Stay Sharp

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2007 4649 ne... (i.e. This Year Was OK!)

Here we go again...

Thanx to you all for having me around in 2007. This is a final end of the year speech, I'll see some of you next year again!
I'll be out on the road for a month (between Dec 17 - Jan 17) so no point of coming over and banging on my door if you know where I live (most people don't know where my hidden bunker lurks). I will come home with a whole set of new materials to work with (Elephants...!!) as well as in a reloaded high spirit. Next years motto is HOLD FAST and with these words I bid you farewell till we meet again somewhere down the trail.

Reach me on :

---No Sleep Till Hammersmith---

Tokyo Bike Film Festival

The Tokyo BFF is here in a couple of days. I gonna be there shooting, interviewing, snooping around and watching movies the whole weekend. Have set up a time to hook up with B.I.K.E. movie producer Fredric King as well, something I am looking forward to since we, the RxKxBx were the first to host and screen his movie here in Japan last October.

(m.w.c.p) In The Studio... And Za Ramp...

Some recent stuff I did for 2 local street culture magazines. I like to use my mono lights when shooting indoors on jobs like this, but the key I have come to understand is to use it in a style where it is clear that it is being used but doesn't take overhand. The back ground must as well be taken into consideration, this is something you learn when you are shooting on the streets or where ever you are shooting for that sake, what ever style you are doing. Look at Steve McCurrys photos and you will see what I mean. He is for me the ultimate master of how to use whats available and use it scarcely so the context of the image falls on the portraits eyes but fgoes in a tone harmony with the back ground. Well, Mr. McCurry does what he does and I do what I do and there is maybe a world apart, but I take inspiration from photographrs like him to get a better result of my own work. Elliot Erwitt and Arnold Newman are 2 other great masters I study, and of course Salgado and Annie Leibovitz.

I personally like the "One-Side-shadow" angle of a model, it gives the image and model an overall contrast easy to lay your eyes on as well as it gives it an easy amateurish style "feel" to the image, something which I like.
In this case with the guitar gal we wanted a bitchy underground style, not touching the fancy or cute, more the tacky or cheap. Could have been worse I beleive, which could have been better... next I wanna make it more "cheapish".

The skateboarder shot shows almost no part of the board in the image, a thing never heard of in Skateboarding magazines where the location of the feets and so on is of utter importance...bullshit! This image should make the reader to stop up flicking through the mag and actually read the article and look and more important, SEE the image. Well, this shot was not taken for a skateboard magazine and I wanted to give the viewer of this 2 page spread a sense of "speed" rather than being a skateboard shot. The person in the picture isn't a professional skater and the interview that follows isn't about being one either, but it is nevertheless an important part of his life and shapes who he is. He got written on his board "The Moment Of Truth" as well, which says alot and can give the photographer a stronger sense of who he is dealing with, how far he can strechit and how the shots can be done to suit both the magazine editors and designers needs as well as giving the subject a fair deal.

Monday, December 10, 2007


All photos by You-Die

SPEEED NIGHT this time took off again this month with a smaller (think I counted 18 riders at one point, some dropped out later on though...) but more determined pack of cyclists on Saturday night. Home base The Ghetto was as always a perfect starting point and this ride took us to Asakusa i.e. the famous temples, the down town red light district as well as homeless old men's sleeping quarters (Shopping mall street...). Responsible of the photography was You-Die, and he snapped some really cool images during the night. Next SPEEED NIGHT will hit the streets Saturday, January 26/2008 @ 9pm. Same time, same place, same standard!

Next SPEEED NIGHT ---The "Tokyo Ronin's Nite"

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Anti Knock V.S Survive

Metal trashers SURVIVE played legendary shinjuku "Live-House" AntiKnock the other day. Nice gig with a superb & furious fast Metallica cover, Whiplash as a grand finale.

Check SURVIVE out HERE !!

Never give up!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pics We Like...

Knuckles by Horicho @ Mindscape Tattoo

---SPEEED NIGHT--- "The Midnight Bombers Ride"

SPEEED NIGHT LIVES, be there, time to let go of your YouTube rides and findout what the real deal is all about.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The art of war...

The Japanese keep their traditions alive in some parts of the society and let it fall out completely in some. The japanese Irezumi is one of the stronger ones that still is around and thriving more than the average Japanese could ever believe. I was invited to attend an annual "New Years" gathering of one of Tokyos top tattooist (guess I can't mention his name though) and his clients. A showdown of fundoshis and tattooed skin.

Constantinople and beyond...

I was shooting negative 35mm on this trip to Turkey 6-7 years ago. Travelled mainly by buss for 7 weeks through this one of my top 5 most interesting countries that I have ever been to. Turkey for a travelling photographer is just great, the culture and its history is there and has been for along time, people are helpful and the food is great. Its cheap and easy to travel anywhere. I went from Istanbul to Mt Ararat near the Iranian border the Northern route up to the Black sea and then back to Istanbul via the central (Cappadokia) and Southern parts, taking in the exotic atmosphere of the Mediterranean sea along the way. During my 7 weeks in Turkey I went to all the major cities as well as some of the most remote areas off the beaten track, from the modern oldschool city of Istanbul and Ankara to the remote areas of the wild eastern "Kurdistan". Some sample shots scanned from small prints above.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mongoose Hardtail

Decided to let go of one of my bikes. A sad decision but never the less a decision based on not being able to ride more than one bike at a time. In Japan we have a word that would decribe it all, "motainai", would be translated something like "-a waste of sth...".

Got it in 2005 and will take of 45% of the price I got it for, a more than decent deal for any bike aficionados out there looking for the real deal in a hardcore/hardtail street/jump/downhill bike.

Hate to sell it, only to the serious buyer.

RxKxBx present SPEEED NIGHT Saturday 17 @ 21:00

Be at the Ghetto at 9pm or earlier, wear whatever you like, just bring as much light on your bike as you can. plenty of drunk truckdrivers and half-blind taxi dudes out there on a Saturday night . This first monthly SPEEED NIGHT run goes from THE GHETTO to Tokyo Tower and back via Emperors Palace (nice rest area, chance to show us your bag of tricks!).

For ¥500 you will have a chance to win the sublime underground documentary film B.I.K.E. as well as many other cycling related gods.

See ya

Sunday, November 11, 2007

SHAKE magazine....Tokyos underground fashion mag!

The Guitar Girl...
Pulling Teeth...
The Road x Kill x Bikers x...

Check out the new SHAKE MAGAZINE. In the stores in December. This time m.w.c.p did some photo sessions and for the upcoming Tokyo underground magazine as well as a couple of articles.

After having been shooting the band PULLING TEETH for many years now it was an honor to be able to pay back some in form of a spread in the magazine. A couple of shots and an interview with band leader Suzuki.

All respect to you guys in P-T, yoroshiku!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mario is a Turk...

I am working on an article for a Japanese publication about Turkey and I found this image taken at the famous but hard to reach hot spa in the middle of nowhere on the Turkish tundra, in the heart of Turkey near a village I have forgotten the name of. These "doctor fish" are suppose to be the remedy if you have some cureless skin disease etc. Imagen the screen of an antenna less telly...a nervous mess of balck and white dots going on and on, that vision is close how it feels like when hundreds of these small suckers (literally!) dine on your skinflakes. The panick attack is close!

But Mario here and his bro seem to enjoy it, the guy behind looks like he got a couple where you are not suppose to.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Aces High

Went up to Fukushima last Sunday on a job. These flying horsemen turned out to be pretty photogenic. With a lens range between 16mm - 70mm , mainly the hight and space got more of the images than the often used closeup shot with a long tele lens would give you. The motorcycle scene has as anywhere else its "own" photographers. Many times doing the same framing and composition over and over again, shaping somekind of unwritten rules. By breaking these "trends" and produce a new set of angles is just healthy for the "industry" if you ask me. For example, put a famous motocross photographer on a fashion shoot for a glossy mag and you will have something you have never seen before, this goes both ways of course. By keeping close to the subject (like Capa once said!) proves to be the ticket most times. I seldome work with a telelens except for portrait/fashion jobs. 4649