TX2 Contact Sheets

Fuji TX2/XPAN2 with 30mm lens and Fuji Natura 1600 film:








Fuji TX2/XPAN2 with 30mm lens and Fuji Superia 800 film:








Fuji TX2/XPAN2 with 30mm lens and Fuji Velvia 100 film:











Very very happy with these! Some are bracketed exposures, and a couple of duds (set up & metered for long exposure but shot a few without my Lee Big Stopper actually attached – doh!) but a pretty damn good hit ratio… Again will wait for hi rez scans to arrive before tweaking…

And a few are from NZ – I had already shot half a roll of Velvia 100 before when I went to Japan

Home again

Its pretty rare I can sleep on a plane, so an overnight flight home usually means arriving back to NZ having had no sleep and feeling slightly confused & grumpy… Add to that I managed to catch a chest cold a few days before leaving Osaka so between weird side effects of cold meds, and having my hearing messed up for 24+ hours after landing, I am only just starting to feel like I have actually fully arrived home…

I have pretty good security at my house/studio – monitored alarm, helpful neighbours plus I installed two wifi webcams before I left, so I was pretty sure everything was ok at home, but the first step when I finally got home was to verify that. All good! Next step, turn on the studio, and crank up some music – I miss my studio monitors when I travel, and the freedom to listen to music at whatever volume I like, at whatever hour of the day or night I like.

Next step, check the garden! OMG! there has been so much growth in the month I was away… My little tomato plants are now 1m tall, my raspberry plant has totally filled out with flowers everywhere, lettuce patch has gone crazy etc etc… I’ll bore you with some photos later!

The day before I left Osaka I packed up all my shopping (6 books, musical instruments etc) and dropped them off to Post Office, to have them shipped home via EMS, thereby avoiding 10kg of excess baggage charges… I love how efficient EMS is – I watched the tracking as I flew home, and this morning – just 2 days after I got home, my doorbell rang & there is my box of goodies… safely arrived!

Not long after that I got a message from ToyLab photo Lab to say all 15 rolls of film were finished develop & scan, and I can access the low rez versions on their website – the hi rez are posted out with the negatives, but low rez is enough to verify exposure etc… I was more than a little excited as while I know my Fuji TX2 and Contax T2 are reliable, I had not done as I originally planned with my new camera – the tiny Fuji Natura S – of shooting a test roll and verifying it was working ok. Instead I forged ahead, shooting 5 rolls of Natura 1600 film, and my fear evaporated as I skipped through the scans!!




I auto-made these Contact Sheets in Photoshop, and it got a little iterative at the start as I made them with too large a font selected, then redid them, so it included the first contact sheet into the second attempt…






I am so happy to see these! Many were shot in low light, which is the whole reason I discovered & pursued the Fuji Natura S camera… There are a few duds, a couple where I tried to force shallow depth of field & the auto focus mis-targeted… but damn thats a good hit ratio! And some of them are gorgeous… Will wait for the hi rez before I start tweaking…

I only shot a little with my Contax T2 – it was loaded with TriX, so whenever I wanted a monochrome version I could grab it out of my bag….



Ok on to the TX2 rolls… then time for a nap!

nuzic 46

▶ Dub Syndicate – Displaced Masters released today at bandcamp!


▶ In 1984 Muji commissioned Haruomi Hosono (YMO) to compose in-store background music: Watering a flower Haruomi Hosono 1984 cassette (花に水)


▶ Another Channel – Pressure


▶ Micronism – First Reflections 1998


▶ Zola Blood: Play Out | LIVE AT THE STABLES


▶ The Things We Let Fall Apart / The Thunderswan by Sontag Shogun + Moskitoo (bandcamp)


▶ Burial – Pre Dawn / Indoors (bandcamp)


Lead lined

I am getting packed up to head home, and went in to Yodobashi to stock up on film… but was a little worried about unexposed film getting XRayed… It apparently isn’t a problem with low iso film, but this time I am taking a dozen rolls of Fuji Natura 1600 home as well as a few rolls of Ilford 3200… Thankfully the helpful staff at Yodobashi pointed me to this lead lined bag, which will be interesting when checking in at the airport!

Failing all else, the bag has its contents written in English & Japanese, so when passing through security at KIX it will make it a little easier to ask for hand inspection…

Kanazawa 2

Beautiful to wake to the sound of the sea, the tide having come in while we slept…

And then breakfast!

We tried to book the large private onsen for dawn, but it was already booked, so managed to get an hour from 8.30 to 9.30…

After checking out we went for a walk, first to the look out above the ryokan, then along the clifftops and down to a rather psychedelic cave, open to the sea…

We headed back along the peninsula and decided on oysters for lunch

We booked lunch for 2pm and even then had to wait until 2.30pm to get in… which wasn’t as bad as the couple in front of us, who hadn’t booked & had been waiting for 90 minutes!

It was a really fun and oishi lunch – basically we ate oysters after putting them on a BBQ with very hot coals in it… After a random amount of time an oyster would open & was then ready to eat… but occasionally a particularly well sealed oyster would open by exploding! The restaurant provided paper aprons and gloves to wear, so as not to get burnt or splattered…

We’d booked to stay that night in Takaoka, and went to a local izakaya for dinner… I love visiting places in Japan where they are very surprised to see a gaijin…

And of course as I could not read the menu at all, my girlfriend & the waitress had a good laugh at my expense as Shirako was ordered…

If you dont know what it is, I suggest you order it and try it before asking google!

On the way back to the hotel that night we took a shortcut through the train station and stumbled across this great musical instrument, a set of tuned & numbered chimes… with a piece of music noted by number… I of course did my best slightly drunk Philip Glass impersonation…

From here we headed back to Kanazawa, as I was keen to revisit the great Kanazawa Art Gallery

This last work, outside the gallery is a fun sound art installation. Each of the megaphones are connected to another via underground pipes, so little kids had great fun working out which was connected to which, and then shouting & singing into them…

Kanazawa 1

While staying in Japan I always like to do a road trip, to get away from the cities and explore some of Japans diverse environment… While researching this trip I stumbled across the idea of visiting Noto Peninsula, and thanks to a Reddit comment discovered an incredible ryokan to stay at, right at the tip of Noto Peninsula… After managing to get a booking we headed off, first a 2.5 hour train trip from Osaka to Kanazawa, then picking up a rental car and driving 2.5 hours to the ryokan…

Of course that 2.5 hour drive more like 5 hours due to stopping often for photos, but it was also a reminder of how much I miss being near the ocean, and when the opportunity appeared to drive along the beach, well…. how could we not!

Next stop was Hatago Iwa “The rocks are considered sacred and are connected by a shimenawa, a rope used in Shinto to mark the presence of sacred spirits”

These were difficult to photograph and we ended up spending an hour or so here – I shot a roll of film, trying different angles & exposures with my Fuji TX2/XPAN and Lee Filters, can’t wait to see the results!

Just as dusk fell we arrived at the ryokan Lampnoyado – a 400 year old ryokan, right on the edge of the Japan Sea… The access is so difficult and steep that there is a carpark up top of the hill and a car picks you up to deliver you down to the ryokan….

Our room was literally on the waters edge, opening the doors let the sound of the ocean in

We had also opted for a room with a private onsen/hot pool.. bliss!

One aspect of staying at a traditional ryokan is the fact that dinner and breakfast are usually included, and as this ryokan was expensive (about triple what I would usually spend on a hotel, but YOLO right!?) I was very much looking forward to dinner… And it was simply divine, a multi course experience of local fresh fish and vegetables… beautifully prepared, every element was a subtle explosion of flavour


Tokyo Forum field recording

Tokyo Forum is an amazing work of architecture, very close to Tokyo Station… and while I have visited it a few times before, I had never recorded it! Being over 7 stories high, the main internal space is vast, accordingly the ambience was very soft & diffuse…

Tokyo Forum

Tokyo Sticker Art 2017































































Godzilla screening

I had a very quick trip to Tokyo, just an overnight stay, to attend a screening of the original Godzilla with a live score performed by Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and it was fantastic to hear the mono soundtrack suddenly burst into life as each music cue in the film was delivered: lush & larger than life…

Despite having seen the film many years ago I was pretty hazy on the plot, and while some of the music cues felt very much of their era, there were a few cues (associated with the reclusive scientist who had created the oxygen destroying bomb) that were very atonal and really freaking gorgeous to hear played by a full size orchestra!

After the screening ended, the encore was also kind of interesting as the orchestra played a montage created from many of the cues in the film… And compared with the necessary restraint showed during the screening as many cues played as underscore, it felt like the orchestra really let rip with the freedom of not having to sync to picture…

Of course no photos or video was allowed during the performance so the photo below is from before the screening started

Wish I could have stayed another day as I would have loved to see the Ryuichi Sakamoto documentary CODA, but I sincerely hope it will screen in the NZ International Film Festival next year…