I will be in Tokyo for the next few weeks making photos during the day and shooting clubs and people at night. If you are in Tokyo drop me a email and Ill try to make time for everyone :) I'll be promoting dEaringfilm with shirts and conducting other business. The above shirt design is by Serge Fiedos, with the concept by myself.
The Japan Film Society and Yuzo Presents: An Early Christmas Party!! was a smashing success. It was also a super duper good place to meet the movers and shakers in the Japanese film community in Los Angeles. Here are 79 totally fun images for the members and you to enjoy.
Plenty of good sitings of the Asian film industery in these photos so look carefully :)
I am the director of photography for a short film called "The Light Path." It is a great little multi-weekend project to get me started in real film-making. Its premiering at the EL CID @ 4212 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles Tuesday, December 22, 2009; 8:00pm - 11:00pm. Come check it out and meet the cast and crew, especially the guy the make it all work Maximilian Law. This gallery is a few of the stills taken from the movie, some of these scenes or actors did not make the final cut but it represents the character of the movie and character is a friend of mine. For more information check out the Facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=195982932590 or the official website here: http://www.thelightpath.piczo.com/?cr=6
I walk the streets at night with my camera in hand with my trusty "Camera Hand*" grip and nothing else except for a subject. The subject is like a flower in the dark and we have to find the correct amount of light to show the delicate petals. When all other creatures are sleeping my creativity and hunger for perfection is given a meal.
Enjoy this quick little photo shoot and expect to see a lot more updates this month that last. I had a lot on my plate last month and was not able to update as much as I would have liked.
*Coming soon :)
When I think of black and white photography so many great artists come to mind, most of the great masters of photography have done their work in black and white. Among my favorite photographers is Masahisa Fukase who's "Solitude of the Ravens" is one of the most fantastic photo studies ever made. That series of photos seems to exist in a half awake and half in a dream state of mind where the ravens are some alternate form of human existence, this leads well into his current state of being. As eerie as it is to think the truth is that he is somewhere in Japan in a hospital sleeping away in a coma which he has been in for 18 years while people around the globe are enjoying his great works.
This photo series I present contains images shot around Japan that have a special dark or beautiful feeling to me. Even though we exist in a world which color dominates the landscape of photography I feel that black and white images provide more feeling and mood than the same image in color. If you agree or don't agree with me hopefully you can enjoy these images and they take you somewhere and inspire thought.
As I was picking out my favorite misc photos from summer 2009 and listening to the new Jay-Z album "The Blueprint 3" which was borrowing samples from the Alphaville song "Forever Young" I could not help but to think what my favorite movies of the 1980's were. I cannot imagine the 80's without thinking of Gremlins, Goonies, Spies Like Us, Rocky 4, Transformers the Movie (original animated version) and Return of the Jedi and the influence they had on my life at that time. Much later I learned to appreciate Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, Tampopo and The Princess Bride. These movies all has that 1980's innocence to them that was lost into the 1990's which I have no issue with but it defines a time period quite well.
These images are from either small shoots, some parties I attend or hang outs with people... they don't fit in a gallery of their own but are some of my favorite images I took all summer. Thus this is the theme of the category "You are my Subject" galleries.
Will one of the next great Japanese Movie Directors, Actress or Actors make their break in America? While I can't answer that but what I can say is that the "Japan Film Society" is alive and strong in Los Angeles and gaining support with every event they throw. These events are a good opportunity to network within that community and find people for your motion picture based projects. Check them out at their website: http://japanfilmsociety.org/. Thanks to Winston's on Santa Monica for hosting the event.
Dearing: A Post in Four Chapters
I think its nice to defy a great deal of the the normal conventions in life, to live the way you think you should. Its a super easy thing to say this but in practice you face many obstacles that make for a lot of confusion when dealing with others. This is a shoot that I shot mostly from the hip and hoped that that photos would come out good; I was more concerned with energy than perfect focus and framing. I think a lot of the normal photographic conventions are great when a photographer is starting out or shooting weddings or such where people expect a certain look. Eventually we need to insert more into our photos and approach each shoot like its the first day of school and not finals week. SO'B is a fly by day and grin by night kind of person, her funness and attitude is easy to feel from quite a few of these creations.
As a kid I used to eat Sardines out of the can with my dad, rather he taught me that it was the preferred way to do so. Does anyone know what the proper way to eat canned Sardines is? We would put a little bit of Mustard on them and walla a instant meal (or was that snack?). Speaking of Mustard my dad told me that when he was growing up and he used to eat French Fried with Mustard the people used to look at him weird because everyone used Ketchup. Well the last laugh is on them with their High Fructose Corn Syrup because unless your Mustard is one of those stupidly fancy or McDonald's Mustards it has no calories at all and tasted better than the Ketchup :)
Don't get discouraged, I for one think that anything can happen if you believe it to be. Remember that if you have the right mindset its not too late to become what you might have become irregardless of your age or gender.
If you can't figure out the title of this galley, then you need to check out the wonderful RGB value of (204, 255, 0) and watch a few old movies with a Lime in your Diet Coke (or drink of choice).
Tomoya is going back to Japan after finishing his masters degree program here in the United States and Akihiro Kitamura is just getting his Hollywood career started, and thats pretty much everything you need to know; hehe.
So take some time to enjoy these strait up nonsensical people having a good time house party photos. I do however love to entertain the crowd with as the Japanese call it "High Tension" :) so enjoy!
I never considered myself a flower child, but one might think that growing up in the era which I did and parents of the Hippie era that might be possible. Even though they are both incredibly artistically talented and probably enjoyed that time as much as anyone living in it I'm not sure I would ever call them full fledged Hippies. I think all the Hippies became the Yuppies that everyone hated, my parents never went that route.
Here are a few photos of Mami I took in the Aoyama area in Tokyo, Japan. She has the free spirit and party girl mentality somewhat reminiscent of the hippie era. I really enjoy working with people that are free spirited and never take this kind of stuff serious because it shows in every photo and it looks great.
If our government's social programs some day get in order we might have enough spare money left over to do the kinds of things that have only been seen in dream like waking states in our mind. The universe is ever reaching and beautiful and could do more for the human spirit and mind to see these things and separate ourselves from the things that take up our time, energy and brain that have little to do with what is important for the advancement of our species. The waking state of the human is typically 16 hours per day, a chunk of this time is spent doing regular routines and chores while only a small amount can be spent on the kinds of things that our brains love. Everyone should take just a few minutes each day to give their mind food for its passion of exploration because deep down the seeds of survival of the fittest are rooted in travel and exploration to find better and more livable places. So until our planet can find enough money to at least step on Mars I will never be able to see things you people wouldn't believe...
Here are a few things you may or may not have seen, maybe not even as good as C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser gate, but are sufficient for our pale blue dot.
As the great Piston Honda once said "I'll give you a TKO from Tokyo." Tokyo gave me a TKO from its life and energy, you just have to be out in Tokyo to see what its about. Its like when your a child approaching summer vacation and you hear the neighborhood kids playing outside when you are trying frantically to finish your homework before the sun goes down. You too want to enjoy those precious moments in the sun with your friends. I feel like that in Tokyo, if I'm at my computer uploading or backing up photos I feel like I am missing out on something great happening. Therefore I am a Turtle in the Sun while hanging out in Tokyo, I just have to be out exploring and meeting people because one never knows who you are going to run into. Its a huge city but I bump into people I know over and over again. These photos document my night travels, whether they be in a club or in the alleys of "Club Shibuya,*" I'm out there getting it done! But I digress and to my pleasure Piston Honda also said "Where is the NHK TV camera? Hello, Tokyo!" Well I say, "Hello Tokyo; I am Joshua hear me Snap, Snap, Snap."
*Club Shibuya refers to the practice of hanging out in Shibuya outside of convenience stores or Don Quixote buying cheap alcohol and talking to people that walk by. Its the best experience in Tokyo one can have for a night of unplanned activities.
There are a few things that resonate with me when I am in Tokyo, one of them being the motion of the city. Very few cities in the world can match the continuous motion of humans and objects, its utterly addicting to sit and watch or to watch from within the motion. Another layer of the "Tokyo Jungle" is the unique styling of the some of the textures and buildings... intentional or earned that way due to wear and tear. The layers of building over building and wires around poles that some might think are distracting some views but are quite a beautiful thing to behold much like in the tranquility of a forest the overgrowth of vegetation. In this gallery I look at both concepts and try to blend them together showing that the Architect can definitely run with Achilles.
The name of this gallery plays off of the new wonderful Takeshi Kitano movie Achilles and the Tortoise. After his last two movies I was about to give up on him but he completely surprised me once again and made a wonderful movie about a artist who constantly tries to make it his entire life.
I might pass you on the street and ask you to model, I know you for years and ask you to stay put for a few seconds, I could possibly jump out of nowhere and start making pictures, you may recognize me and ask me to shoot you. However we do these impromptu short shoots or photos they deserve a space of their own, so every once in a while I will have a "You are my Subject" gallery and throw all my recent favorites in there.
These photos were mostly taken when I was doing my day and night Wandering around mostly in the Kanto region in Japan. The next series will probably be in Los Angeles, but who knows. Enjoy these moments, I find them better or at least as good as any regular photo shoot because real people make photos. By the way Kanto Wanderer is what I am for sure, heart and soul but its also the name of one of my favorite 1960's Japanese movies by Seijun Suzuki, "Kanto Wanderer."
You are not a Party Person, Lomographer, DJ, Snapshot Aesthetic or Sexy photo lover in Tokyo if you don't know who Yasumasa Yonehara is. Yone, which he goes by is the iconic editor and photographer who claims that hes not really a photographer; whose style was blatantly ripped off by American Apparel to propel them to fame (among many individual photographers that try to mimic his style). I had the opportunity to party and chill with him last month in Tokyo and talked a lot about his intentions with photography, editing and art.
The greater Kanto area is over 42 million people and the deeper you get into the central Tokyo 23 wards the more and more each person attempts to have their own individual look. If you so happen to catch a glance of Yone you will know him dead on sight. His classic modified but clearly derived from Los Angeles Latino gangster style with hat turned to the side is a look that he pulls off perfectly in a city that people try to be anyone but the boring Salarymen that overpopulate the Yamanote line. He pulls off his look as the same as he pulls off all of his activities, which include partying all the time at Tokyo night clubs, photographing incredibly beautiful models with point and shoot cameras which include his signature Fuji Cheki camera. I have personally used the Cheki for eight years because I always loved the size of the images better than the Polaroid format. A few of his other activities include being the photographer and editor for ad campaigns with KFC, Zippo, Diesel Jeans and numerous other international brands along with throwing photo/art shows in China and Taiwan at the moment. Most 50 years old should be so lucky, just watch him in a crowd of people; everybody loves him, anyone can admire that kind of love from the people. Still with all this love he is entirely approachable and might even be willing to give you his valuable time.
When speaking of his work he details his approach to photography like this "I want it to seem like there are no cameras at all, and I am capturing the real essence of the person." Yone details that he loves photos of real people, and after all only the real people in those real peoples lives can take such great photos of each other. When he showed my his photo compilation of his first very successful magazine "Out of Photographers (1995-2000)," I felt that this was his proudest work because it really exemplifies the style of photography that he loves. The latest and easiest to acquire book "Tokyo Amour" details Yone's famous lo-fi sexy style that the world has come to love and imitate. He claims that everyone likes to look at photos and people are horny, so if you search for his work he uses the "HornYone" or "Horny Yone" moniker at times to brand his style of photography. Companies like lomography once discovering him have been seeking his help since their beginning in the 1990's, in which he threw shows for them in Austria. Yone's style must have rubbed off onto the famous American photographer Terry Richardson after spending a week in Tokyo with Yone in 1996. Take a look at Terry's work, his famous work has been done post that trip to Japan. The beautiful thing about their relationship is their distinctly different approach to a similar subset of photography. Both personalities transcend photography and possibly even their own work, that is one of the many things that is so great about them.
Like any artist, if you like his work support the products that he produces. In America is a little hard to do unless you attend one of his shows, which he has had several.
When in a Tokyo night club keep your eyes wide open for a baseball cap and a group of the best looking women in the club and you might just have a encounter with the horny one :)
Old friends make good models too. Vicke has had a tough year and really needed something to get her mood back up. I suggested we take photos; hehe like I never suggest that to anybody. It's probably the first thing I say to someone when I meet him or her :)
So on with it, we shot in Shibuya, Shinjuku and the Yoyogi Koen area. There are some very nice places in Yoyogi Koen and we really enjoyed trying to find the right kind light late at night to get the type of sexy and moody photos we were going for. He funniest thing to me is that she's the kind of person that when people are looking at her she smiles, but I was able to get her without a smile so that I could change her character dramatically for this fun shoot.
My apartment in Tokyo was technically in Yoyogi Koen, but we shot a few kilometers from my place. There are a lot of nice places to live in that area once you go a block or so from Yamate-dori. I really enjoyed getting up every morning and walking two to three kilometers to get to the Shibuya station. Most of my destinations could have technically gone from the Tokyo Metro Yoyogi Koen station or if I was going to Shinjuku I could take Odakyu's Yoyogi-Hachiman Station.
Miki and I met up in Shibuya at Hachiko, who ever meets anyone anywhere else in the Shibuya area? She is a race Queen and some other stuff, but this was her first time on a shoot other than the standard stuff. She's making her way with her career, which I think, is great; you have to make your moves when you are able to do it. We shot for a few hours total, among the places we shot were the major crosswalk in Shibuya and a few other smaller stations.
So we took a few fun photos and then went on or merry way, we were both pretty tired that day so the shoot only lasted about 2 hours. She's pretty tall for a Japanese woman and her friend that introduced us says she calls her the Japanese Beyonce; I guess its up to you to see if that is correct :)
I have always been fascinated with the crosswalk at Shibuya, I have been told that is 10x busier than Times Square in New York. What that means to me is that pretty much every single every day even in the least busy time in the early morning there will be a decent amount of people crossing it. I'm pretty sure that that cannot be said about many places in the world.
I am back from Japan and have got quite a few galleries to put up over the coming weeks. This first one is a bit lighthearted and is part of a new Motif I will be working on called Joshua & You. So if you know me you will probably end up in one of these galleries at some point, and if you don't know me you I hope you will too! Some photos are blurred and no where near perfect and I never intended them to be, but try taking photos drunk and excited like I am in many of these at clubs in Tokyo.
A special thanks to Le Baron Tokyo, Club Velours in Aoyama and all my other club stops. Also thanks to my buddy Yasumasa Yonehara for several of the invites.
Speaking of the upcoming galleries, I will have a write-up on Yone and his unique style along with killer exclusive photos. I will also be throwing up several model galleries along with other interesting galleries of things I find special in Japan. So enjoy this one and check back often :)
Dreams are what drive me. I have seen photos in my dreams which I have tried to reproduce in my waking life, I strive to make them as convincing as my dream state. As I write this I am in Tokyo, which is my dream city. It would not be so perfect to me if I lived here, sporadic visits make it much more sexy. I will be shooting models that will be posted here within due tie and most importantly new non model galleries.
Emi has the American Dream, while it is different for each person that has this dream she is doing it herself without any outside help and I really respect that. She knows that people have her back but no one loves yourself truly like yourself. She is another first time model that once we got going were ale to produce shots she was very happy with. I see another gallery of her coming in fall.
There are few colors like red, it says above all colors look at me and respect my beauty. What is more beautiful than Dracula standing over his prey with red blood smothered over his face? Just to be clear, when I say Dracula I mean Bela Lugosi. That being said, very few people can wear read and get away with it, I for one have very few red items in my wardrobe, besides a few bloody tuxes hehhhheehehhe "I come to suck your blood!"
I really enjoyed working with Anneken (Yes like Luke's father), because she already had a pretty good idea of the types of looks that she looks good in. Working with her reminds me of how much I love working with models that are not afraid of their own body.
Lets face it in America Columbia is pretty much know for its crops. That being said I bet the first two you can think of are Coffee and Cocaine, I guess its to each their own! But as seen in this gallery it can be known for its timeless beauties. The things that really stand out for me are her absolutely perfect teeth and golden brown eyes, those catch you without you knowing your caught.
I spent about a hour working with Yaneth (pronounced like Jaanee, like the Japanese good bye phrase. She has quite a lot of confidence as a first time model and really hit some decent poses even though she was just having fun with it all, which I will say is much like myself.