One Girl, Two Series

As mentioned earlier, book design, indexing, and translation take up most of my time nowadays. As a result, side projects, even highly enjoyable ones, require substantial effort to complete. (If you ever have to manually remove the "blue line of death" around several objects in a 24-inch image, you'd know what photo editing is really like without the "magic button.")

But, this one, or rather, two mini-series, are finally done!

One turned out to be a Dystopian Wonderland.

The other—Urban Ennui. 

I think I've succeeded in creating two completely different atmospheres even without changing the model's look and while working in substantial rain. The former has muted and fantastical colors of late fall-early spring, whereas the latter emphasizes elongated, animation-like bodily proportions created with my fish-eye lens.

Now, can someone fly me back to Tokyo for a summer photoshoot? ;)

Wonderland (in Reverse)

I'm finally finishing up my photo series with a model in Shinjuku Gyoen.

I won't bore you with the technical details of why these images are taking a long time to process. Okay, just one: despite the apparent lack of sunlight, every nook and cranny in the trees contained what I call the "blue line of death." The latter is not visible in a web-resolution photo, but is not very appealing when the image spans 25 inches, and must be removed. Manually. (I sometimes notice the said unsightly blue line on television, but I'm unsure as to whether it remains unedited due to the lack of time or the inability to do so.)

With that in mind, this particular photograph turned out resembling a dystopian Alice in Wonderland. Twisted Japanese trees always look a bit fairy-tale-like, and here, they reach for the girl with their bare branches. Whereas this favorite garden of mine is at its most striking around mid-autumn, the somewhat muted colors remaining from that time work well with the weeping skies. 

Conclusion: considering how pleased I am with the end result of this entire series, I must create more opportunities akin to this one!

Portrait of a City

Sometimes, you have an idea for a photoshoot, but the City (teamed up with Mother Nature) decides to laugh at your expense (a bit...a lot!). In this particular case, Tokyo chose to engage in some serious "spitting." 

And so you adjust the sails and follow the wind, which led us to the seedy side of Shinjuku (it's a trick: most of Shinjuku is delightfully unsavory!), where my stoic friend had to engage in what I'd call "extreme modelling." (It got more extreme with the other images, as Nature's mockery escalated.)

As you can tell, she handled it in a superb way.

Of course, the non-stop rain turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the end result—this and the others (forthcoming)—is totally worth it. 

Am I allowed to say that I love my own photograph? It's gritty and slick at the same time. Natural and posed. 

The best part? Definitely the shoe laces!

Now, I'm just trying to refrain from calling these nascent series something terrible like "Shinjuku Vice."