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I’ve Quit Photography To Become A Surgeon

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Everyone, I have an announcement! I’m proud to say that my hard work and rigorous study schedule have finally paid off, and I am now working through my placement as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Technician.

Although I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the switch to medicine, I really do love helping people, and I think the challenges that this job will bring will make every week exciting and refreshing. Although I still really like photography, I think this is the right career move for me. Actually, my photographic background really proved helpful in the practical part of my assessment, as the role of a technician also involves medical photography (using different machines than your standard DSLR, of course.) So it hasn’t all been for nothing.

This is the team that I’ll be working the long shifts with…

Wait a minute….

What’s that Declan is holding….

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Lenses….??

Hold up….

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Haha fooled you all! I was actually working in a hospital alongside James Braund, shooting some scenarios and portraits. But I still got to kit out in scrubs (which are really comfy by the way!) I think the green hat suits me.

Had such a fun day with a great team. I can’t disclose details yet, but keep your eyes peeled for some fresh new photography at Homesglen. Final portrait is with James, sporting the latest in back support fashion. Will miss you when I’m in JP.

Tokyo Film Scans

The feeling of picking up your developed film is so exciting, and has a certain air of nostalgia to it as well. I was really excited to pick up two rolls that I had shot in Tokyo last year, because I couldn’t remember what was on them.

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These frames are all from test shoots with models from Folio Management in Tokyo’s Minato ward. They were taken on 35mm film that I rolled myself back in highschool, but had not yet shot. Hence the little imperfections like dust, scratches, and leaks. I actually love these features and think they give extra character to the frames. Because the film was so old, I had no idea if it had been exposed, or if it would even look any good. These shots were digitally scanned, but no retouching or adjustments have been made. Not even exposure or contrast adjustments. They are completely raw.

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I find that there is something really ‘real’ about film photos. I tend to look at them for longer, rather than skim over them quickly as I might with digital photos. There seems to be a part of the subject’s soul in these frames, as if they are really looking at me. This might sound weird, but that’s how I feel. I think film also has a timeless sort of look to it.

When I was in Hokkaido earlier this year, I went one step further and purchased a disposable camera from the convenience store there. I’ve been shooting single frames on it, but still haven’t finished it. So I’m really interested in what is on that camera. The suspense is all part of the excitement. I also like the way that having such an “ammeter” camera removes a certain barrier when shooting. Nobody seems to notice or care if I put the $10 disposable to my eye, whereas they may change their behaviour or shy away if I raise my DSLR. Observing the difference in psychology is interesting.

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Strangers at F1.8

In Tokyo last year I challenged myself to walk up to random strangers on the street and take their portrait. I had a roll of black and white Ilford, and a plastic 50mm lens. I am inherently shy, so asking people if I can take their portrait is pretty intimidating. With my lens choice, I had to be close, and I also wanted to capture engaged (rather than candid) portraits.

These are a few of my favourite ones. I spent quite a while talking to the man in the glasses, after taking about 15 minutes to work up the courage to approach him. He was dressed very eccentrically in bright colours, and was sort of pacing on the spot in Akihabara. He seemed like a real character, but from the way he was moving I wasn’t sure if he had been drinking for a while or not. But I knew I’d kick myself in the butt if I didn’t at least try to ask him. He ended up being really really lovely, and I talked to him for a good 20 minutes. He told me about how he made his own earrings out of metal and bottle tops. He had a very calm, gentle nature and complimented my terrible Japanese. I’m so glad that I got to speak with him and learn a little about his life.

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This girl is one of the many school kids who approached me at Asakusa shrine to ask “what is your country” and “what is your favourite Japanese food?” If you have ever been to Asakusa shrine, you will know that being bombarded by school kids is to be expected if you are a foreigner. I think that the English teachers all take their classes there, as this happens literally every time I go. In any case, this girl was part of a group of 5 that were asking me the aforementioned deep and philosophical questions. Because the ice was already broken, I took the opportunity to ask her to take a picture.

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I kind of cheated on the last one, it’s my friend’s son. Isn’t he just a nugget! Gorgeous light from the balcony door.

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Finally, a non-portrait. This may look like somewhere in developing Asia, but it is actually a game arcade in Kawasaki that is designed and fitted out to look this way. The design is actually more interesting than the games themselves (in my opinion.) It is meant to look like the slums of Hong Kong, and the attention to detail is amazing! To get in you have to cross a misty aqua body of water, carefully stepping on rocks. The doors also make noises as you go through. It’s called Anata No Warehouse (あなたのウェアハウス). I loved the hanging chickens.

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Yuki | ゆうき

東京の麻布十番でフォリオ マネジメントのゆうきさんの写真を撮りました。とても楽しかったです。私たちは日本語だけか話しました。私はちょっとへんな日本語を話しますからおもしろかった。10月から東京に住めます。それからもう一度ふぉりフォリオ マネジメントのモデルと会いたいです。^ー^

(english)↓

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Anyone who knows me knows that I frequently travel to Japan. I’ve only just started shooting there recently though. (Models and test shoots I mean- obviously I’ve taken my camera there to capture the country many times!)

In March I returned to Tokyo to do some testing with Folio Management models. I had done a few test shoots late last year, and when the agency heard that I was back in town, they asked if I could photograph a few of their girls. One of those faces was the beautiful Yuki. She arrived at the office with her little baby in tow, so the other office staff got to care for him whilst we went out shooting.

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The shoot didn’t take long at all, as I work pretty quickly in order to keep the pace and enthusiasm up. It was pretty chilly out in the streets if Azabujuban, but I felt fine as I had just spend two weeks up in the snowy northern part of the country. Compared to the -10C I had been in, Tokyo felt like summer. But I think Yuki was pleased to get her coat back on between shots.

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I didn’t speak English the whole time, which was pretty fun! My Japanese is mostly self-taught, so I speak a little bit strangely sometimes (well, I think so.) But I managed to communicate easily and even learned some new words (mostly how to describe facial expressions, which is obviously handy when working in portraiture!)

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Thanks Yuki and FOLIO for working with me in Tokyo. Looking forward to October when I will be back for more!

Yuki is represented by Folio Management Tokyo

Keegan Arrives In Melbourne

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Last week I got back into testing in Melbourne, working with some new talent. The face in question was Keegan; a young model who had only recently arrived in the city, having come from northern Australia. As he had only been down here a few days, he hadn’t yet acclimatised, and was feeling the chill! But this didn’t stop his enthusiasm for the shoot.

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I had two huge bags of garments from H&M, with a few wild patterns thrown in for good measure. I continue to be amazed at the photogenic nature of some of the more ‘out there’ garments. Things you would question if seen in public, but that look great for shoots (the shirt in the first photo on this post, for example.)

Keegan was really easy to work with, he had a very calm nature and took direction well. He was also really good as posing with hands- which sounds a bit odd to notice- but hands are one of the toughest things to get right, in my opinion. It is easy to make them look awkward or stiff, so this is a real skill.

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Luckily I am really nice and had a lot of long sleeve garments and winter gear. It was one of those shoots where the talent didn’t mind being layered up. I was also lucky to find an old dock shed which had been converted into a carpark. It had really interesting light in there- a combination of strong down lights and natural light from the large entrances. There were hardly any cars in there, so we pretty much had free reign of the area.

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Thanks Keegan for being a champ, and good luck with your career in Melbourne!

Keegan is signed with GTR Melbourne.