Some Distant Memory – Lake Biwa

A boy sitting on a harbour wall. Northern shore of Lake Biwa.

For a while now I’ve been trying to find a way of integrating photos to this website as an Instagram alternative, somewhere I can post more regularly without the need for longer written posts to accompany the photos.

Any eagle-eyed viewer would have noticed that I’ve been playing around with projects and Wiki pages in WordPress in a Notes section (an ongoing ‘experiment’) trying to find a format that fits, but nothing seems to gel. Instead I’m going to start running a new weekly project I’m calling Some Distant Memory*. It might be seasonal, it might not. We’ll see as it progresses.

Looking through my archives and printing contact sheets for every month since 1995 I realised that there are plenty of images that no longer see the light of day. Some of them used to reside on my old website and/or Flickr before that all came to an end long ago. Photos mostly of Japan, but also India, Cambodia, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and more. Perfect material for Some Distant Memory.

Craig Mod ran a wonderful experiment with his Huh, A Cafe With a View of the Waterfall newsletter earlier in 2021. It was a great idea superbly implemented and it is that that has inspired me to try something vaguely similar.

Let’s see how it goes.

One thing I’ve noticed going through thousands of photos is that I prefer digital. The quirkiness and nostalgic characteristics of film is all well and good but it’s hard to compete with the crispness and flexibility of a digital file. When not in the mountains I like daily life scenes with minimal interpretation from the camera (35mm or 50mm) and digital, for me at least, is a more accurate and honest representation of the scenes in front of me. Balance is key of course. Shoot both.

*The title of a New Order track.

Week 1: These two images (originally colour slide film but converted to black and white) were taken on the northern shore of Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture in July 2014. Boys playing on a small harbour wall on a hot Sunday afternoon. Scenes that tend to be rare in the city, not because of the obvious geographical differences, but because kids in cities are busier with more distractions and external pressures.

I had planned on doing a project on the shores on Lake Biwa but as with most of my ideas nothing ever sticks. Maybe one day I can start again.

Have anything to say? Feel free to email me if you really really really want to. Perhaps subscribe to Restless too?

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