it’s been such a strange summer but I’m not ready to say goodbye to it just yet. I’ve been incredibly busy but as I sit down to write, I struggle to account for […]
Time for Fireworks?
Hi Everyone, What a month we have had here in the South of England. The weather has been extreme! We’ve had our hottest day ever recorded at just over 40 degrees C! As a nation, we are not geared up for these temperatures and large swathes of the country predictably ground to a halt as […]
I wrote an email separatley. regards. Beatrice
Thank you so much for your lovely note. have replied separately.
What a wonderful experience to share, always makes life sweeter. Gorgeous images.
Thank you so much for being such good company on the trip. Life is definitely sweeter with such amazing friends…
Hello, thanks for sharing your experiences. Of the photos here I do enjoy the leaves, particularly the delicate stalks. I haven’t been to Japan but somehow they make me think of the Japanese prints I have seen which are very delicate.
Apologies for being slow to respond… thank you so much for your kind comments about the leaves. I did find myself particularly drawn to them, they were all such beautiful shapes and vibrant colours while still being incredibly delicate. When processing them I spent lots of time trying to think of something ‘clever’ to do with them but actually just processing them minimally was the right approach, they are beautiful in their own right. I have been playing with similar images so hopefully I will have the makings of a project in the coming months.
And yes, I have wanted to visit Japan for years and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Thank you again and take care