December 29, 2006

Back to Old School...

I use that term so often, "old school". To me, it is the phrase people of my generation are using the way the "olden days" were used in the generation before mine. Well, maybe a bit further back than just a generation... As time moves forward and things change for what is thought an improvement, it often seems to me that things get more complicated. The perceived notion that things are better are only short lived, especially when you make a comparison to the way it used to be done.

So... I'm not going back to the darkroom, or going film, or listening to vinyl or 8 track, nope. My wedding website, Erio Mishima Photographié was converted to a Flash site about a year ago. I thought I needed to make it "flashy" (get the pun?). But in order to do so, I had to purchase a template, because I don't have the knowledge to make one myself. I'm also too poor to have one designed specifically for me (it ain't cheap!).

HTML, the mother of the internet is coming back home. I opted to go this route because I can design and execute this site all by myself. I will be able to make changes or additions a little easier, hopefully I'll climb up the search engine ladder, and mostly be unique again. I know of at least 5 other photographers using the same template as I am. The only real difference is the background colours and music (and I hate music on websites!). My portrait website has been html and more than likely won't ever go Flash. Mishima Photography.

The initial design I worked on yesterday night, or should I say earlier this morning. Seems whenever I worked in the darkroom or work on a website, I start around 10PM and go til 2 or 3 in the morning. I'm hoping to have most of the design done by early next week, then start building at the dawn of 2007. A good way to start the year!

December 25, 2006


Music | Part 3 & 4 Pursuance & Psalm by John Coltrane

I've been told by several people that the last avatar on my sites, I looked like a convict. The picture could be from a mugshot. Since cutting my hair off, I've been looking at myself often because of the severe change. Then seeing myself in a photograph taken in a formal setting my Joni, I realized I don't look anything like I thought I looked like. Maybe that is why I have been posting some images from my past.

To get a more serious look at what I really look like now, I did a series of self portraits. I must have taken close to 50 exposures looking like what I think looks good (haha), what I look like the way my mom would like me to look, intense, rage and goofy. Here is the gamut...


You know your getting old when your Christmas presents include 2 pair of socks and a lumbar support for your car seat...

December 23, 2006

So What - Miles Davis and John Coltrane

Besides the amazing music, check out this video and the little nuances going on in the background in the wide shots. The close ups of Miles and Mr. Coltrane are just simply beautiful...

December 20, 2006

What to do...?

Music | Friend of the Night by Mogwai

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my folks at an odd time. I knew it was bad news. I found out my father has non Hodgkin's lymphomic cancer. He doesn't have a lot of time on his hands and to make things worse, his chemo treatments aren't treating him well. Not by far the worst thing to happen is that he lost his hair. Because of distance issues, I felt a little helpless as to what I could do for support. I thought I'd give him a laugh by shaving my own head. A friend photographer and I went out in the rain today to the river front to shoot. Here is one from the session...

December 19, 2006

Christmas Songs...

in no particular order...

December 14, 2006

is this what we've come to expect?

Campaign for Real Beauty

I think the retouched version of that woman is attractive. I also think the version of that woman just before she was retouched is attractive as well. But, reality has a lot of precedence here and if what we are bombarded with is not real, where do we draw the line?

There is software out there for photographers to use that make amazing alterations to people and how they look in a photograph. It is literally a push of a button and the software does the rest. It gets rid of wrinkles, blemishes, and goes beyond what the person could ever actually physically do to themselves. There isn't the control displayed in the above video, yet. But with all this ability to "retouch," is this something we all are going to expect?

December 12, 2006


Time again to go down memory lane and see the past just keep moving on... I just sold an enlarging lens on ebay for $25. Brand new, this item is listed for $389 at B&H Photo. I am still amazed at the fall of film equipment, just a mere 6 years from when I went all digital. I don't know why I kept and still have some of the film equipment I have, but I'm taking a big hit for selling this stuff at this time. cie la vie...

December 06, 2006


So, Randy put out a challenge to see how much "junk" we have on the sensors of our digital cameras on a forum I frequent. I didn't want to initially do it because I didn't want to see, the bad news. I've had cameras that were pretty bad, but since my style of shooting is such that the muck doesn't show up much, I never took it seriously.

The general procedure of checking your sensor is to shoot the sky on a clear day at a small aperture. This magnifies or puts more into focus the debris that might be on your sensor. You'll see exactly what is on there and how much.

Here are my 2 primary cameras...


Even number 2 isn't that bad, but now I'm thinking I need to invest in a sensor cleaning device. Thanks a lot... RANDY!

December 01, 2006

The Defining Photo...

Music | In the Waiting Line by Zero 7

There are photos of people in my life that to me, define who they are. There is a photo of my Mom, taken back in the 1950's that comes to mind. I haven't seen that photo in many years, but it is in my head. She is wearing a dress, her long black hair is held up by a head band with her arms outstretched, side to side. It is as if she is leaning up against a wall of bushes. She has an exuberance on her face, somewhat of a jokester, and a little embarrassed because she is having her photo taken. There is a lot of life in that photo.

Another photo is one of my Dad. He is sitting back on the couch, slacks, white tee shirt and his black, heavy glasses relaxing with Bob, my cousins husband. I remember he used to put Vitalis in his hair. He wasn't the type to be stylishly in fashion, but then maybe he was... His hair was always combed, shiny and very black.

I don't know why these photos are the ones that most stick out in my head. They are just the ones that are there.

I came upon a photo of myself, going thru my archives recently of personal and professional stuff. It was the late 80's or early 90's when I was a bad ass. I had just started to discover style and form and function. These were some defining years for me. A buddy of mine at the time wanted to photograph me. Like most things that have much meaning, I didn't think much of it. I just threw on what I would have worn if I went out riding. Pure essence. I really thought this photo was great when I 1st saw it. But as I look at it now, I see transition. I became liberated and I became independent. It isn't the fact that I'm Mr. Baddass on a very cool vintage motorcycle, it is me having made certain choices that began to define who I am. In my eyes, this is my defining photo...

November 29, 2006

What I Miss...

Music | Must be Dreaming by Frou Frou

I'm sitting at a newer café I'm starting to frequent and am enjoying the new digs. A change is always a good thing, keep moving, keep experiencing something new. I'm not sure if this is a Portland thing, but I just noticed women here don't often wear a scent. It came to me suddenly when a petite, attractive woman who just took a seat nearby and is wearing a very familiar scent. They say aroma is the strongest sense which often brings back memory the clearest. The moment she sat, the waft of the familiar hit me strongly. For some reason though, I'm only reminded that I just know this scent, but cannot place it. I feel good though, so I know it comes from a good place.

It is just heavier than the air that it shares in this space. Only when someone comes thru the door and when she moves my way can I get another whiff. It is Cathy who wore this same scent! Now I remember. She worked in the same studio that I worked in, way back, a long time ago. She wore this scent the same way, light and airy, almost subconscious.



And randomly the times of modernity does work. This was thoughtfully sent by a woman I've never personally met, but have known now for a few years...

A wonderful Message by George Carlin (Whose wife died recently):

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years
to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but
have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered
outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small
character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of
two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These
are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.../

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to at least 8 people....Who cares?

George Carlin

I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.
~Bob Dylan

November 27, 2006

Portraits of power | FORTUNE

Music | Medley: Stardust, I Can't Get Started, Lover Man by Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet

Portraits of power | FORTUNE

Albert Watson... I don't need to say anything else.

November 26, 2006

More Movie Stills...

Music | Beauty is a Rare Thing by Ornette Coleman

Last Life on the Universe 2003 Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
The Project 2006 Ted Mishima
Monsoon Wedding 2001 Mira Nair

November 21, 2006

Beauty in the Breakdown

Music | Lots of Frou Frou

After seeing Garden State for the first time a few days ago, I have to say the soundtrack to that movie is just great! I all ready had In the Waiting Line by Zero 7 and Lebanese Blond by Thievery Corporation. There are others songs on that album that are impressive as well, but what really got me going was Frou Frou's song. I had that song stuck in my head for days and I finally went searching for it. But no where could I find anything about Beauty in the Breakdown. With the exception of some band from Everett, WA., nothing... Towards the end of the day and maybe my fifth try, turns out I got the title wrong... Idiot? ...yes. So the title of the song is Let Go. The album, Details, is 4 years old. There is so much great music out there! Anyway, as I finish this last sentence, I'm playing Let Go for like the 10th time since I got it a earlier this afternoon...

November 17, 2006

So Long...

Music | I Miss You by Julia Messenger

My access to the Studio is soon coming to an end... I'm disappointed that I did not take advantage of it more than I did.

November 14, 2006

Investors Zoom in on Photography...

(Fortune Magazine) -- If you had wandered into the New York location of Christie's auction house in 1996, you could have purchased a print of Helmut Newton's "Two Pairs of Legs in Black Stockings, Paris" for about $2,300.

Then you could have spent the next decade eating, sleeping or lounging beneath the image of two models wearing only black lingerie and black spiky heels.

Had you decided to sell that 1979 photograph at Christie's for $38,400 (as its owner did last month), you would have enjoyed better price appreciation than a comparable investment in an S&P 500 index fund, General Electric stock, or ten-year Treasury bonds. And Newton isn't the only photographer whose prices are on the rise.

... more

November 12, 2006

The act of cultivating...

Music | Time is a Healer by Eva Cassidy

A few important things happened to me today... along with the exercise below, I went awry of my usual solutions to lighting and took the advice of Sean Kernan. I've kept things pretty simple for a long time. As described earlier, and in musical terms, I decided to expand on my "one note lighting" to something with more layers and sophistication. I didn't let my frustration stop me from pushing my "experiment" to only fall back on old faithful. I felt confident that I could follow up with something different for me. EA was my subject for "100" and also sat for me for a portrait. I had a great time working things out. I've accumulated enough tools for quite a bit of unusual lighting, but I kept the simplicity aspect in check. All these years shooting, I'm again realizing some things need and take time. Lessons are being learned, again...

100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, or...

Music | Carrion by Fiona Apple

100 exposures with a normal lense, set wide open with the focus racked to minimum distance. Photograph one subject and no matter what, you can't change the focus. This was the learning assignment I took on and I know there is wisdom in these photos. The idea is to give up all of your technique, "your usual solutions", to form new ones. I wish I could record my brain as I was shooting these 100 exposures. These are just a few images edited out...

and horizontals...

November 09, 2006

S L O W D O W N ! ! !

Down Shift to 1st

...more Schoolhouse Supplies

Music | Les Nuit by Nightmares on Wax

I'm conscious of the fact that clients that hire many photographers often get the same results, which leads to monotony. The first time I was asked to shoot an event for Schoolhouse Supplies I was very aware of that fact and decided to deliver everything in Black and White.

The beauty of shooting with SHS is that there often is no agenda, other than documenting what is going on during the event. This time I decided to work with lots of contrast and deliver the images as squares, a form which has been lost since photography has gone digital.

What makes these types of shoots so enjoyable for me is getting something out of context. AA, one of the employees is actually discussing some facts about SHS with some of the guests. This shot however looks like it could have come out of a movie.

November 08, 2006

Random 10

1. Bondade e Maldade (Yoruba Soul Mix by Osunlade Album Version) by Cesaria Evora
2. If I Were A Bell by Mark Murphy
3. Monaco by Kenny Dorham
4. Boplicity by Miles Davis
5. A Y by Albert Ayler
6. The Freedom Suite - Movement 1 by David S. Ware
7. Christmas Song by Dave Matthews
8. Love for Sale by Cannonball Adderley
9. A Night Like This by The Cure
10. It Don't Have to Change by John Legend

November 07, 2006


Music | Walking on Fire by Evolution/Jayn Hanna

It been a long time since I've had any collaborations with anyone. It has been either a very lonely or independent last few years.

I made a huge step the other day in starting a brochure for my business. It is one of probably a thousand things I need to do to make a move to the next level. Collaboration is not the right word for this post, as my counterpart gets absolutely nothing out of the deal... I'm writing copy to describe what I do, what I offer and why you should hire me. My good friend Tim M. gracefully put sentences together for me to more eloquently get my message across. He knows me, and has an idea of what I want to communicate.

I bitch and moan about photographer wanna bees taking photos and bringing down the level of photography and yet, I try to write my own words, where clearly, I am no writer. My bad...

November 04, 2006


I came across some stills from one of my favorite films...

November 02, 2006


Music | A whole lotta John Coltrane

I'm up early this morning... I had a rare and brief burst of brilliance (at least in my head) and came up with some copy for a brochure I'm putting together for myself. I'm using a template design, but at this point, having the ability to work on something for myself is a lot more than I've done in awhile. I will have a very nice brochure to start sending out to prospective clients, something I've never done. Marketing genius... Not.

I've had some great dialog with a few other creatives this week. Joni is a fantastic photographer who is always shooting. I think she is the most prolific shooter I know. She has been playing around with some wireless flash and expanding her repertoire. This leads me to an article I read about comparing music and light. I think I have a decent understanding of light and how it works. Simplicity has always been a mainstay in everything I do. But a quote, that read something like, "Expand your abilities to more than a 1 note lighting scheme..." got me to thinking. John Coltrane, a giant among jazz musicians has had his music described as Sheets of Sound. Listening to his music, you can just see a rain of notes coming out of his sax, and yet there is a cohesive bond where out comes some sophisticated sound. It is the first time where I was able to see music, much in the same way we feel light. So anyway, having the inspiration of Joni and this quote of expanding your abilities in the back of my mind, I pulled out a few flashes and tried to work them wirelessly as well. Simple, but new for me, another approach...

Time for my morning café. Ciao...

Rock Star Angel...

October 30, 2006

October 27, 2006


Music | Razor Sharp by Collide

This year hasn't been a successful year for business growth, but I've been staying busy creatively like I haven't been in quite some time. I ran with the flow, pushed to keep the ball rolling when things slowed down, but in the last few months, I've been feeling somewhat empty on the creative end as well. I've tried a few techniques to get me going again, but I seemed only to be following a path, not intended for me.

The other day, my brutha from anotha mutha, Randy sent me an email recommending this movie for me to check out. I hadn't heard of it before and all he sent was a netflix description. Maybe 5 sentences at most with who the 2 main characters were the only thing enclosed. The story line was intriguing and suddenly, the light bulb lit up. How brilliant would it be to create my own interpreted story line with just still photos from just the description. The brilliant part of this is that it creates multiple photo opportunites for me to complete, forces me to collaborate with others and allows me to create a story within an outline that everyone involved in the shoot will have some understanding of.

I've always loved looking at movie stills. I've spent hours dissecting them and trying to define what makes those stills have that cinematic aura? I've been trying to discover that secret to somehow instill in my own photographs.

This project will enable me to physically start my own exploration into this mystery.
When the idea came up, I immediately posted ads on the internet for people that might be interested in this project. The ad reads as follows -

"I'm going thru a creative journey where I need a woman and man, attractive with some time on their hands and don't mind being photographed, usually separately. There is no sleazy connotations I'm trying to capture, only to recreate thru stills a description of movies I have not seen.

This is an exercise I'm trying to work on to get me behind the camera and think in a new way. I'm hoping this will enable me to come up with a body of work, a project that has a beginning, middle and end.

So, if you have time on your hands, have a sense of style and would like to be photographed, send me photos of yourself. I'd love to have your input as well.

Thanks for reading... "

The responses are not flooding in, but all ready I've had some interesting interested parties. I'm excited at the prospects of this idea and where it will take me. New territory!

October 24, 2006


As we head into autumn, quickly falling daylight, the rainy season, I reach one last time...

October 21, 2006


Music | Mu-Getsu by DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo

The day was fantastic. Not a cloud in the sky, the tempurature hovered in the low 70's, an amazing autumn day...

October 20, 2006

Sonny Rollins

A living Jazz Giant from the 50's Sonny Rollins has enlightend and led the jazz scene from then and now. I encourage you to listen to the audio in this article, both short cuts from an interview and his music from an upcoming album. I personally can't wait!
Sonny Rollins - Music - Report - New York Times

October 14, 2006


Music | Into my Arms by Nick Cave


Music | Ujamma by Archie Shepp

The blue of the oncoming evening was enhanced by the amber lights along the St. John's Bridge. It is still early, but the dark comes much earlier than the last time I wrote about this typical ride I often did in the middle of summer. I hit 3rd and 4th gear flying over the Willamette. The air is brisk, sharp against my cheeks where the wind hits the bare skin. I'm all ready prepping myself for a bone chilling cold, the type where you can only experience with self inflicted wind chill. It is dark, only my head light lighting the ever turning road, climbing up. I'm not at all familiar with this ride. I'm overly cautious, due to slower reflexes from the cold and the limited view. I keep the fear of deer crossing out of my head. There has been a spill of some sort, tracking the middle of the lane. I have no idea what it is, only using all my concentration to not be ontop of it thru a curve. "It isn't oil," I keep telling myself, but the fear keeps creeping in my head. It seems this streak of liquid lasts for miles, but finally, suddenly disappears. Finally a sense of freedeom, I open up the throttle, smooth transitions thru the gears, up shifting, down shifting, braking and throttling. A few miles go by and I don't remember a thing.

I'm enjoying myself, high off the last few miles, but getting colder. I still opt for the longer ride to my destination, my café on NW 23rd. I'm imagining the Americano, inside in the warmth. I can't get back into the groove, the road is being repaved and I can barely see anything. Ironically, the ride is suddenly over as I hit the stop lights where civilization abruptly begins. I'm glad it is over. A mile or so down the business strip, surpriingly not crowded for a Saturday night, but it is still early. I write, I drink my americano and I warm.

October 11, 2006

Blondie Boy...

Music | All Blues by Miles Davis

Asta is getting back to normal. He not only had pneumonia, but had some sort of vicious worm in his system as well. If you knew Asta, you would never know him as being lethargic. For more than 3 weeks, the little energy ball had no inclination to do anything, or eat anything. According to the vet, it wasn't looking good for him to even survive. But with medication, he slowly has come out of the veil. His energy level isn't where it used to be, but he also is 9 years old...

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