Photoessay: Life in Osaka

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Today’s images are a stream-of-consciousness style set of observations of life in Osaka. I wanted to see if there were any perceptible differences from the audience side given these were not shot in my usual way, but rather a series of quick grabs whilst I was there for reasons other than photography, and with photography not as my primary objective. The usual (heavy) curation took place after the fact, which may perhaps dull the value of the exercise as the same biases are therefore applied to both more deliberate and these opportunistic sets. Is the way we see so immutably hard coded by force of habit and practice, that even when we are not trying, the result is indistinguishable? I leave you to let me know. MT

This series was shot with a Canon G1X Mark III and Nikon D850/24-120VR, and postprocessed with the Monochrome Masterclass workflow.

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  1. Michael Fleischer says:

    Very special photos indeed Ming!…I see a few subtle differences; The more static ones seems to be approached/poised more “cat like” – like turning around a corner “finding a good prey”. Like being there. The ones with people moving has a more “river passing by” feel and less “spider catching” when all elements peaks in perfection ;-). Immediacy. The darker tones also seem to have a velvet quality around the subjects. Love the one with the man gazing through the window…wonder what he sees?

  2. stephenjohndawson says:

    Definitely you, but I suspect that the process of taking first, curating later, maybe has allowed the ‘underbrain’ to choose, leaving you with a more spontaneous, less careful, less ‘perfect’ feel. I like it. More natural.

  3. Gerner Christensen says:

    Image no. 10 Ming is flooring me !

  4. I think you have have slightly skewed my response by stating in your opening paragraph that these images were not captured in your usual manner. But these do feel different. Not compositionally or technically, so in what way?
    Suggested by WordPress, there’s an image from your “People of Tokyo II” photoessay above this dialogue box, also in B&W and from a similar location, although perhaps not the same trip. Look at this I get a strong sense of your ability to pack the frame with visual, conceptual and emotional content. My experience of looking is to be sucked in, to compare and contrast areas and draw meaning from the image.
    With this photoessay the characters and spaces seem to bubble up out of the images, they come to me and seem to speak more with their own voice.
    But, you know, if observation changes the result, prepping skews the audience.

    • Stronger, harder negative space/ underlying macro-geometry would be my guess, though I don’t know if this is a consequence of location, a change in my method of observation, or perhaps both?

  5. Which ones are taken by Canon G1X Mark III, may I ask? If you don’t mind. I am thinking of owning one. Thank you.

    • If you hover your mouse over the image, the filename is visible – those starting in G1X3. However, I strongly suggest you read this first…

      • Upon my search, I was inclined to G1X Mark III. After reading your review, I like G7X Mark II because of its larger aperture. I just wonder if it can zoom better. Thank you for your reviews.

        • Zoom further, yes; faster, not sure; ‘better’…well, I suppose that depends on your definition 🙂

          • I mean zoom further. Most of camera reviewers seem to favor G7X Mark II. It will be a hard choice for me, between being able to zoom 3x optical and taking photo in less light (faster and less expensive). Again, thank you very much. You are very kind and helpful.

  6. I would like to go to this city someday, because I have not yet had the opportunity. As once I was in Japan, it was unfortunately not a conscience, and there is so much to see in this country, so many photos to do 🙂 I hope that next time I will succeed! Your photos are really beautiful and I am waiting for more such, best regards.

    • Thanks. Japan is a never ending source of material for most people – probably because it’s so different to anything we have reference to otherwise. However, Osaka has a very strong grid layout and overhead highways etc. which make it much less pedestrian friendly (and thus less interesting to photograph) than one of the older cities…

  7. Dirk De Paepe says:

    IMHO, these are all typically you, with your specific way of subject selecting, composing and processing. But I like these in particular really very much, because there’s a kind a extra spontaneity to them. In average, I feel as if there’s more natural behaving people involved, which I believe occurs more easily, when “working in a moment”, rather than “working in a setting”.

    • Good point: I spent a lot less time than usual composing/ working the scene as in most of these cases, I was there for purposes other than photography. Perhaps this is the cause of the perceived spontaneity?

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