A tremendous opportunity was presented to me last year. I was invited to got to Kyoto for a week of photography with a friend. I had never been to Japan but had always been interested in from Japan. There is a long history of Japanese influence on American photographers most notably Minor White and Paul Caponigro. But men’s photography was deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism. In addition early in my career I had seen the work of Ernst Haas and Craig Steven on their trip to Japan. So I was very excited to say the least. Then one cavet was I would have to work digitally. We would be moving too light to carry bulky view camera equipment. In many Buddhist Temples there were many signs in English saying “No Tripods” so using a view camera would have been out of bounds any way. I was carrying a tripod to use with my digital camera and being frustrated by not being able to use a tripod. The solution was to get a monopod. And it was a beautiful solution. It enabled me to work quickly, and yet steadily. Using the rear display and a ground glass I was able to work with my digital camera much as I would have a view camera, without the movements of course. My greatest surprise was simple, I related more to the Shinto Shrines than I did the Buddhist Temples. This portfolio contains images from both Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples, the Shinto shrines are more organic and free flowing and the Buddhist are more organized and stylized. Can you tell which are which?
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