Category Archives: Photography

“To The Village Square” – An Evening with Photographer Lionel Delevingne

Here’s a message from Lionel Delevingne about an event tomorrow night!

village

Friday, September 30th
7pm 〜9pm

at Impact Hub Kyoto

Lionel Delevingne will be at Impact Hub Kyoto to present and speak about the photographic images from his book “To The Village Square”, with comments from Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action (Kyoto). We look forward to a lively discussion with audience and speakers.

To the Village Square
From Montague to Fukushima: 1975- 2014

Retracing the birth of the safe energy movement starting in Montague, Massachusetts in 1974 through Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.
http://www.tothevillagesquare.net

“To the village square we must carry the facts of atomic energy.
From there must come America’s voice.”
Albert Einstein, June 1946

Place: Impact Hub Kyoto
Nishijin IT ro-ji building ,97 Kainokamicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
(Just west of Aburanokoji and Nakadachiuri intersection.)
Enter from the gate at west side of building next to pay phone.
Phone: 075-417-0115

English / Japanese interpreting.
All Welcome.
No reservation required.
Admission Free
Green Action
E-mail: info[at]greenaction-japan.org
HP: http://www.greenaction-japan.org/

The 7th Kyoto Photo Walk with Javier Montano!

It’s happening again! Wait – I think I recognize these two…

photowalk

Here’s our friend Javier Montano with the details:

The 7th Kyoto Photo Walk:

– Meet new friends and learn about photography in beautiful Fushimi-inari Taisha.

– All you need is a camera or a smartphone

– Let’s Take the biggest selfie in Kyoto!

– Please register now, It is FREE! You have 2 options:

Join just the photo walk or
Join the photo walk and the after party at a Japanese izakaya for food and drinks (about 3.000 Yen per person which is paid on the day of the event).

FAQs

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?

No. Anyone can come. If you can walk and go up stairs you can come!

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

Your options:

– Come by train to Fushimi-Inari Station (伏見稲荷駅 Fushimi-Inari-eki) a railway station located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, on the Keihan Electric Railway Keihan Main Line.

– Come by train by JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line.

– Buses are available too but it depends where are you coming from.

What can I bring to the event?

Please bring a camera. Any camera will do. Other gear such as tripods are welcomed as well.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Send me a message at info@javiermontano.net

When: Sunday, September 25, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (JST) – Add to Calendar

Where: Fushimi-Inari Station – Fushimi Ward, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0007

Register here: Kyoto Photowalk (7th!)

The 6th Kyoto Photo Walk with Javier Montaño

Here’s our friend, Javier Montaño, with news of The 6th Kyoto Photo Walk. All queries regarding this event should be sent directly to Javier at info@javiermontano.net

photowalk

Date & Time: 24 April at 14:00–19:00
Meeting Place: Takaragaike Park, 国際会館駅 , Kokusai-Kaikan-eki. In front of Entrance No. 3 (train station on Subway Karasuma Line), Kyoto, JP

Spring has come and it’s time to shoot again- Meet new friends and learn about photography in beautiful Kyoto.- All you need is a camera or a smartphone- Let’s Take the biggest selfie in Kyoto!- The Photowalk is FREE of charge but you have 2 options:

Join just the photowalk or
Join the photowalk and the afterparty at a Japanese Izakaya for food and drinks (3000 Yen per person which is paid on the day of the event).

FAQs
1. How do I make a reservation?
Easy! Go to the Eventbrite Photowalk event page. Click on “Register”. Select one of the 2 options: the photowalker ticket or the photowalker + afterparty ticket.
2. What if it rains?
We photograph in rain. In the event that there is a weather cancellation because of a Typhoon or something similar, I will do my best to contact and let you know. If, however, you are unsure, feel free to call or text 090-9889-1640 to see if the photowalk is still running.
3. What if I don’t have a DSLR or PRO camera?
It does not matter. Any camera will do!
4. What should I bring besides my camera?
Enthusiasm to meet new people. Friends or family are also fun to bring with you.
Dress appropriately for the weather, as we will be outside for the most part.
A tripod could be handy too, but it is not indispensable.
A bottle of water is a good idea too.
5. Where do we meet?
In front of Entrance No. 3 of the station at 2 PM
6.How long are the photowalks?
Normally they will last until around 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM. After that, we will move on to the afterparty.
7. Is everyone in the group at the same skill level?
Not at all! People come with different levels of photography experience but we all learn from each other.
8. How do you accept payment?
The photowalk is and will always be free! During the after party we will start receiving cash in order to pay for the food and drinks served.
9. Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Send me an email at info@javiermontano.net
Remember, the photowalk is and will always be free!

Kyotographie 2016 – Masterclass & Tour

Kyotographie is Kyoto’s annual international photography festival, this year being held at various venues around the city from April 23rd Sat to May 22nd. In addition to the regular exhibitions and events, this year there will also be a tour and a masterclass. Find out more below!

Shinichi Suzuki II, Tea Ceremony, 1880’s © MNAAG.

Shinichi Suzuki II, Tea Ceremony, 1880’s © MNAAG.

Kyotographie Tour

This full day tour costs 7,000 yen.

“For its fourth edition, April 23rd – May 22nd, 2016 KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival returns with 14 exhibitions, in 15 venues with two associated programs. These major exhibiting artists are presented inside historical buildings (Old tea houses, tradtional artisan buildings, temples and garden). This year theme is « CIRCLE OF LIFE ». The Festival, with more than 60,000 visitors last year, is now considered a major international artistic event in Asia, gathering both photography lovers, professionals and the general public. We offer you an intimate chance to discover a selection of KYOTOGRAPHIE exhibitions. The KYOTOGRAPHIE passport (included in the visit fee) gives you access to all the exhibitions.”

To find out more about the tour please visit the Japan Experience website.

Kyotographie Masterclass: DREAMS TO REALITY
With Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Fosters Pond, 1989 ©Arno Rafael Minkkinen courtesy PUG OSLO

Fosters Pond, 1989 ©Arno Rafael Minkkinen courtesy PUG OSLO

“Improve or find your personal visual language and style. Developing a personal & recognisable style is key to photographic practice, it also allows a photographer to change subject matter, maintaining identity.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish-­‐American photographer, educator, curator, and writer with over 100 solo shows and nearly 200 group exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide.”

Date : April 23rd 10:00-12:00*
25th, 26th 9:00-17:00
Fee : 20,000JPY (tax inclusive)
Venue : Ryosokuin (Kenninji Temple)
Language : English with Japanese translation
Inquiries : public.program@kyotographie.jp

For application details please visit this page: http://www.kyotographie.jp/en/2016portal/event/masterclass-with-minkkinen

To find out more about the various exhibitions and events, you can visit the official website or download a presskit.

Miksang Contemplative Photography; Kyoto Workshop: May 4th – 15th 2016

Thanks to Lisa Allen for sharing the following course information:

miksang

Photo by Julie DuBose

Kyoto Journal and The Miksang Institute are co-hosting a special ten-day intensive Miksang Contemplative Photography workshop in Kyoto from May 4-15, 2016.

The course will be taught by teachers, Michael Wood and Julie DuBose, and will include the first three levels in the Miksang training curriculum: Opening the Good Eye, Making Contact, and The Heart Of Perception.

Instruction will be in English with Japanese translation. Cost for the entire 10-day course is $1000 USD. The workshop will be held at Kyoto International Community House. This special workshop will begin Wednesday evening, May 4th and end at 5:00pm on May 15th, 2016. Monday May 9th will be a day off.

For more information, please email: info@miksanginstitute.com

For more workshop details and registration information: http://www.miksang.com/miksang-in-kyoto/

What is Miksang?

Miksang is a form of contemplative photography that asks us to see our world in a new way. In some ways it seems very simple, but it is not always easy.

If we can place our mind’s attention, our awareness, in our sense of sight, we will see vivid, mind stopping perceptions fully and completely, without distraction. And when that happens, we can connect with what we see deeply and intimately.

This requires stillness of mind, patience, and the desire to really see what is there, so that we can understand how to express what we are seeing with our camera simply and precisely.

Miksang is photography in which we use the camera to express our visual perceptions exactly as we experience them. Because we know how to prepare ourselves to receive perceptions when we see them, and we know how to understand exactly what we have seen, we then know exactly how to express what we have seen with our camera. The resulting image is an exact expression of our eye, mind, and heart as it connects with the perception.

Miksang means ‘Good Eye’ in Tibetan. We all have a Good Eye as part of our human makeup. This means we have the ability to see the world in a pure way, without overlays of meaning and value, pleasure, dislike, or disinterest.

When we can see with our Good Eye, the world is always fresh, because everything we see is as for the first time. There is no memory, no association, only the world manifesting to us, as it is, out of nowhere.

These perceptions are vibrant and vivid, pulsating with life. The visual world is our feast, our playground.

Seeing in this way brings us joy in being alive.

Through our images we can express our experience of seeing. Our photographs will carry within them our heart, our mind, the blood of our experience.

Geiko & Maiko of Kyoto by Robert van Koesveld now on sale at Maruzen Bookstore

Last week I was very happy to catch up with photographer Robert van Koesveld while he was in town. Robert was kind enough to give me a copy of his new book, “Geiko & Maiko of Kyoto” which he self-published after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign.

IMG_7597

If you are at all interested in the world of geiko and maiko then I would happily recommend this book. Robert’s beautiful photography and insightful text provides a wonderful pictorial guide to the world of Kyoto’s geisha. And I particularly like the part of the book that also introduces those people who work behind the scenes; the footwear makers for instance, the kimono artists, and the shamisen teacher etc…

Robert and his book in Maruzen bookstore.

Robert and his book in Maruzen bookstore.

Pop into Maruzen bookstore in Kyoto now, and you will see a large display of Robert’s books close by the Maruzen Cafe. Several of his images are also featured on posters there, to give you an idea of the contents of the book. Take a look. I’m sure you’ll be tempted.

Useful links: Geiko & Maiko of Kyoto
Robert van Koesveld Photography
(always) Learning to See: A photography blog by Robert van Koesveld

The 5th Kyoto Photo Walk with Javier Montano

5th photo walkNews from our friend Javier Montano:

It is finally here!

– Meet new friends and learn about photography in beautiful Nanzenji and beyond.
– All you need is a camera or a smartphone
– Please register now, It is FREE!

When
Sunday, November 29, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM (JST)
Where
Kyoto – Keage station (Tozai line). 蹴上駅 Keage-eki. Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture JP

Register here: Kyoto Photowalk

See also: Javier Montano’s Website
Javier Montano on Facebook: Daijoubu Photography

Photo Tips & Tricks with Javier Montano: Tip #1 Learning to wait…

Here is some expert photography advice from our good friend, Javier Montano

As a photographer, the most common questions I get asked are technical in nature. Which camera brand is better? Should I get a mirror-less or a DSLR camera? Is a 85mm lens better than a 50mm lens? And so on. It is not that these questions are bad. They are not. It’s natural for beginners to ask about the equipment necessary to dive into the amazing world of photography.

The thing is, questions about equipment are almost never the most important. A good camera can help you to get well exposed and sharp images, but it will not do anything to make your friend’s smile funnier, make the sun look awesome during the evening, or create a romantic atmosphere alongside that river you like so much. No, sir. Conveying emotion in a photograph is up to you, the photographer.

So the important question is, how do I do that? And the answer is: you study and you practice. You study and you practice a lot. But first, you need to get rid of all the experts’ advice about buying expensive stuff. Professional photographers love their cameras and accessories so much that they forget about how they were when they started taking photos. We forget that we did not start using a 3.000.000 yen camera. Stop listening to the so called “pros” and start acquiring good photography skills with whatever camera you may have. Yes, even a smartphone will do.

Today I’d like to talk about one of these skills. It’s called patience. Let me explain it to you. Look at the picture of this American gentleman I took during his tour in beautiful Kyoto.

javier patience

Click on the image to view it full size. Image © Javier Montano.

Do you think the photo would look as good without the colorful ladies at the left side of the frame? I do not think so. So what do you do when you don’t have a budget to hire pretty models to stand in front of the camera? It’s simple… you wait. At that time, I stood there looking like a fool trying to convince the client and my assistant to wait for a little on that street, telling them it was worth it to stand there for a couple of minutes more until something interesting would happen. Fortunately, it did! We got the nice shot and I was not feeling ridiculous anymore.

Now you go out and do the same. You will be surprised how being a little patient (sometimes being very patient) can be much better than having an expensive camera. Trust me; your photos will start looking better after you stop hurrying, and you start waiting for the right moment to click the button. More to come…

Text and photograph by Javier Montano. Javier Montano is well known locally for his group photo walks as well as his own stunning photography. Here on Deep Kyoto, he writes regularly with advice for would be photographers. Check out his own work at http://www.javiermontano.net and on Facebook.

See also: Introducing Deep Kyoto’s Photo Tips & Tricks with Javier Montano

Ikuo Salley’s photo exhibition, “Whiskey Drinking Troubadour” at GalleryMain, Kyoto; Nov 13 – 22 2015

Thanks to Mike Vlasman for passing on news of this upcoming photography exhibition by Ikuo Salley.

sallery01

The invisible society we built in cyberspace is prospering well like the tower of babel. It is the magic of anonymity helping us to express the many things we have wished to do secretly, and yet, people want to believe that this is real communication. On the contrary, our visible society is loosing the actual sense of expression and the personal touchof communication. When I was living in Hollywood, I noticed that all the tourists looked the same, but desperate people living on the street all had one of a kind faces. Prostitutes, gay guys, exiles, drug addicts, criminals……those people who have already known how hard life is……tell you a lot with their eyes. Looking into a face reaches me in a deep and honest sense, and also convinces me what “real communication” is. LINK

11/13 [Friday]ー11/23[Monday]

*closed on monday

13:00ー19:30

**last day 13:00-17:00

GalleryMain: http://www.gallerymain.com/home.html

セイリー育緒: http://35mm36.jp/photo.html

What is “Deep Kyoto”? ~ Some thoughts from Lonny Chick

In recent months the Deep Kyoto Group on Facebook has really taken on a life of its own, with members sharing events, photos, info, opinions and even fun little quizzes! It really does feel like it has naturally grown into a vibrant community and a center of friendly discussion. One of our frequent contributors is Lonny Chick, who is perhaps better known on Twitter and Flickr as Rekishi no Tabi, and his photographs and posts on historical matters are always fascinating. A recent discussion about the kind of content we would like to see more of in our group, inspired Lonny to write a wonderful meditation on what “deep Kyoto” means to him personally. It was so beautifully written and so full of heartfelt love for this city that I thought it deserved a wider audience, and I am very glad to say he has given me permission to reproduce it here.

*          *           *

What is “Deep Kyoto”? What does it mean to you?

I don’t mean this in terms of the Facebook Group, which is a stellar community and I do truly enjoy the posts, but what is “deep Kyoto”?

I ask myself this question a lot, as Kyoto is a very special place that resonates deep in me. It is a destination that allows me to forget the burdens of work and daily life and all the associated stress that really sometimes drags me down both mentally and physically. It is in Kyoto that I can find an inner peace, refresh myself and find the resolve to re-don my samurai salaryman armor to fight in the workplace trenches another day.

So what then is my “Deep Kyoto”? I think the best way to answer that is with a list. In no particular order, here is a portion of that list.

A Quiet Sunday in Kyoto by Lonny Chick

A Quiet Sunday in Kyoto © Lonny Chick – Click to view original.

1. It’s the feeling of joy to see the owners and senior staff of one of my favorite obanzai restaurants, who go out of their way to make me and my wife feel special. It is all about the omotenashi (hospitality) and the relationship that has developed over a decade with these people. It is the fact that the okami-san eagerly WANTS to talk about Japanese history and traditional culture with me. It’s the special sake that they bring out for me to sample. It is the box of chirimenjako or special Kyoto pickles that the okami-san presses into our hands to take back to Tokyo. It’s the master preparing extra special goodies for us, unsolicited. Again, Kyoto-style omotenashi really goes a long way with me.

2. It is the taste of botan nabe (wild boar hot pot) cooked in an iribancha tea-based broth on a cold winter’s night. It’s pure Kyoto and pure delight!

3. It is the smile of recognition and greeting one gets when seeing a geiko or maiko on the street who actually remembers you.

4. It is the sound of a shamisen accompanied by a singer emitting from the open second story machiya window on a hot and sultry summer’s night.

5. It’s running into Kyotoite friends on the street at night by pure chance who are on their way to a bar and drag you along, only to find out you will be drinking with a stunning geiko.

6. It is the sound of “kon-chiki-chin” music of the Gion Matsuri during Yoi-yoiyama up through the big parade every July 17. It just helps set the mood.

7. It is the feeling of being revitalized while walking through the Kibune Shrine complex, especially after a rainfall, or during a light drizzle. Water and the dragon god go hand in hand.

8. It is the feeling of deep relaxation and satisfaction one gets when sitting on the veranda at Entokuin or Eikandō, nearly all alone and undisturbed, staring out into the garden and thinking of absolutely nothing for about an hour.

9. It’s the subtle smile and sideways glance one gets from a favorite Buddhist statue.

10. It’s the conversation one has about “what constitutes the best cup of tea” with an accomplished tea master while sipping whisky in a small Gion bar run by a charming semi-retired geiko, who also has a treasure chest full of great stories.

11. It is being told by the owner of an ancient restaurant to wait until all the dinner customers are gone so you can have nearly a free reign to go and photograph just about every nook and cranny of the historic building.

12. It’s being told by the owner of a restaurant, which you are visiting for the first time, to wait until the last lunch customer is gone so he can show you how hamo is prepared.

13. It is just browsing in an antique store and talking to the owner about the history of a piece when he suddenly invites you to an impromptu tea ceremony in his shop using 15th century utensils.

Akai-san Prepares a Bowl of Matcha © Lonny Chick. Click for original image, and story!

Akai-san Prepares a Bowl of Matcha © Lonny Chick. Click for original image, and story!

14. It is the wonderful old architecture that co-exists with some interesting new structures.

15. It is a stroll down Kiyamachi at night, holding hands with your loved one, admiring the sakura and soaking up the history of the area.

16. It is stopping to dally around the Tatsumibashi bridge and shrine around midnight, while on the way back to your hotel, just to admire a sudden snowfall and watch the area slowly get blanketed in white.

17. It is the old couple who owns a kissaten, set in an old machiya, who invites you to come back tomorrow to just hang out and watch the carrying of the mikoshi (portable shrine) from their place during the Gion Matsuri and to get tested on Kyoto history knowledge via the Kyoto Kentei books.

18. It’s the sound of thundering hooves and the sight of a mounted archer whiz pass you while firing arrows at targets on the grounds of the Shimogamo Shrine during the Aoi Matsuri.

19. It’s just walking up and down the narrow walkway in the Pontochō at dusk, trying to count the number of languages you hear spoken, catching a glimpse of a geiko or maiko, and wondering how the area must have looked during the Bakumatsu period. Pontochō is magical at dusk.

20. It’s the sudden sense of being overcome with awe and wonderment when you are led upstairs to the Sumiya’s second floor to see the beautiful settings where courtesans and geiko mingled with Edo period literati and elites.

This list can go on and on, but this is just a part of my “deep Kyoto”.