Welcome Home. Yours Truly, Sakurajima

January 4th, 2010 in Daily

I can think of no more fitting reception upon my return to Kagoshima than a massive plume of ash from Sakurajima. Here you can see the cloud being split by the Takakuma mountain range. This was the view from my kitchen window just after the taxi dropped me off at my apartment.

A deceptively gentle looking cloud just cresting over the mountain line. Once these clouds hit low-pressure systems, the ash simply drops from the sky. As much of a burden as it eventually becomes, I still think its pretty damn cool to tell people that I have to clean volcanic ash off of my car.

Believe it or not, after touring seven of Japan’s Top 10 largest cities (1. Tokyo, 2. Yokohama, 3. Osaka, 4. Nagoya, 6. Kobe, 7. Kyoto, 9. Kawasaki), I was really looking forward to coming back home to Kagoshima. Granted, the big cities offered a lot. Vastly different culture, lifestyles and scenery, interesting local food and dialects… Though there is part of me that can’t shake the state of mind that takes over when I’m in rural Japan. The imposing nature surrounding Kanoya has left a strong impact on me just barely six months into my stay. This trip certainly helped further my appreciation for my current situation, both living and working, and the friends I’ve made along the way.

I shot a lot of film on this trip with my new baby, the Mamiya 6.

The 6 is a square format camera producing 6x6cm negatives. Its an absolute pleasure to use. The focusing system does require more patience – its certainly not an action camera, but the sheer convenience of having medium format available in a body that weighs the same as my 5D is fantastic. I will have to wait a while to share the results with you since the processing here is not exactly speedy (nor reasonably priced). I also need to invest in a scanner, as my current apartment situation is prohibitive to printing these traditionally. Eventually I will pick up some tanks and reels to run the b&w through properly by hand. Until then, I’m at the mercy of the lab.

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