Show it to me!
"Show it to me!" Children ran up after I photographed them. And
they found no monitor on the back of the camera. They often looked the
camera as if it's totally strange for them. Then they were so disappointed
Whenever I had the scene like that, I regretted that I had left my digital
compact camera in Japan only for reducing the baggage. After all, I felt
so sorry that I confirmed them with showing my film camera before the shooting.
"Look at this. It is not digital camera. No monitors on it. OK?"
I knew it's a stupid pre-remark. But somehow, I felt I needed that excuse.
Now a days, even in an oasis city of the ancient Silk Road, "camera"
means "digital camera" without no doubt. Even for adult, a camera
with no monitor is a kind of strange stuff. They often looked into the
camera finder saying "No image can be seen." I answered "Yes.
You can see the image through the lens, right?" But they didn't mean
that. They meant "No image which was taken just before was there."
Unfortunately, there is not convenient system like that. Hey! Wait a minute.
You guys know a film camera! Don't pretend to be a new generation!
I think a portrait is co-production between model and photographer. Giving
the photo to the model must be the minimal duty as a photographer whether
it's a big commercial project or personal shooting. For me, I usually visit the same place twice. And I pass out my photos to the models in second visit. Fortunately, they
were pleased with that. The people who had dubious look to me at first
time opened up their mind in the next visiting. And they even introduced
the next model to me. The one offered me some reward for it while the others
offered me an accommodation. I'm really happy with that as a photographer.
However these are rare cases. In most of the cases, I ask people for taking
the portrait and take it. That's all. Usually, there is no chance to see
As talking of people in the Silk Road, it doesn't mean all of them own
a digital camera. But they are accustom to the digital camera shooting.
Because millions of tourists come to the city and take snap photos with
them. Then the tourists show the monitor image to them saying "Thanks!
Have a look." As a result, it becomes common sense as photo shooting
in these days. Letting them glance the monitor for a second seems wearisome
to me. But I think it's better than without showing the image to the model
But if somebody ask me "So, do you need digital camera for creating
the photo works right now?" my answer would be "No". For
me, the most important factor is not an equipment but a photo work itself.
The equipment is always the thing following after the photo. Now, at this
point, I don't need it. But maybe someday, my works will require the digital
camera and I'll turn into a digital person. I'm not kind of person rejecting all digital technology for nostalgia to
the film camera. My photo works have not existed without hybrid between digital and analog.
It's my photo style. So I wannna push my own style a little bit more.
In Kashgar city, a man shows me his brand new cell phone. "Look at
this. It's made in Japan. Panasonic" Well, a cell phone also becomes
so popular here in Kashgar. I ask for him to take my photo with the camera
on the phone. As soon as I was taken the photo, I run up to him. "Show
it to me!" Well, this is "quite normal attitude" these days.
Two years has passed since then. Now a digital SLR camera's in my hand.
Digital camera came into my life smoothly. And I took part in the "Thanks!
Have a look" type persons as a matter of course.
" Portrait " Kashgar, Xinjiang region, China 2006
On the hill of Hezuo