Monday, December 12, 2011

To click or not to click.......

This is his moment. He plants his feet squarely on the temple tiles, leans back slightly for a better angle and with a ferocity formerly reserved for sending war correspondence via telegraph he clicks that camera button until only a blur of a forefinger remains. This master of oils for the digital age in not only the one Japanese stereotype I cannot seem to refute but also the inspiration lying behind Roland running after every autumn leaf struck by light and why Ducky is slowly developing a limp due to the weight of her new monster camera.

The wonderful thing is.........I cannot begin to blame them. There are three things Roland and I never leave the house without, the first being our alien registration cards, the second, these small mint candies (although we have moved to peach flavor of late) and the third is always our camera. There is just so much to see and it is easy to be caught with your Japanese jeans down (figuratively, for all the older aunts reading this…..figuratively).

It has gotten to the point where Roland is even mocking himself, like when he expressed regretfully the other night that the lunar eclipse he was taking photos of was at such a high angle that it was impossible to capture some leaping dolphins surrounded by fireflies, framed by the glistening moon. The German`s kitsch compositions aside, there really is a great many things happening at any given time and there is something very satisfying about getting to save a slice for later.

A few months ago, we were snapping away shots of the fire festival, a few weeks ago had us documenting a long tunnel dug out of the mountain by one monk with a whole heap of time on his hands, a few days ago we took a few photos of thousands of LED lights arranged into crashing waves and Christmas trees and just yesterday we clicked away at a resting warship complete with saluting crew. The last making me smile when I noticed that while Japanese moms where pointing out the captain to their kids, the crew were all pointing us out.

Once here you realize why the Japanese cameraman is such a cliché all over the world, it is hard not to be infected by this hobby as many of the foreign folk living here can attest. I do however find myself more at the editing edge of this endeavor, making sure Roland does not upload fifty photos of the sunset hitting Beppu Bay for your viewing pleasure, dragging him and Ducky away from the snow kissed pine needles before they develop frostbite in their clicking finger and deleting all the photos Roland took of me, looking like a mountain hag.

One of my favorite pictures that Roland took.
 I do not think my partner in artistic crime and I will ever really be any good at photography but I have no doubt that at some point in the far future our kids will run away from home, rather than look at one more photo of Beppu Bay.

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