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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 with it.
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 them again.

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 forever.

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.

Nov. 2006

Today's piece
" Portrait " Kashgar, Xinjiang region, China 2006

On the hill of Hezuo

fumikatz osada photographie