Stay Sharp

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On The Road Again...

Thanx to you all, both friends & foe for a fruitful and interresting 2006. m.w.c.p will be back with more stuff for you in a near future.

For 2007 I say: STAND STRONG (stand alone).

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Osaka Beauties...

Al-Haut tattoo studio in Osaka is not what you would call an ordinary tattoo studio. Fine lines and cool shadings by ink mistess Ryoki (, all in the name of talismanic mystique. This is a story that will be in an European magazine in a near future, beware!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

MoonEyes 2006

The by far most important custom bike/car show took place down in Yokohama last Sunday (3/12) and I covered the event for the German custom bike magazine DREAM MACHINE and also for Japans leading tattoo mag TATTOO BURST. Nice, high level of custom choppers and hot-rods, plenty of cute gals with bandana wrapped "b-boy" boyfriends. I love Japan with all this cool cultures being messed up with and refined into something new and original in itself. No rules!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Made In Korea...

Had me a ten minute try at the brand new MOMA photo studio in Seoul (thanks for letting me use the studio!) and local artist Yushi modeled. Studio photograpy not really being my cup of tea so to say, so it was a good reminder of how limited and regulated you are (get) while in a studio. Sure, nice and warm and close to the coffee maker, but the "reality" isn't present and the natural instincts you have been working on and polished for so long during the years has to give way to the cold facts of the strobelight. Can see how you get "addicted" to it though. Yushi has strong ties with Japan so the red chair with the white background gives it a "rising sun" flag kinda feel to it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

m.w.c.p Japan's New Features

The story on Kerry King from SLAYER and Scott Ian from ANTHRAX turned out really cool. Check it all out in the steaming hot new issue of TATTOO BURST

Some other featuring stuff from m.w.c.p.japan in up-coming issues of Japans leading tattoo mag in a near future as well.

Leslie Reesen from Mad Science Tattooing in Amterdam, Holland.

Lucky Bastard from Fine Tattoo Work, California U.S.A

On The Road Again...

I been to over 50 countries so far, but South Korea wasn't on that list so ofcourse I jump on the chance to go there with my friend and business associate C.B.D from Japan. We head out to find out more about this almost non existing tattoo scene and found it to be something extremely new and rare. Coming from a blue collar background my self, as the original tattoo scene most of us know does as well. This proved to be rather unknowned in S.K. Some of the more adventurous rich and famous kids were trying to play hardball and get tattooed, all in the spirit of MTV and an uprising pop trend. Ofcourse the whole idea of where it all comes from and what it stands for wasn't even considered. Give it a couple of years and we might have more than one good tattooist from this traditional and proud "lost" peninsula. Our "man" in Korea was Yushi from the well known Japanese Shiryu tattoo family and what he is doing in S.K has never been done before and he is THE pioneer in his field. Rise above bro!!

You will find this article about how the tattoo scene in S.Korea is evolving in an International publication near you early next year, enjoy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pics We Like...

I think this image really captures the whole idea about the skateboarding that I know about and want to continue to learn more from, get new better ideas from and explore deeper untill I can't do so anymore.

Mike Vallely is for me in skateboarding what Henry Rollins is for Music (and brains) and Glen E. Friedman is in photography. That is, True to the cause!

--Say What You Mean, Do What You Say--

Photo from HECKLER SKATE web page

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Trike From Hell

Shot on a late night in Bangkok, this image is how it feels to ride in one of those Tuk-tuks in rush hour with a suicidal driver on the edge of another nervous breakdown... I love it!!

Fish Eye Fuck Up

For years I have tried to avoid extreme gear, like to keep it simple and use what I have to prove (to myself) that it can be done. I do not want to fall in that consumer trap the worlds eager manufacturers so ofter set for the minions. But this time I considered the pros and cons of working with a fullframe 15mm "fisheye" lens and I belive I can do a better job in some situations with an extreme angle view. The barrel effect have its ups and downs but I bet there are images you have seen where a true straight line is bending unnaturally at the ends but that you didn't even think in those terms because the image in itself showed you enough power to make this distraction a secondary thought.

So after chansing prices in my favourite hunting grounds here in Tokyo and on the net I found a seller a bit cheaper than the others and left the store with a light wallet but with new imaginary angles on my mind. I Could already see how this lens would come to it righteous self at the next metal concert or sk8 ramp, on future travels shooting whatever it might be. Even amongst the palmtrees on "my" island in Thailand, my next destination over Christmas and NewYear. Coming home, unpacking the thing and the always unexpected Murphy's Law tapped me on the shoulder as to remind me that life's a bitch. The first thing I do is to drop the fucking thing and fuck it up fucking real good...fuck!!! Well, there is a first thing for everything, my always steady hand failed me by being over careful and I just have to take the consequences and pay the repair of ¥18.000 ($150) and kick my self hard in the ass for being a fool.

The Falling Man

Richard Drew snapped away with a 70-200mm lens as people were falling from the burning top of the WTC 9/11. For some this photo of a falling man is provocative and scratches the by now old wounds of the aftermath of the deed. For some it symbolizes our true human spirits and upstir emotions we rarely pull out from the deep. We can say and feel whatever we want, and it's all to this one single photograph that we open up our eyes and are shaken awake to emotional actions. For me this is what true photography is all about, to tell a story in a singe frame with enough "life" in it even if it in most cases is the end of what for most of us is the most precious in life, that is just that, to live, to survive at all cost!

Photo by Robert Diosneau (top) and Eddie Adams (bottom)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Maestro Ryushi, Tattooist & Painter

My friend Ryushi was doing this body paint project the otherday so I went over to his place to take a look and shoot some for my own future proejct. Ryushi is an old school artist and it's always a pleasure to be around the man.

Tokyo Metal: Pulling Teeth

Went to another Pulling Teeth gig the other night, this time in the well lit LIQUID ROOM in Ebisu here in Tokyo. Got a few decent images of the band.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Linchpin Literatura V

Glen E. Friedman gives us FUCK YOU HEROES PHOTOGRAPHS 1976 - 1991 and THE IDEALIST, both from Burning Flag Press. Good chance to see in THE IDELIST how a skate board and band photographer sees the world he lives in outside the skatepark or concerthall. Great documentary/travel photography. The FUCK YOU HEROS contains some of this worlds most famous music photography, you are gonna recognize some images for sure, cool stuff of Rollins and Black Flag!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Slaytanic Wehrmacht

Japans metal fest No1 kicked off last weekend and some of the worlds leading metal band showed up and gave us all a hell ride of a lifetime. Bands like BLOOD SIMPLE, LAMB OF GOD, MASTODON, SLAYER, UNEARTH, HAREBREED, DIO, LOYAL TO THE GRAVE, THE BLACK DHALIA MURDER, SURVIVE, CATHEDRAL, ANTHRAX, NORA, UNITED AND NAPALM DEATH really came to their right elements at the event. Did two cool photo sessions, shooting the tattoos of Scott Ian from ANTHRAX and Kerry King from SLAYER, really cool guys with great ink. Both had nice black & grey work done by Mr. Paul Booth from Last Rites Tattoo studio.
I have seen quite alot of metal concerts in my life but nothing beats a SLAYER concert when it comes to raw power, fucking awesome!
NAPALM DEATH and BLACK DAHLIA MURDER was not far behind.

So once again, look out for next issue of TATTOO BURST, rock on people....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Intensified Awareness

Henry Rollins ( memories as the lead singer in BlackFlag when the mosh meant more than just running round in a circle. His tales of dividing his life between being on tour with the band and writing in his "shed/home" is a true eye opener. This guy has been an inspitartion for me for many years (what else, a guy reading Henry Miller and listens to ZZTOP) and his GET IN THE VAN - ON THE ROAD WITH BLACK FLAG is a really cool book. Published from Rollins own publishing company 2.13.61 ( Make sure to check out this books from Rollins 2.13.61 as well: SMILE, YOU'RE TRAVELING, BLACK COFFEE BLUES and DO I COME HERE OFTEN?

Quote : ..."When someone betrays me, I almost want to thank them. Why? It's an educational experience. You can push yourself forward immeasurable distances in understanding. In the last week I have learned a lot about myself and the people I work with. One must find the difference between paranoia and what I call "intensified awereness". I think I am finding out the difference."

Great photogarphy as well, some by Glen E. Friedman

7.1MP v.s 6x7MF

I have an old YASHIKA Mat-124G, a top viewing twinlens medium format box camera that is in mint condition. Bought it for just$150 from an old tired studio photographer going into retirement and I have been shooting with it on a few occations. Just that I found out that, even if it is a really cool looking piece of equipment and it can teach you one or two things of "real" (I said that!) photography, it will just not fit my shooting style. I need something faster, more practical and easier to move around with. Usually I don't have the time to set things up on a tripod and then figure out what is up and what is down. So by chance I got this almost new digital Canon thing from a friend who tought it was broken. I took it to the Canon Service here in Tokyo and after 40 minutes the guys there had fixed the problem (for free!) and I was on my way.

Handy little thing and takes decent images. But here we go again, it just doesn't fit my shooting style. Too small to hold and I just hate to have to look at a LCD screen at an arms length to shoot stuff. These small digital wonders have opened up a new world of easy acces to photography for some, but also closed down the craft of photography and workstyle for some, well, that would be me then. There are certain things in life I think looks really stupid, one of them is a person shooting with a compact digital camera, staring on that screen like the world around him doesn't exists (another would be a person smoking a cigarette or playing with his/her mobile phone....hilarious, to be addicted to an electronic gadget or/and a plant!!!). I am going to continue to use my little compact camera, on jobs where I can not bring my SLR gear (guess that if I ever go to North Korea or... a titty bar that it would be useful, will probably never happen though..) since it works on some stuff in some situations.

So what is the solution for this luxurious predicament? Of course, the 35mm is still the king when on the road, never had any problems with it exept weight and street value (bag slashers wet dream that nice gear you have around your neck). But what's on my mind is a medium format rangefinder. Either a 6x4,5 or a 6x7. The Fuji GA 645 or the Fuji GW 670 II might be the way to go for me. Back to film, back to the future. I borrowed a GA 645 from a friend on a recent trip to the States and shot landscape and road travel with it and even if it is near to fully automatic the images turned out just great. Kind of fun to shoot with and compact enough to carry around where ever you might go (North Korea, titty bar...same shit to me). So maybe later today it's trading day here in Tokyo for m.w.c.p. Bye bye YASHIKA, hello FUJI.

People, give me a comment on this topic, am I the only one having to wrestle with my own work style from time to time?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

World Traveler

Check out this cool link good people, ever wanted to se how a place looks like before going there...from the air? Get a feel of how the destination is laid out before actually setting your foot there.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Station View

This gal was waiting for a friend at Shinjuku station when I passed by. I just happend to have my camera ready and snapped 2 shots of her before she looked up to greet her friend and then took off. There are a lot of cool images and designs all around Tokyo but it seems like people seldom take a second, stop up to check it out, busy busy busy, life's too short to bother with trivialities like that...make money or diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie...

On The Road Again...

Bangkok being my second home after Tokyo is a great city to stroll around aimlessly with a camera over your shoulder. It's safe and the happy locals will leave you alone to shoot in your own tempo. I have over the years found my self at ease here in the "City Of Angels" of S.E Asia and returns back every year.