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.

Michael and Philippa - Couple

We decided to meet on the sand of Bondi Beach late one afternoon. The light was beautiful and provided us with nice muted colours. After exploring the beach, we walked up the hill to view the ocean. At this time the sun was setting, bathing everything in a pink hue. We then had a surreal moment of witnessing a moonrise over the ocean. It was a joy to see and preserve for this wonderful couple.

This was a hybrid shoot where I used film alongside digital. 
See the resulting digital photos including the moonrise here!

Below are the film results.

If you would like beautiful photos with someone you love, say hello!

A return to shooting film

Recently I joined my friend Kate for a lazy 10am breakfast, loaded some Kodak Portra 400 film in my camera and set off along the beautiful Manly to Shelly Beach walk.

It had been 5 years since I shot film and I was a little nervous about the results. It's so easy to shoot 50 photos when I've got my digital camera, so limiting myself to 36 frames was a fun challenge.

I found myself slowing down and second guessing about a composition. Film seems to heighten your presence in the moment since you're never looking at the back of your camera. I guess it just feels more precious. Here are my favourites from that first roll.