Currently listening to: GODDAMNITALL - The Wonder Years

Don't worry dear reader, I'm still kicking.

The last year since my last update has been very busy. I've started and stopped this update a few times, but never could find the time to put it all together. Lets get caught up!

Since writing I have finished graduate school. It feels like yesterday that I started, but its really been two years... It doesn't feel like its been that long but alas. I was able to finish up my thesis about 7 months early, which was a grueling but ultimately rewarding experience as it allowed me to shift focus to job hunting. I really enjoyed writing the dang thing though, and may get it published some time in the future... Maybe I'll go get my PhD sooner than later? I think I need some time out of school first and I'm not sure if I want a doctorate in this specific field.

I have moved to a rural area once again, although this time I am on the water. I am writing this while I look out at the twilight reflecting in the ripples of the tide. It is nice, although I have never been much of an ocean person. Don't think that I'm becoming one anytime soon either... I started a new job out here that I am really enjoying, though. While all my peers are trapped in tiny apartments in the muggy city, I get to enjoy a nice and peaceful lifestyle in a big house on the water. I bought my first new car, which has been liberating as well! I really missed being able to drive. Prior to this car (a Subaru!) I had only bought used cars that were about ten years old. I still think I would have been happy with an ancient Subaru Outback or Nissan D21 hardbody, but alas, I was convinced otherwise.

I've been shooting a lot more film recently. During the last year or so I really didn't shoot much. I even took multiple trips without a camera, including big international ones. Sometimes I go long stretches without shooting when I am really stressed out... I had too much else on my mind, with school and the stress of finding a job. On the bright side, I am feeling much more creative and this new rural area is much more conducive to my style than that boring old city.

In this update there will be the last of my Japan photos for the foreseeable future. I have mixed feelings about it. I hadn't posted these images yet for a few reasons. Principally, I fear that others will steal them and use them without my permission. These are some of the images I personally think are my "best" work, meaning I would like to eventually place them in a gallery show or book. Some other images on the site have appeared in older gallery shows I have done, but I don't really have any intention of displaying them again. I also think that watermarks cheapen the experience, so that's out. I can only ask those that view these images appreciate my effort and not steal them; its a big thing to ask on the web these days, but damn if I don't want to hope that people still care. Second, I guess I sort of wanted to hold onto these for myself forever. I miss Japan a lot, and I'm not sure when I will be able to make it back. This site was created to be a place to host images I took during my time living there, so I guess I always wanted to keep it that way. Without any more images of my time there that are worth sharing, I guess its time to move on! Not that much will change around here style wise, but the subjects of the photos themselves will. Hopefully others will still find them interesting.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine from the inaka made a trip out here to visit me in my new home. It was so nice to see him. I hadn't realized it until we met up last year that my addiction to cameras had rubbed off on him - he suddenly has the most formidable Nikon rangefinder collection I've ever seen! He brought with him an Intrepid 4x5 camera with a heavyweight metal tripod and I immediately fell in love. I may have to have one... There is a Horseman 45 kit for sale in the muggy city for $899.

My goals for the future are to find another darkroom (lost my access upon graduating and moved very far away), get my work back into a gallery, and print a zine? The long term goal with snapchat.html is to turn it into a booklet. I think there are more than enough images to fill a small book now.

I hope you're doing well dear reader. Thanks for sticking around, and I hope you enjoy the new photos. Here is to more good things in the future.

Oh, and a major change was the menu. Note that now the website is 100% mobile user HOSTILE. This needs to be fixed soon, but I am in a rush to get this update out the door. Let me know what you think!



Currently listening to: 口の運動 - DODDODO

Well, as fate would have it, I am moving back to that city this summer after all. Hopefully this time I have some air-conditioning...

I have a week to figure out where I am going to live. In the meantime, I am flying to the Ozarks for some much needed R&R.

Will probably only bring the Leica and the GS645 with me this summer, but looking forward to doing some shooting on long walks

I saw PUP the other week. It was an incredible show. They did not play City, but I still had the best time. It was the by and far the biggest show they had ever played! It was so fun to get to belt out every word alongside hundreds of other fans. Took me back to those long drives along the sea in the Moco...

...Unfortunately, I got COVID at the show. 862 days since the first case in Japan. Three continents, four apartments and four international trips later. I guess it was inevitable - the virus finally caught up with me.

Honestly though, the symptoms are pretty mild, all things considered. Very tired, but otherwise fine. I feel fortunate that it hasn't affected me that badly. Terrible timing though - I am moving this weekend.


Currently listening to: Totally Fine - PUP

Phew, life is kinda stressful right now.

The semester is nearly over, just working at getting my final papers and things in before the summer begins. My thesis proposal was accepted, which is incredible. Working with an absolute powerhouse of an advisor, although he still doesn't seem to know my name despite our numerous 1:1 conversations... Looking forward to drilling down and doing some fun research regardless.

Between reading and writing papers I have been toiling away in the darkroom whenever I get the chance. I managed to fix some of my weird issues with the enlarger and build a 645 negative carrier from an surplus 6x6 carrier. I actually ended up having a lot of film developed over the past few months. Perhaps I will compile the few usable images into an album and share them with you all. My creative side has been atrophying, overshadowed by my other interests. Hopefully this summer I will have the chance to have some fun!

On that front, things have been going well. Looking forward to doing some "real" work this summer... It looks like I will be headed back to the Rockies to do some mountain biking and hiking in between working remotely.

I have been able to meet a bunch of Japanese speakers here. It has been fun to get to chatting about some of the weirder aspects of Japan with them. The other day I caught a friend off guard by asking him about Nishinari-ku, Japan's roughest neighborhood. I was actually down there back in 2019. It's mostly fine during the day!

I hope things have been well, dear reader.


Currently listening to: Pulse (Inkya Impulse) - Hina Kino, Rika Nagase, Konomi Kohara

Long time no see. Lots of things have been going on. I successfully moved from the Rockies to the big city, survived the first few months of school mark 2, and travelled to another continent for the first time in over a year. Sadly, I haven’t been able to do as much creative work as I had hoped to do, but the future looks brighter! I am super busy all the time - school 2.0 is no joke.

Currently, I am sitting in London, drinking coffee in a loft on a dewy January morning. The sun hasn’t risen yet, and my head still hurts a little from all the Italian beer we had with dinner last night. I love this city. I haven’t been here in so long. When I was young, I spent some time in London and remember loving it - the museums, the long walks, the parks. The weekly visits to the various museums went on to inspire much of my future education and career decisions. London reminds me a lot of Japan and Korea. My brain, muddled by years on the move has started to get tangled in the details, recalling patterns where they do and don’t exist. My partner notices them to, saying things like “Wow doesn’t this look just like that street in Yamaguchi?”. I think I could live here, smiling drunk in pubs, rotating between museums every weekend, slowly devolving my wardrobe further into pre-war Europe… It’s nice to be back here, and best of all, it’s nice to leave home again, despite the raging outbreak of omicron. Thank you, booster.

With me I have brought the Leica M3, with it’s not-so-new, beautiful 35mm Nikkor-W f/3.5 lens! I have yet to put a full roll of film through this lens, so I am looking forward to the opportunity to do so in this beautiful city. Full write up on this lens when I get some images back! I have also brought the newly repaired Fuji GS645 Professional, loaded with Portra 800 I bought the last time I was in Europe (Which I bought in Dublin before going back to Japan! It’s many years expired!). Advanced Camera Repair up in Portland Oregon replaced the bellows and recalibrated the rangefinder for me, and they look great. I had originally requested red bellows, but sadly, they had to use black due to supply chain issues. Otherwise, they have done a great job. I am so happy to have this camera back, and I can’t wait to make tons more work with it. I have already shot a roll of film in this camera, mostly of the suburbs around my house, but have yet to have it developed. In fact, I have about 10 or so rolls of undeveloped film sitting in my drawer at home. I should have them developed when I get back to the city. New albums forthcoming, there should be some interesting images among the usual junk. I also finally have access to a darkroom - and an incredible one at that! It’s in the depths of an art museum in the city. After many phone calls, email exchanges, and two safety tours, they finally gave me the go ahead to use it whenever I please. Unfortunately, it is really far away. There is a smaller one a block from my apartment, but it’s enlargers are so scuffed that I have yet to get a clean print from them. They tend to distort the focus in a such a way that it gives the impression of a tilt-shift lens. Hopefully next semester I can shun some of my extracurricular activities in favor of returning to the darkroom. Let me know if you would like me to send you a print, dear reader. I would do so if not just for a reason to get me to go to the darkroom!

One of the plus sides of returning to school is that I have rekindled my love for reading and writing once more. I feel liberated from the weird, stilted language I had been using for the past few years - like I can finally write like myself again. I have also read more in the last few months than the last few years combined. Of note, I have been really enjoying Empires of EVE. As I am currently “winning” EVE Online, it is fun to read about some of the classic exploits. Although I am still on Volume 1 at the moment, which covers 2003-2009, I am excited to dive into Volume 2 (2009-onwards), which should cover some familiar names and groups. I don’t think I’ll have the time to play EVE ever again really, (I have also asked numerous people to stage an intervention in the event I resubscribe), but I have been really wanting to play more games recently. I have playing (and loving) Slay the Spire and DUSK recently. Truthfully, I like DUSK a lot more than DOOM 2016, which I found a bit too drawn out for my taste. I have been thinking of getting a VR headset. If school goes remote (which it looks like there is a solid chance it may) I will definitely buy one, if not just to play Beat Saber.

I can also happily report that I saw Porter Robinson and Fraxiom in concert in 2021. Porter played Flicker, which was incredible. James Ivy also opened! He called me out as the only person standing up in the whole concert hall, following along to the words of Last Star. As the guy who sat next to me at the show and I were chatting between acts I mentioned that I had been living in Japan for the last few years. He chimed in that his cousin’s best friend had also been in Japan, near some big mountain by the sea. I asked him where. He pulled up the guy’s instagram to check and it turns out it was an acquaintance of mine from the inaka, whose couch I used to crash on when we’d miss the last train after Wednesday night specials at the local (Only like half an hour away from my house!!) hookah lounge. The world gets smaller everyday. Frax and Alice Longyu Gao were so much fun. I actually broke the flash unit on the Konica 28W while moshing, oops. I ran into DJ RE:Code at the show, and got to profess how much I love their music between sets! I stuck around after the show to give Frax a big hug and tell them how much their music means to me.

In the end, I know the Rockies were definitely not a good place for me. The time crises that arise from being a grad student have also helped me chill out a lot, bizarrely. I no longer feel that strong urge to move constantly, which has haunted me for half a decade. People who have known me as long have taken notice, too. I’m happy, dear reader. Like really happy for the first time in awhile. I feel challenged, and just like that bus ride from Narita, groggy from a day of flying, listening to TWICE tracks on loop, anything feels possible.



Currently listening to: Texas - James Ivy (Live Edit)

Took a bad fall on my mountain bike a few days ago. I was tired from riding 20 miles the day before, and probably should not have decided to do an even bigger ride the following day. I got about 7 miles uphill before the altitude started to get to me and I had to turn around. On the way downhill, I attempted to cross a drainage that was charging with water from the recent flooding, bumped a rock and tumbled a few dozen feet down the rocky sidewall. Broke my left ng finger when the frame of the bike landed on top of me as we toppled. Some other minor injuries, but all my teeth are intact! And thankfully, the bike is fine. Metal doesn't heal. My finger should be back to normal in 6 weeks, more or less. A friend sent me the old adage: “Every corpse on Mt. Everest used to be a highly motivated person. Maybe chill the fuck out.” Fair .

The Halo Infinite preview was a lot of fun, despite the finger troubles. I was sad to see it go. I will probably be too busy over the next few years to give it the same time I did playing MCC with friends over the last few years. Really want to make an in-universe Halo fan site on Neocities.

Lots of film to send to Memphis! Maybe I’ll wait until after the move? I hate flying with exposed film though. I have been in talks with a few places regarding darkroom rentals. God, I just want to print. I want to do a print exchange!! Send me your work, dear reader! Maybe this holiday season I will organize a little print exchange here for anyone who wants to participate. Emulsive Secret Santa has been a yearly highlight for me the last few years.

Just a few days until I leave the Rockies. Already started packing, got utilities and such setup. Lots of new people to meet, roommates included. I'm a little nervous. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived with other people. I enjoy my privacy and get too hung up on people’s perceptions of my life, even though it’s almost certain no one actually cares. I doubt I’ll ever have a job as laid back as working at a shoe store again. I think the thing I will ss the most about this town is how friendly people here can be. It’s so easy to strike up a random conversation with people. I wonder if the city will have friendly people, too. Well, at least I’ll be busy again.

あの賑やかな都市で日本語会話する 友に会いそうかも。


Currently listening to: SHITMACHINE! - Days N Daze

A couple paid me to drive them over the continental divide. They were stranded here. They didn’t ask for help, but I heard one of them talking exasperated on the phone outside to their family. After they did their business, I gave them my phone number and told them I would drive them over the pass in the early hours before opening the store. They were both satellite designers.

I stopped after dropping them off at a lake overlooking the jagged cliff side road I had taken to get them to their destination and took some photos on the M3. A family pulled up and were quick to ruin the serene quality of the green, still water by throwing rocks and climbing into a red, leaky canoe with the words “COMMUNITY CANOE” stenciled on the side, which the Dad promptly sunk. When I arrived at the store, I cleaned hurriedly and sat down at the counter, ready to unload the M3, only to realize that the film had torn. It had split into three neat sections, the sprockets attached to the take up spool, wound nicely in the appropriate place, while the main body of the film was curled crudely inside the cloth shutter. Luckily, this time I was able to calmly unload the camera without causing an expensive jam. Still, that roll of Neopan F was a wash sadly. What makes it even worse is there is almost no evidence of Neopan F online at all. (Just this blog entry) I still have the box and may scan it just for the historical value.

My most recent FPP order came - trying out Ilford Delta 100 to scratch my Acros itch. $11.99 (~$20 a roll after dev/scan) a roll is too much for my day to day. I may stockpile some in the fridge in anticipation of the GS645’s return. It really is such a magical film. There is such a rich quality to the mids that I haven’t seen matched by other films. People have told me to try Delta for ages, and somehow I’ve always avoided it. I shot Ilford’s FP4 a few years ago and wasn’t super impressed with the results, but I was also a much less experienced photographer at the time... A bunch of Kodak P3200, which has slowly become a consistent favorite of mine, came as well. Almost no mids here, but versatile enough for shooting at night and for some of my more personal work.

A local artist came into the store and geeked out about art history with me and told me some insane stories about the area I live in currently. Not only had William Henry Jackson been here, but his photographs of the area had been used as a basis for works by my favorite painter, Thomas Moran. He showed me prints of Moran’s engravings of the area he had acquired over the years. I was in awe.

Took the long drive to Denver over the last few days to do some shopping. It was bizarre to be in a big city again. Has it really been a full year since Tokyo? I get a lump in my throat thinking about it. DPR Live’s IS ANYBODY OUT THERE, the feeling that anything was possible, the sweltering humidity of Tokyo summer, living as Johnny Walker, marching endlessly between Ryogoku and Shibuya, snapping away on the M3. Shaving my head inside a Cajun restaurant...

Denver has seen better days. I hadn’t been before, but it was obvious the downtown area was on the ropes. At IKEA, I was stopped immediately by an older man working there who recognized the Leica. He was so excited. I showed him all the lenses I had on me, described what I knew of it’s provenance. He paid me an immense compliment - that it looks brand new! If only he knew what I’ve put this camera through! Ripping the shutter, snow, rain, pancake syrup, stuffed in packs, blood, dropping on the street, swinging into elevator doors, holding out of car windows… New!

The new lens I acquired for the M3 has arrived and testing is underway. I found a great deal on an early L39 W-Nikkor・C 3.5cm f 3.5. It’s a tiny little coated Tessar clone. It was this series of lenses that put Nikon on the map though, with lots of photographers ditching their Zeiss/Leica lenses for the much sharper, affordable Nikkors. I guess it has been a year since Tokyo, where I walked to just about every single camera boutique in the city seeking an affordable 35mm lens.

My new photography friend and I drove out to Lake San Cristobal on a little film road trip. It was fun, but upon getting home I felt sort of hollow. Just two weeks until I move. I think I’m ready. I don’t feel that same sense of optimism I did coming back to the States.


Currently listening to: Wingo Wongo II (DJ Re:Code Paranoia Mix) - Le Snake

Site redesign launches today. A few dozen hours of work later... Not sure about the new log, but the other pages function better and have a much more positive feel. Not sure about mobile or legacy compatibility just yet. Let me know in the new guestbook if you find any issues.

For the time being, I've removed the thoughts tab. I may actually write some articles at some point, but would like to focus on photography right now. I am working on a list of photographers I find inspiring, and would like to expose further via this site.

Things are coming to a head again. I leave the Rockies in about a month for the big city.

I'm trying to go out on the town more before I leave... I always end up enjoying places the most right before I'm about to leave. Bringing the Hi-8 video camera everywhere and just filming random interactions around town, from dogs to travelers at the bar.

My new photography friend and I took a little trip to the next town over and walked around shooting film and talking all afternoon. It was a blast. Rare I meet someone whom with I share so much in common. Sad that we met right before I leave.

I've been riding my bike a ton as well. Only wrecked and cut myself up a few times. It's been so long since I mountain biked, I forgot how much I love it. It is a really wonderful summer companion sport to skiing.

I bought a new (old?) weird, wide angle lens for the Leica... Too good of a deal to pass up on a lens I have been looking at for awhile now. Arrives at the end of the week. Images forthcoming.


Currently listening to: Police State - Pussy Riot

Recently returned from a trip east, over the Continental Divide I took on a whim to see my friend from the inaka for the first time since my birthday. It was so much fun. I missed that feeling of spontaneity - I told him I was coming over the night before, packed my things and left. Nurture is a great soundtrack for the beauty of summer mountain passes.

We shot so much film - laughed, reminisced, hiked mile after mile in the dry heat of Rocky Mountain summer.

Driving the Outback in the passes between our two valleys, I encountered one of the most incredible sights I’ve seen in awhile. The Climax Molybdenum Mine. Something about these massive, imposing and seemingly empty structures put a glint in my eye. They stand in contrast with the alien landscape of the high altitude earth. Just down the road are massive vistas overlooking the tailing ponds, which look like cursed lakes, the green-blue and orange-red slurry of poison crystalizing in the sun. Despite being hours away, I think I may drive back there to take some pictures at some point this summer. Leadville, the highest city in the United States, is not much further, and also provides a lot of inspiration for images. I also would love to do some trail running or hiking around there, although probably not solo.

I think that leaving town and seeing my friend put things in perspective for me, and made me realize that it’s not a rural area I am tired of being in. In fact, I’m just blaming the inaka for my problems - problems that probably would be no different anywhere else. I need to break the cycle more, to find the beauty in where I am in the moment and not covet what was and what could be. Too often I get stuck in my own head, trapped by the routine of going to work on time, running the same 5 miles, cooking the same terrible food, and retiring to scroll the internet tirelessly. Those few days helped me reset a bit, geeking out about cameras and film over bottomless cheap coffee and red-dyed gin. It’s a good headspace to be in, this close to the next major step. This last winter may have been the worst place I've been in many years, honestly. It was as if my success tried to bloom last August, only to wilt in the cold, icy winter. Round 2 starts in New England.

I am having the Fuji GS645 Pro repaired this week. I sent it off to Advance Camera Repair in Portland OR to have them take a look at it. I have the money and I miss shooting medium format! Especially with this camera, which has one of the best form factors and lenses. 6x4.5 is probably the most ideal aspect ratio for medium format for me personally, as it closely mirrors 35mm, and allows for 16 exposures per roll. Price to repair is ~$300. I asked them if they can fabricate custom red bellows.

Oh, and I broke the Olympus XA. Oops. Locked up the shutter. Luckily it seems Mr. Lezot can repair it. He has done a lot of work for me in the past. At the moment though, I think I will leave it as is. The Leica and 28WB occupy sort of the same spaces of the XA. The XA just doesn't have a place in my workflow right now. Considering it’s a family heirloom though, I’d like to have it working again soon (along with my Grandfather’s Canon IVSB).

I’ve been sitting at a busy tea café on my days off, reading and studying Japanese, and met another young film photographer who works there! He develops his own color film, which blows my mind. It was always way too much of a hassle and expense for me to ever try. His work is really nice though, and reminds me a lot of my own. I gave him a fiber print I had made in the darkroom some months ago from my “Couples” series. He shoots on a Canon FTb with the FD 50mm 1.8 and the Mamiya 645 with the 80mm. We walked around town yesterday, shooting randomly and chatting about different photographers we like. It was really fun!

Mercifully, I know where I am going to live in 4 months. Not psyched about having roommates again, but what can you do. They all seem very interesting though! It’s always been an expensive city to live in. Excited to be genuinely busy again.

I bought tickets to see Porter this fall. I'm so very excited. I missed Worlds because I was overseas. I hope he plays Flicker.

Site redesign in progress. Maybe giving my private place a happier, calmer feel will encourage me to be more positive here too. I also want to use some of my new knowledge to rebuild this place from scratch - it's held together with popsicle sticks back here.