“I started to shoot when I was in high school. Shortly after Haru was born I became more aware of act of shooting. Thereafter, I got amedium format camera, Pentax67. It changed my view of the photography.”

That’s how Hideaki Hamada, a Japanese based photographer who is know infamous of his works, answered my question on when the very first time he taken photographs.

Our conversation continued with where the place he came from. He was born in a small island, Awaji in Hyogoprefecture, in January 18, 1977.

“Sometime in the future, I wanna get back there and I want my sons to grow up in there, like I had done in my childhood,” he hoped, recalling the beautiful sceneries in the island.

When asked about his reason to take photographs, “For me, taking photos is knowing my self,” he asserted.

By looking at the world through a view finder, he told me, people can see what’s happening in front of them more objectively.

“In addition, we can remember what we were feeling and thinking about in those moments by looking at the photos. In this way it is possible to discover aspects of ourselves which we never knew existed before. And my feeling is that this repetition of thought is what constructs my world.”

I then asked his reason to keep pursuing film photography in the midst of digital world. He considered that it’s very important to use film cameras these days.

He then explained that in film photography, people will certainly experience a feeling of excitement while we wait for your photos to develop.

“Perhaps you fear that you may not have taken the photo skillfully. Therefore, waiting to know if you succeeded or not is inconvenient and troublesome. But this waiting time is necessary. That is to say, it is a stance we take toward photography.”

He also mentioned that photography has the potential to capture the amount of time and conscious effort we put into it. “It has nothing at all to do with analogue vs. digital methods. It depends on what you want to take pictures of, and what you aim to do. But if you enjoy photography, I may have a hint for how to think of it and spend your time doing it,” he added.

In most of his works, he often makes his children as his subjects. According to him, children always act more than he expected and this sort of behavior has become inspiration of his photography.

“Though I direct some of my photographs, in most cases I take pictures of my children just as they are. What I want to show is their (living form). When I take photos of my children, the important thing is to maintain an objective perspective. Not too close, but also not too far away, as if I am watching them from behind. Something close to mere observation, I think. Obeying this rule gives the photos a universal quality. I believe that this universality is necessary to communicate their living forms to someone else.”

“Although photographers usually tend to want to snap pictures at certain specific moments, children don’t smile or cry all the time. Rather, they don’t have any special facial expression much of the time. I want to use photography to keep their living forms in that day-to-day world.”

“This way, the highly expressive faces that they occasionally make will look more life-like, and will produce photographs that we will never get tired of looking at.”


Tulisan ini merupakan bagian dari publikasi fur pada 3 Oktober 2012

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