December 23, 2009

A Beautiful Print

Music | Polaris by Zero 7

A recent purchase from Ray Bidegain. It is a beautiful Platinum Palladium print rendering light, shadows, textures and transitions that only a print of this quality can relinquish. What I have in front of me is an example of what photography really is... The simple subject standing in front of a wall, directional light flowing in from the right. There is no mysticism here... This is just pure beauty captured by an artist that has honed his skills over years of learning, years of knowing.

December 08, 2009


Music | Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye

Feeling in a rut, stagnant and not very positive lately, I am trying to move around, stir something up... I've read articles, a few books, hit a few galleries in the last few months, but nothing... Years ago, the way I got a push start to shooting was to set up a little studio in a café and photograph some of the folks that came in. A great series came out of that and I was inspired to move, to create, shoot!

Well I'm back in that mode and came upon an idea that I've altered from another photographer. Not on any specific day, I'll walk out with my camera, and photograph people I encounter. So far, these folks are people I know or know of someone who knows them. I hope to expand that to people I do not know, so long we've at least had a glance in each others eyes... Strangers aren't as scary as they used to be, but I still don't want to come across as the creepy guy with the camera wanting to take photos of them...

This is the first of the series, that I hope to continue until I hit 100 faces. Maybe I'll put up a collage...

November 12, 2009

A Vase...

Music | Color For Duke by World Saxaphone Quartet

Suddenly, a photo appeared before me...

November 03, 2009


Music | Tired of Being Alone by Al Green

My brother sent the family an email with a subject title that didn't make me expect what I got...

Upon opening the attachment, I think I was initially shocked, but quickly a calm fell upon me and a smile that came straight out of my heart. I think for the moment I was truly happy for them... Tom and Yuki, together.

I look at those letters, M I S H I M A and I am very proud to have that name, to be associated, to be apart of the family that Tom and Yuki brought up.

I love you always...


October 26, 2009

Printing Again!!!

Music | Nevoa Do Inverno by Leo Trauman

It has been over 5 months since the 4800 has printed anything! I've spent LOTS of money buying 8 110ml Ink Cartridges and a couple boxes of Velvet Fine Art. I had anticipated blowing a lot of ink getting the printer heads cleaned, but amazingly, only 3 run thru of cleanings and now I'm printing again! I've run thru 3 images of tests and 2 out of the 3 look like final images ready to sell. I know I've got some tweaks to make, but I'm feeling really good about what I'm getting on paper. Oh baby!!!

September 26, 2009

Some things are eternal...

Music | Harmonique by John Coltrane

The world as I know it has come to an end regarding my Mother and Father. The early morning wake up call was difficult for both Dara and I. Still somewhat dark, clouds looming overhead, the sadness omnipresent. We had a roughly 3 hour drive up north to the final resting place for Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, respected world citizens from the people who knew them...

Though it has been over a year since the passing of my mother, I still am not over the fact that she is gone. And recently, the passing of my father has opened up more feelings of the unknown, a sadness that does not come along very often...

I've been awaiting this day... The day where I would see the final resting place of my parents. Though my Mom passed a time ago, she wanted to be put to her final resting place at the same time as her husband. Side by side for over 60 years, one lifetime, raising children, grand children, the pillars of the family, a nice poetic ending as we know it was quite appropriate. It was my Mother's wish and it has been done...

Standing there upon the grass, gazing at the flowers my sister left the day before, tears streaming, Dara consoling, I felt a sense of peace... Together once again, thru eternity... A chance meeting way back in the 1940's, my Dad's perseverance, he won over the heart of my Mother. And so a lifetime together begins, but yet now, will never end...

I've found comfort today...

Love you Mom and Dad...

September 08, 2009


Music | As the Stars Fall by The Cinematic Orchestra

It feels good to know that over time, you start to realize some things about yourself, the things that define you as a person, as an artist. I have in my head the type of portraits that I want to create, but often times, things get in the way and you stray... I know of this phenomenon and it's desires are to quash my creative intent and mold me into mediocrity.

In my latest sitting, a portrait of a woman that I've been acquainted with, but don't really know, I had visions of an image that was somewhat historic, but yet timeless. Frankly, I want all of my images to have an ethereal quality that can't be defined by time.

Yesterday, my priority was not to let the phenomenon of mediocrity affect my time with my subject. Though my heart is heavy with the passing of my father, I worked thru that and easily fell into my moment with my camera, my subject. The weather really couldn't have been better, with slight drops of rain on occasion, clouds flowing in and out with even some sun rays - being in the moment of just creating a fine portrait allowed me not to worry and just go with the flow.

I think what I've learned recently is that there is something inside me that can be defined, that I am not just some wannabee with no skills. I have something to say and it is starting to speak. It has certainly taken much longer than I ever anticipated, but the wait has been good.

Anne | Grounded and Discordedness

September 05, 2009

Erio Tom Mishima

Erio Tom Mishima

Rest in Peace...

1922 - 2009

August 25, 2009

Photo Privé Newsletter

Music | The Walk by Imogen Heap

The folks over at Photo Privé have just published their first newsletter...

To download, click on the image

August 15, 2009

1 Year Anniversary

Music | I Want to Talk About You by John Coltrane

I've got a heavy heart today, out of the blue shedding tears... It was on this day a year ago my mother passed. Last year it was a Friday... I found out around 2:30 in the afternoon... I had to pick up Dara from camp and just felt the need to do something with her after I had told her the news... We drove to Forest Park, walked deep into the woods along a path that had a creek. I had told her that all of the water that fell down this creek would eventually make it to the Pacific Ocean where Grandma's home land was... Japan. We took solace knowing this and made a few rock sculptures in the river bed in her honor. We whispered our well wishes on to leaves, placed them in the water and watched them float down stream.

Today, Dara had remembered what we did and wanted to go back. However, she decided we should write notes and leave them with more rock sculptures that we would create, again in the same general place we did last year.

I'm so happy that Dara has fond memories of her Grandmother and the tradition we started one year ago today.

We're thinking of you, Mom. We love you and miss you terribly...

August 11, 2009

Stepping Off...

Creating a work of art is no easy task. Just from an idea, we work and strive to be able to create something of substance.

There are many reasons we can create to not pursue our goals in life, but only when we break thru our own barriers do we see enlightenment, a discovery.

Terrifying as it is, stepping off and facing our fears whatever they might be can sometimes reveal the incredibly beautiful.

July 25, 2009

Comfort Is The Enemy Of Greatness�|�Accidental Creative

Comfort Is The Enemy Of Greatness�|�Accidental Creative

When I stop and think, times of discomfort often brings on the bigger returns in the creative process. I've written on this topic before and I'm glad to have run into Accidental Creative's post to remind me, I'm OK... I am in a state of transition and feel like I'm floating, no ground beneath me to stand upon. I've been quite concerned being in this state, but I'm beginning to feel I should just enjoy the ride. Out of the tunnel, I'm sure I will have some foundation to take a few steps forward to change the direction to something different...

July 24, 2009

Photo Prive

Photo Prive

Music | Big Paul by John Coltrane

Photo Privé

This is the latest incarnation I've come up with where creativity, art and commerce is balanced and where I feel I am not selling out my vision as an artist. That is also the basis of Photo Privé, more so about art and the provocative nature of women, than the 'sexy", "pretty", "gorgeous" adjectives used to portray other photographers that are photographing women in the "boudoir" style.

I don't think Photo Privé and boudoir have anything in common. But to reach the women who want to step up and in many ways, create art for themselves or to the masses, we have to start somewhere. I do in fact think Photo Privé is far beyond where boudoir ends. And so today is born the phrase, photographing women in the Privé tradition...

July 22, 2009

At the Café

Music | White Flag by Dido

She slouches a little, but is so engaged that she is letting her passion of what she speaks of come thru her body, ever more creeping up to the edge of the table. Her eyes are focused and intent. Everything about her says wall flower, down to her brown flats and ruffled brown skirt just above her ankles. She wears a green cardigan sweater covering up a non matching blue and white striped shirt. She reminds me of photos of my Mom that were taken in the 50's. I can't hear the conversation, but it looks of acedemic subject matter. Besides her is a green over the shoulder bag and a book that is 3 inches thick with a pink book marker towards the end. As she and her gentleman talk, her macbook sits in front of her, but closed. Note pad and pen all within reach... Pictures are drawn, ideas being conveyed... I am piqued...

July 03, 2009

When you CAN go home...

Music | Golden Rust by Robert Miles

Just in from a bike ride in 90º heat, I've fallen to my chair in front of the computer not knowing what to do... Flipping thru sites, I've come to Tabula Rasa knowing it has been many days since my last post and many days for that one as well.

I'll just move on as if nothing has happened and try to pick up the pace... My Dad's health has been waning, but not to the extent where we were told by a doctor that he had 1 to 2 months of life left about 6 weeks ago... He shortly came back several days later to tell my Dad he was wrong. Meanwhile the family was scrambling trying to figure out what to do. I made flight plans with Dara to fly back. Well, the bad news turned into good, Dara and I had a trip to take and we all made the best of it. We got to see family and friends and I decided to make the trip all about food.

While in Chicago, I made sure to hit everything I have been craving since the last time I was in Chicago... 1st morning there, we were off to the Golden Apple on Clark street. Though it was made famous by the public radio series, This American Life, I used to go at least once a week with my good buddy Todd way back in the day...

After returning from our visit to Wisconsin, our first stop was The Wiener Circle. I had to get my mouth around a Char Cheddar Hot Dog and Dara got a more traditional Chicago dog. Fries of course was a must...

I was not used to the hot and humid heavy air that bestowed us on our visit, but a few afternoons to the beaches along Lake Michigan was a great way to cool off. We also made it to Mario's on Taylor. The best Italian Ice in the city!!!

I was determined to get to a few difficult places as well, one being Uno's Pizza. Mayor Daley has really made parking downtown ridiculous. Dara and I did get lucky and found a spot about a block away. I've longed for Uno's for years, hitting other venues like Lou Malnatti's, Gino's... I was satisfied, but a little disappointed. I thought the crust was a bit over cooked. Left overs later that night was fantastic!

A few others I've been yearning for...

The gyros plate was from some Greek dive on Clark. I also hit the south side for Harold's chicken in Hyde Park. I've recently heard the one to go to however is on 87th just off the Dan Ryan. I was quite satisfied with my 1/2 with salt, pepper and mild sauce...

June 08, 2009

Here I am...

Music | Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles

It has been a shitty last few months... Business has been as slow as it has ever been, I found my Dad has 1 to 2 months of life, but a few days later, that expectation was changed by the same doctor who layed that news on us. Lots of 'stuff' that just isn't very inspiring and the worst part is, I'm aware of it all...

Good news is that I am going back to the Midwest, to see my Dad and the rest of the family. Dara will be able to hang out with her cousins and spend more time in the BIG CITY. Still lots of other concerns putting the weight on my shoulders and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. Gut check and I'm not in the shape I need to be in to prepare...

Good news is that I've been creating lately. I'm working on a new website and going after a new market. When I launch, I'll announce it here...

So as to try and ease my nerves, I sit at yet another café. Today it is the Lady Bug in St. Johns. Nice to see Farnell Newton, jazz trumpet extraordinaire, Mayor Fish and a few other friends that dropped in.

I'm appreciating the little things to get me by...

May 18, 2009

Beautiful Women

Music | Or Truth? by Uri Caine

I'm blown away at the time since my last post. Besides the really shitty news I recently received, which I will try and delve into later, I'm finding it hard to believe it has been over a month since I last posted.

Over the weekend my very good friend GG aka Sherry had her 40th birthday. I brought my camera along for the hell of it, not really intending to shoot, but did so anyway. During the early evening as everyone had settled, after the merriment of eating and drinking and eating cake, calmness took over and I was able to photograph each and everyone there. As I quickly pulled off a few frames of each, I knew that within a few I had shot, I was presented with a few master pieces. One never knows when these images will appear, but within a matter of a minute, I was given several!

March 27, 2009

Music | Golden Rust by Robert Miles & Trilok Gurtu

Moving back in time, here is a shot I did earlier this year. I think the shoot itself is a treasure trove of great images. It is a matter of cropping and playing with the contrast of the lighting. There wasn't a lot to crop here, but I did enhance the contrast.

March 23, 2009

Sherry, by 4x5

Music | Agua by Jose Padilla

So I'm really happy with the image of Sherry here... I'm just figuring I need to be much more selective and have more of a keen sense as to when to press the shutter to release. Other issues I was having was in the scanning process and I'm finding there really isn't this 4x5 monster I thought I was having a battle with. Frankly, with 4x5, I'm shooting much less that I would with the digital slr and I need to slow not only my physical pace, but my mental one as well.

March 21, 2009

The Trouble with Film...

Music | Until the Morning by Thievery Corporation

My journey back to film has been rough... I'm not sure what it is about using my 4x5 camera that I can't bring home the bacon... I'm very confident that when I go out on assignment or a personal shoot that I will come back with a winner when shooting with my digital slr. I don't have to think when using that equipment... it is like they are second nature to me.

I know I'm still in the, getting to know you phase with the 4x5, but I didn't think I would have so much trouble seeing what I think I see in the view finder and what I'm getting back on film.

For the last several shoots, I have intentionally not brought the digital slr to have as a back up, because I thought my mind set of shooting film would be contaminated. I would know in the back of my mind I could rely on the digital if I didn't get a decent image on film... Well, for my recent shoot, my muse Sherry who always brings me back great images, I really did not want another failed attempt and tried to study my way. I hope I didn't put myself in a position of thinking too much, but I won't know until I process the film and see what I have.

With the Sherry shoot, I did bring out the digital slr and shot off a few frames to try and decipher any clues to try and improve my vision with the 4x5. Our session was yesterday morning in the North Light Studio and went well. I am confident with the images on 4x5, but will compare, what I'm getting with the digital slr. I hope to process the film tomorrow and do a decent job scanning the negs, which is another art form in itself...

March 20, 2009

So it isn't because I haven't been shooting a lot of large format that I haven't been posting. It is just that what I have been shooting with the 4x5 is very disappointing. I can't figure out why

Me and only Me...

Music | Bye Bye Blackbird by John Coltrane
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

March 19, 2009

My Portland Photographer

I can't say it better than this... About Us.

I'm proud to be a member of, My Portland Photographer, the best Wedding Photographers in Portland. Check out the site and see some amazing wedding imagery...

March 05, 2009


Music | Come Sunday by Charles Lloyd

The are places like these in all of our neighborhoods... Place you drive by, never notice or if you do, you mark it as a place to go, but don't... Suddenly, the months turn to years and then, 5 years and then 7...

Tony of Patty Daddy fame suggested we finally hit Slims in downtown St. Johns. I've lived not more than a mile away from year for 7 years. Tony, even more... I had my expectations of the place, but was pleasantly surprised by the interior...

The menu here is typical tavern food though the sign out front says restaurant. There was no wait, but we had a great bartender server. She kept the drinks full and was attentive. I had a very good basic hamburger and fries with a coke and Tony had the Bleu Burger, which he said he was very happy with.

We've got a few other place to visit on the St Johns strip and if they are like Slims, there will be lots of other place to have a decent burger!

February 26, 2009

A beginning...

Music | Imhotep by Roy Campbell

Images from my all film shoot became reality today after processing 18 sheets of film. One by one, out of the reels the 4x5 sheets of film came off, into the last solution of chemicals before drying. There is a certain type of joy seeing images, even negs after having to wait for them. The instant gratification is gone, which tends to make me think I'm appreciating what I'm creating with even more gratification...

I'm still finding my way, and not to think I should even have a path at this point (I have to remember that). My mind is still clouded by this event. I imagine I'll be gathering my thoughts throughout the next few days, weeks, into my next shoot... I feel alive coming back... It has been around 10 years since I shot only film, processing my black and white images and printing... Running to and from the lab having my colour images processed... a decade ago...

I've written in a little journal/note pad a list of words that interests me...
I had in mind also photography and what was important to me - I think the culmination of those words circle my feelings of coming back to film. I'm obviously making the idea of shooting film again a rather monumental event in my life. Maybe, finally I am moving, reaching, yearning to allow photography and my passion for it to take me where I belong...

Anyway, not having a darkroom, I am scanning images and will be printing them with my ink jet printer until I move into yet another phase of photography that I have never before attempted. That will be another post a few months down the road...

Cain has become a muse of mine in the last several months. In her own right, she is also becoming quite a photographer herself...

February 24, 2009

No Turning Back...

Music | Falling for You by Jem

Earlier today, I had my very first shoot where I left my digital camera behind. It was a premeditated decision as I know that if I am ever to be a great 4x5 film portrait photographer, I had to let the reins go, jump off to the deep end, run with scissors in my hands... Minutes before leaving I thought to just bring the 5D and a 50mm lens, but in the end, I jumped without a parachute.

The dynamic of this shoot would for sure be totally different had I had my digital camera with me. I would know I could always have insurance to have at least one suitable photograph, because I would have shot with the digital until I was satisfied.

To this moment, over 6 hours after I have since finished shooting, I have no idea how the shoot went. I've got my suspicions, but frankly, I won't know until tomorrow after I process the film and start scanning...

February 11, 2009

A Very Fruitful Day

Music | Lived in Bars by Cat Power

A Business Summit and a Photo Critique in the same day, along with getting my daughter up and off to school, while also trying to fit in some printing for the critique, then picking up my daughter after school...

The great thing about these 2 events was that I considered the attendees of these events as some of the best in the business. During these economic times, everyone is feeling the pressure and downturn in business. Ironically, a bunch of competitors in the business of photography decided not to shun each other, but to embrace and share experiences and try to figure out what good can come out of moving forward together, as opposed to trying to go at things alone. We also had the presence of a few business minded people to give advice on how to sell, close sales and over all just think about where we would like to be 20 years from now and how to get there. I left the summit fortified and felt very much a part of a community that is trying to move forward, together.

My rush back to the city led me to pick up my daughter from school and finish one more print for the critique, which was less than 2 hours away. Having been printing the night before until late into the evening, it felt great producing art, in hard copy form. I hate to use that term, but a photograph has been used so loosely lately. After my 3rd turn at making slight adjustments here and there, my last and final print looked just they way I wanted. I produced 4 images, but was not at all feeling confident. The attendees of this critique are some of the best old school printers I know. I've seen 2 of their works and another I heard was and has been a dark room master for years.

I've heard about photographers getting together, having dinner, drinking wine, then sit over prints just talking, discussing... I've always wanted to have that type of relationship with others to be able to do the same. Ironically, I only knew one of the gents, Ray Bidigain well enough to call a friend. However, the rest of the photographers were quite welcoming and I felt relaxed enough to make my first presentation to them. Much more formal than I had anticipated, there was a easel under a spot light to really show off the photograph, one by one. As we went thru each print, I felt more comfortable as I felt my photography and skill as a printer were accepted among each of the gents there. It was gratifying to know that these highly skilled Platinum Palladium, Tin Type and Silver Gelitan printers were giving praise to my ink jets. It meant a lot.

So hopefully in the near future, I'll have a thriving photography business, while creating works of art, both in digital and traditional mediums. It certainly feels much better going at this as a ground, than solo...

January 26, 2009

Thoughts coming thru the Chaos

Music | April Grove by Martina Topley Bird

For the past 10 years, my photography has been consumed by digital. In that time, I went thru 6 different camera bodies - Unlike the Hasselblad which I used for over 15 years before I sold it. Now I wish I had it again. I think I went thru 5 computers as well, not to mention the technologies that have died off like various drives(floppy, zip, jazz), monitors and other costly upgrades...

I kept a working darkroom from 1983 to 1999... 16 years! With the various necessities I had to invest in, I also built by hand, darkroom sinks, tables, shelves, drying frames - rigged plumbing... Equipment was much more personal, was a part of me which in essence the final work felt so much more apart of me as well. I've got my high end digital printer, which is now all ready 2 generations old. I use some of the finest papers available. And though I feel I've created amazing photographic prints, I never felt the connection I had when pulling a print out of the developer or fix, or seeing the print that took over night to dry and view if for the first time in optimal light to see the subtle shadow details or creamy highlights. It took not only my hard earned artistic sensibilities, but years of achieving a level of skill - No purchasing a set of actions or filters or a box of packaged goods could suddenly create what I toiled after.

My peers have moved on, have embraced the digital realm and are making good livings. Like early in my digital career, learning and keeping up with the new and ever changing technologies was easy. Now I notice things don't come as easy and simple. I often feel like the old man who can't keep up, just comprehending the things that are even basic is difficult.

I'm finding it harder and harder to find the truth, my center. Photography, my salvation, my passion - I'm finding it hasn't been consoling for me. I am proud of the fact that I have been creating, shooting more in the last few years than I have ever before... I've created some photos that I am very proud of. But with this digital process, I know as well that some of my finest work aren't photographs... They are pixels on a screen. The are in essence, nothing. I've been more keen to photography that is nothing... I still manage to get feedback on them, but if all we have of the images is nothing, is there a point?

I'm not a child of pixels and bytes, zeroes and ones... Maybe that is why I am feeling so displaced...

January 21, 2009


Music | The Songs That We Sing by Charlotte Gainsbourg

A word I heard today...


[muh-lif-loo-uhs] Show IPA Pronunciation
1. sweetly or smoothly flowing; sweet-sounding: a mellifluous voice; mellifluous tones.
2. flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey.
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