Saturday, 3 April 2010


I'm not going to dwell on Moriyamas meaning because he is the photographer I chose to look at for 'My Chosen Image' so I've pretty much covered what his meaning is. He basically makes other photographers question their subject and through his images shows foreigners what the other side to his country looks like. I'm actually really glad we were set that task because other wise I would have never discovered his images. And I have been really REALLY inspired by his images and the process he does to get those images. I can say with a lot of confidence that I will definitely try it out.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Stray Dog Of Tokyo

This is supposed to be Daido Moriyamas best known photograph. I love how he gets his images to have really dark areas and blown out areas. It has made the dog appear much more intimidating. You most definitely do not want to go up to this dog and pat it on the back because it's face looks so scary! The angle the shot has been taken also adds to making this creature look frightening.

Friday, 19 March 2010

From the series 'Northern'

I was quite surprised at how few people there were on this train. When you think of a train in Japan you immediately think it's going to be absolutely packed. The reason there are so few people on here may be because it's really late and you can tell it's late because the two subjects at the front are asleep. So basically, that's why I really like this image. I find it really interesting because of the fact it's got so few people on it.

Yokosuka - 1971 - My Chosen Image

The name of the photographer: Daido Moriyama

The date the image was made:1971

Nationality of the photographer: Japanese
Gender of the photographer: Male

The form in which the image was published: Silver Gelatin Print

The photographers agenda: Moriyama attempts to show another side of Japan. One that a lot of foreigners don't know about. Like how Henri Cartier-Bresson made us think about the decisive moment in which to take an image, Daido Moriyama makes us question the subject of our image.

Where the image was made: A city south west of Tokyo called Yokosuka.

How the image was made and any significance attached to the equipment choice: Possibly using a Ricoh GR1. There is much discussion on the web as to what camera Moriyama uses and this is the camera that the majority of people agree on. Moriyama uses a very high ASA film, usually 1600 whether it is day or night. He will deliberately underexpose the image and then overdevelop it in the darkroom. In doing this he creates images with unnatural qualities such as exaggerated shadows and a high contrast.

The social and political environment in which it was constructed: At this time, certain areas of Japan were very rundown whereas other parts were very industrialised. Also during this time, universities became a lot more friendly towards students. Employers treated their workers with more respect as if they were equal. This had a good influence on family relationships and social welfare.


When looking at this image, your eyes are immediately drawn to the person because of the leading lines. Although the subject is facing away from the camera you can tell she is female due to the dress and her slender limbs. Her position suggests that she is running which considering her whereabouts looks very painful. It’s quite hard to see exactly what she is running on. It looks like sand which wouldn’t be impossible because Yokosuka is a city right by the sea. Amongst the sand is what appears to be seaweed, corrugated iron and various pieces of rubbish have been scattered all over the place. You are given a very small portion of the surroundings so it is hard to decipher exactly where she is.

Through the image ‘Yokosuka’ Moriyama has shown another side of Japan. He has attempted to show that his culture wasn’t always as ‘high-tech’ as it seems to be today. We tend to picture Japan as being this ever developing country. One that is rich and full of possibilities. We aren't used to seeing images like this. The subject is running on a platform made entirely of rubbish and is surrounded by what look like large metal storage containers. When you think of Japan the words ‘ Tokyo, geisha and sushi’ all come to mind, not a filthy rundown area like the one in my chosen image. Simply glancing at this image wouldn’t be enough to tell its location. Which reinstates Moriyama attempting to show another side of Japan. It's as if the subject has been stripped of her identity because she could quite easily be from another part of the world.

On another note, the photograph looks like it was taken at night due to the high contrasting shadows in the distance. If this is so then it is awfully strange how a woman would be out in nothing but a short white dress. She's not even wearing shoes. What purpose does she have there? If she were in fact homeless then she’d be covered up a lot more, dirty and dishevelled so maybe she is actually a prostitute. You can’t see anyone else in the image but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t. This would explain what she is wearing and why she is running away.

From the series 'Tokyo' - 2005

I watched this video of Daido Moriyama on Youtube. He basically just roams the streets and never stages his images. This photograph doesn't have as much contrast as a lot of others i've so far seen, but the position of the girl is beautiful. She looks so graceful in the middle of a busy city.

That slight movement of the cyclist gives this particular image great character. I may sound stupid for saying this, but I can't recall ever seeing a cyclist in a city of Japan. At least if I have, the thought is not common. I did read it in a book once, but I've never actually seen it before. It brings up questions like 'why is she there? why didn't she just take a taxi?'. Anyway, aesthetically I think this image is amazing. I love how there's very few tones of grey.