UrbanWeird Photography
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Photo Sketchbook

Thoughts on general photography and personal photographic process.

My Top 10 Photos of 2014 - Photo #1: "Nipponique"


Since it is New Years Day 2015, I decided to start a photography blog. There's no better way to start than to look at my top 10 from 2014. 

This was actually a challenge from my mentor, Martin Bailey, in The Arcanum. I became an apprentice in the Arcanum back in June last year as part of the first group of apprentices of the new (yet ancient) education platform. As of today, I am at level 13. Many of the posts that I will write here will probably have to do with what I am doing or thinking about in the Arcanum since it is the main part of my photography experience. 

So back to the top ten challenge. Martin gave us in his cohort group a mini-challenge to do as the end of 2014 came to a close. He challenged us to choose our ten best photos of 2014. It is an exercise in narrowing down what you really think stands out in your work.

I did not have too much trouble since I just chose my work that I submitted for the various critique sessions with my cohort group and one-on-one with Martin, so I had a relatively small pool of candidates already. I think I had about 14 I quite liked, so I had to cull the choices a bit to get to the top ten. 

I will post one at a time over the next couple weeks or so (not sure how often I will post - I will try a couple times a week to start with). I am going to go chronologically, starting with the photo below that I took back on 16 February 2014, several months before joining the Arcanum (Just click on the photo and it will take you to the gallery within which it is housed).

I titled it "Nipponique", and I took it while waiting to meet a friend at the East Exit of Shinjuku station in Tokyo. It was a cold sunny morning with snow on the ground (a bit of a rarity for Tokyo). I first saw the girl in the teddy bear coat and thought it was very "Japanese"; the culture of Kawaii (cuteness) and all that. She was just standing there, also waiting for someone, as most people do at exits to train stations here in Tokyo. She looked quite lonely and a bit scared. Then I noticed this other girl, also quite lonely looking and waiting for someone. 

I thought to myself that this scene would make a great photo because it exemplifies several aspects about life in Tokyo; culture of Kawaii, waiting for friends at easy to locate areas in a very crowded and convoluted city, and train stations.

Something I would change about this photo (since I am always learning and no photo will every be perfect to everybody) is the space, or lack thereof, to the left of the teddy-bear girl. There needs to a bit more breathing room on that side. That being said, it is still a photo worthy to put into my portfolio and provide for sale.