Travel - Japan with the Hasselblad XPan camera

There’s a lot to like about Japan. The people are so polite and welcoming even when there's a language barrier. It's very safe and the food is delicious! In May 2017, I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks traveling with my girlfriend, Katie. We visited many places within the greater Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto regions.

Japan has a strong photography culture. It was bliss to walk through their beautiful land, camera in hand without drawing any attention or suspicion. I couldn’t help but have visions of the film Lost in Translation as I observed the famous Shibuya crossing. It's considered the busiest intersection in the world with up to 3,000 people crossing during the 2 minute intervals.

If you’re tired of exploring the busy streets, take a stroll over the Meiji Shrine walk. It’s hard to believe the beautiful forest walk is so close to the Harajuku district. The way Japan respectfully honours and interweaves their cultural history into their modern lifestyle is something to be admired.

We loved the deer in the Nara district. It's unbelievable how tame they have become. You can easily bribe their company with the deer crackers that are sold everywhere. When the sun begins to set and people start leaving the deer make a funny complaining noise.

Before I left Sydney, I spoke about my desire to shoot with a Hasselblad XPan camera on the photography podcast, Against the Grain. The following week my friend Rachael generously loaned me her XPan. I also took a Leica M2 with Kodak Tri-X black and white film and a Fuji X100S digital camera on my trip. Look out for a collection of those photographs on my blog soon.

Festival of the Winds at Bondi Beach

One day a year is reserved for Australian and international kite flyers to meet on the sand of Bondi beach. They showcase their skills with a variety of designs from animal shapes, fighter kites, box kites and flowers. The display encourages thousands of people to look up to the sky to witness a sea of flying colours. It’s a family event that brings people together of all ages to admire these functional pieces of art.

Luckily it was a stunning day. The sun was shining and just as importantly, there was a breeze to lift the kites. Traffic was chaos and finding a place to leave the car proved almost impossible. I was left with just over an hour to run around capturing these photos. 

I’m always drawn to documenting how people interact with events. Sometimes the characters attending are more entertaining than the event themselves. This time there was no shortage of spectacle. Fortunately the people I found on the ground were just as amusing as the kites above. Many chose to cool off by visiting the famous Bondi Icebergs pool after getting their fix of the kites. The atmosphere is always buzzing with life and energy. Bondi never disappoints!