Robots and Shooting Film

So… I think I completely jinxed myself the other day when I wrote about how E is finally waking up at 5:00 am. Because today she woke up at 3:58. And yesterday, 4:02. And the day before that–well, you get the idea. Amazingly though, I’d been pretty healthy despite my lack of sleep until E graciously coughed in my face and gave me her cold sometime last week. It was a glorious gift that had me shaking with a high fever and sounding like a duck that spent the entire night singing karaoke at a smoke-filled bar. Meanwhile, E was like a walking, talking, leaky faucet that somehow managed to be her funny little self throughout her relationship with our shared cold.

Yes, it was a beautiful week at our house.

But we’re back. And just in time because K is here in Japan this weekend and E has a couple of Halloween parties to attend. Halloween parties in a country that generally does not do the whole trick-or-treating thing. Weird, but that’s Japan.

And speaking of Japan and all that is Japanese, I thought I’d share a few shots that I took at Odaiba the other day. I think it was the day after the typhoon, and we were blessed with gorgeous blue skies and summer temperatures. I ventured out with my 70-year-old Leica rangefinder packed with some good old black and white film. I thought having only my film camera would force me to practice more with it, but upon arriving at Odaiba, I immediately regretted not bringing my DSLR. I mean, it was an amazingly beautiful day. What. Was. I. Thinking.

So what in the world are these color photos of this huge robot, you ask? Well, they were taken on my iPhone. Because, well, I figured he would look better in color. I’m not a huge fan of Gundam or any other kind of robot for that matter, but this guy was pretty impressive. I’ve lived in Tokyo for a while now but it was actually the first time that I saw this. I’ve been to the building you see behind him many times, but I never bothered to go outside to check him out. Or rather, I was kind of unaware that this gigantic robot was standing out in the back, waiting for his picture to be taken.

Gundam, Odaiba
Gundam, Odaiba


Oh yes, and here we have the obligatory feet selfie with the aforementioned camera. And just to show you that I did manage to get a few shots with it, here are a couple of shots from my old Leica.

Gundam, Odaiba
Odaiba, Tokyo

I still have so much to learn about photography, it’s pretty daunting. But the nerd in me (which happens to be all of me), is giddy with excitement. I can’t wait to practice more and get better at shooting in both digital and film. (I should really probably stick with one of them and master that first, but they’re both so interesting. I can’t help myself.)

Anyway, hope you have a great weekend, wherever you may be.




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  1. 風邪大変だったね。

  2. This robot is gigantic! And I love that last black and white photo. This post is funny, too . . . let’s just be glad your fever wasn’t Ebola!!! Now, you and my Dad would get along famously, he’s had Leicas forever and loves them, and out of the blue he started developing his own black and white film when we were younger, with all his chemicals and timers in the garage. He still drives us berserk when shooting photos . . . takes so long . . . .and when I blind tested him photos taken by old, new, super expensive, digital, film . . . he failed miserably . . . at least he failed when his answers were held up against his expectations regarding the supremacy of film. Anyhow, a nice camera store gentleman explained to me that it’s about the hobby and the process usually, not necessarily the quality you get. So now I’m nicer to him!!!

    • Oh gosh, yes I’m glad it’s not Ebola… My sisters live in NY so the scare is pretty real to me. I’m just hoping that the situation doesn’t get any worse than it is at the moment!!

      And your father sounds like such wonderful company :) I’m interested in developing my own film someday too, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. And you know, I’m pretty sure I already drive my family mad because A) I always carry around at least one camera, sometimes two, B) I take too many photos during every outing and C) it takes me forever to shoot using my film camera. So… yeah, I think there’s a lot of eye rolling behind my back ;)

      • True but you might convert some of those folks rolling their eyes; my mom called me all giddy the other night to tell me she made a certain recipe from my blog then photographed it before they ate it! Meanwhile my 17 year old son won’t cease mocking me . . . .

  3. Those are some awesome iPhone photos!! Isn’t modern technology the greatest!? :-) I love the black and white ones too though! Glad everyone is feeling better over there and ready to take on Halloween in Japan. :-)

    • Yes, modern technology is the greatest! I don’t know what I’d do without my iPhone. The camera, Facetime… they keep me connected to my family in ways that wouldn’t have been possible ten years ago!

  4. A lot can be said about film. It has such an great feel about it. So much so that people make photoshop actions just to mimick film. I know I have a set of actions that make my pictures have the feel of film. Film is really hard to replace. I’d love to shoot with a film camera just for the fun of it. But I kind of invested a lot into this full frame of mine.

    T saw the Gandam on here and wouldn’t stop talking about the “Giant Robot!” All day. Haha I wish I could have gone to Odaiba. Maybe when we move to Hawaii! Geez it is coming up soon! We leave in Dec!

    • I really, really love the look of film. There’s something so soft and natural about it. I’m so grateful that my grandfather gave me his Leica because it would never have occurred to me to try film photography if he hadn’t. I enjoy digital too, of course, but if I ever improve enough, I can totally see myself shooting more film than digital.

      And yes, you should definitely take T to see the robot the next time you’re in Tokyo! There isn’t much else around, but it’s not every day that you get to see a life-sized Gundam!

  5. So sorry about the lack of sleep – that would be very frustrating. Does Japan practice daylight savings time? Maybe a time shift would shock E back into a more regular wake-up time.

    Initially, I would have thought trying to learn two different mediums of photography at the same time would be too taxing, but maybe it will actually make you better at both. Like, maybe the things you’re learning to work with film will help you grasp the same concepts in digital even quicker. Does that make sense? I guess I’m trying to say, you’re a fast learner, Miwa – you can do it! :)

    • Unfortunately, Japan doesn’t have daylight savings time… I agree–the time shift may be good for her!

      And yes, I think practicing film is definitely helping with my digital photography skills too. It helps me understand exposure better and I’m thinking more about composition and lighting than before. Plus, it’s made me realize how helpful it is to be able to SEE how your photos are exposed as you take them. (And then there’s the whole luxury of being able to retake photos without worrying about wasting film!)


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