Thursday, June 23, 2011

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The Dog

Day 91: Thursday, June 09, 2011

While on the veranda this morning, a big hairy dog walking toward our house came into sight. I was waiting to see if the owner would appear behind it, but no one came. It was alone trotting down the road. A stray dog in Tokyo is a rare sight to see, especially one this big. It went around the corner, passed my house, then turned the next corner and disappeared.

An hour later, I saw it pass by again…

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And then again, three hours later...!

I heard the neighborhood old ladies discussing it outside down below. I wanted to find the dog then and make friends, but decided to wait till the old ladies cleared away since they like to gossip.

Thirty minutes later the dog was back on the street where I had originally seen it.
I hurried downstairs and went out...

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... but then realized that I should probably bring it some food, so I went back inside without taking my shoes off. After checking, I discovered that we didn’t have any wet cat food or meat in the fridge, so I got some garlic bread instead...

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... When I tossed him some, he smelled it, but didn’t eat it. I guess dogs don’t like garlic bread.

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Anyways its stench was foul and almost made me gag. While I was debating whether or not to touch it, it suddenly stood up and went over to the entrance of the house that we were in front of. A second later I could hear noise from behind the door, and then it opened...

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The dog woofed and an old lady yelled, “Where have you been?!” and then the dog disappeared inside.


  1. I'm not saying this to be at all insulting but when i see these sequence photos I think 'god, what a waste of film'. But immediately I tried to find the one I would make into a print.

  2. forget about what you have learned and what you have been told in the past, and just try to look at this piece (not as 14 photos with text, but as one piece as a whole) and look at it without any prejudice...
    and then imagine if it had only one photo instead... and then consider would the piece actually be stronger with only one photo?

    If so, then the other photos are a waste of film...

    Anyways usually people get one good shot on a roll... a few more if they are talented or lucky... i pay 3 dollars for a roll and 4 dollars for processing and scanning... I don't think paying 7 dollars to have one solid photo to be expensive... since most people's projects that they spend a year on are made up of about 30-50 photos. and if I did a sequence of 14 photos which constitutes one good piece, I consider that in the same way as being one good photo in a roll.

    I am trying to do something different which is combine photos with text... they are both equally as important and they both elevate one another to something besides a nice image. When I just do a sequence of photos, the amount of photos serves the same purpose as writing... it is telling a story.

    who says photography has to be one picture? we just assume that and we are trained to think that, but there are really no rules when u are making art.

    PS. no offense taken, MC.

  3. The first thing I was ever told regarding photography was that if you can get one good photo from a roll, it's a blessing. And the fact you use fuji superia has actually helped me break free from the idea of only using 'professional' film.

    I think I confuse your sequence photos with you trying to find that ONE photo, and posts like these are just showing how you think/see when you go photograph. Like the caterpillar/worm hanging from the highway post or the recent pigeon post, I'm thinking wow, he really tries hard to find that one good one. But I also see these and think...short film(?) this guy may want a video camera.

    But yea,I totally accept and am very interested in what you're doing. I'm just expressing my initial reflex reactions cause I kind of know they're not right?.....ha. But I understand more what you're doing and it's a good help in seeing/photographing differently.

  4. i always thought photography was a series of images as a whole vs that one good shot. what comes before and what comes after surely makes that one shot important even of the lesser ones.

    editing i suppose you'd call it.

    MC: with modern scanning technology, i think "cheap" film is more than enough if stored properly.

  5. i hope u didnt take it the wrong way either. i think it's great u expressed your initial reactions even though you knew i would argue with it... Actually I do that all the time on TB, even though I know what I thought at that moment was wrong and that people would get mad... like when I couldn't help but think my korean neighbor was a flyjin... because initial reactions just show our backgrounds, our education, what we have been trained, etc... It exposes so much more about us and society and culture... AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT OPENS THE FLOOR FOR DISCUSSION. (Look how much we have been discussing this topic!)
    In a way, it's all about being sloppy in a good way.

    as for cheap vs. professional film, to be honest i couldn't tell the difference if u showed me photos taken with either... I guess, if u can afford it, then use the best, if u can't (because u shoot too much or have financial problems) than use something cheap cuz it's probably good enough...

    as for the sequences that are on TB... aFter I moved here to Japan, I always wondered if it was possible to do something like manga with photography... i even asked Ume Kayo, and she said it was really difficult... but the other day, I was recently reading a japanese manga... in japan there is a tradition called Yon-comi-manga.. which is a 4 paneled comic strip... Really simple and stripped down... The last panel always has the final joke or punchline... Anyways when I was reading my comic (Azumanga Dai-oh) I realized that was more of what I was doing with my sequences than making videos with my still camera. It was a revelation for me.

  6. yes yes yes. essentially, it's a living storyboard!

    superia film is cheap here.. $2 a roll at costco!

  7. They still make Superia film? Superia dissappeared from my country about 3 years ago.

    Pat, no office against these balcony photos. Restrictions brings out creativity, but aren't you living in Tokyo? Would love to see more of the city through your eyes.

  8. Superia is basically gone now in Japan too. That was the film I was talking about in The Death of Film posts, which bummed me out.

    No offense taken. I have plenty of photos of Tokyo actually, but I think the ones in my neighborhood have more meaning for me because it's where I live and it represents real life more (for me) than superficiality of Shibuya or Shinjuku... And I think it's good to keep posting constant things like Hayato, Ian and Willy because they become characters in a bigger story... or they just become everyone's friends like they are with me.

    Actually another reason why I have so many photos from my house is that I have always been a bit agoraphobic (scared to leave the house).

  9. I personally enjoy some of these photo series very much. Although it might not pack the punch of a single strong street photograph, I don't think the same effect would be possible from distilling it down to a single shot or simplifying it into a short video sequence.

    I think what you're doing here with these sequences is novel and I think you should go ahead with it. But that being said, I also feel that some of the sequences could do with a bit of refinement and perhaps be pared down a little, because right now, some of them seem like what you might describe as "a flimsy handjob that takes too long to reach the climax".

  10. Ok, on second thoughts, that analogy did not accurately depict what I wanted to express. What would've been more accurate would be "a flimsy handjob that you're not sure where it's taking you".

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  12. dude this is great! love what did here. I thought browsing through the initial images made me curious about that dog and the volume of pictures added to that curiosity. also the punch line at the end made this piece worth while. i like humor. youre quite getting that comic strip stuff head on. by the way, what camera and lens do you use, or do you use a point and shoot? Ive been reading this blog for a few months now, quite interesting really.

  13. cool, im glad u like it.
    here's my cam

  14. I know I'm late to the conversation but I really enjoyed the sequence style of your post. Taking any one picture or "the shot" and looking at it in isolation would be boring in this case. It would be a dog in the street or a dog with some food or a dog in front of a door. I think it's a shame when photography is viewed only as a 1 shot art...not that that is what anyone is saying it must be :) Really liked the street level sequence, it almost doesn't need descriptions.

  15. ANDY!!
    Nice to hear from you. I totally agree.

    Hey, did you read this post yet? Maybe u will get a kick out of it since it's about our days in Mable Barron. haha.

    I hope u are well, old friend.