Industrial Sakai


After some Google earth vs maps research I headed off this morning to explore industrial parts of Sakai… Managed to find a train station that got me within 4 blocks, on a cute train line that was only 3 stops long – I guess built to deliver workers to & from the same industrial area I wanted to visit… Next step was crossing this bridge, where I found my first ambience to record


Through & under the bridge I could hear some huge loud clanks & bangs, and it soon became apparent a ship was loading itself with a crane & a big set of claws…


I recorded this perspective for 10 minutes but decided it was a sound worth pursuing so tried to get closer to it…. But after walking for 20 minutes it soon became apparent I couldn’t get closer from the factory side, but I did find this weird green compressor thing:


It seemed to be constantly building pressure, and then every 14 seconds would release a blast of air and carry on, ad infinitum… I recorded for 10 minutes and started to think of it as a weird set of lungs, wheezing away…


Any idea what could create these patterns? It was on the footpath, so couldn’t be vehicle wheels…. my only thought was… snails?


My super power = recording through security fences


Eventually I started to get tired – lugging my mics & recorder & camera in 28 degree heat takes its toll, so I wandered back across the bridge and walked along until I found a clear spot away from traffic & directly across the water from that ship! Set up the mics & proceed to lie down in the grass & shade & snooze for 20 minutes while I recorded it = best perspective yet!


Along from where I was set up, there were a few elderly gents fishing & one came wandering along to see what I was doing – without saying anything I gestured the headphones to him….


It is always so nice to see someones face light up when they realise what you are doing! Funnily enough in all of my recording in Japan plenty of people obviously see the mics and I see them glance at me & think WTF? But rarely does anyone approach me, the few previous times were two photographers in Ginza, and a security guard in Shinjuku (who asked me to leave) – the only other was an elderly lady in Amagasaki who was very sweet and I gave her my headphones for a listen but didnt have my camera ready to take a photo of the reaction….

One thing I do love with my little Song a6300 is silent mode – unlike DSLRs that have quiet mode which really is nowhere near silent, the a6300 being mirrorless can be truly silent. This helps if trying to stealthily capture a photo of someone, but also means that while I am recording I can potter around taking photos without having to edit out the shutter sound afterwards… WIN WIN!!



Caught the train back to Namba station & wandered outside and recorded some pedestrian & traffic ambiences…



Its my last week in Kansai so am rapidly making a to do list, and suspect I will come back to this intersection with my XPAN/TX2 and shoot some long exposures of those crazy diagonal pedestrian crossing markings…


its a very small truck, or those are very large road cones!


The Battle





Many battles


By Muko River today

OpenPaths Data

Ever since doing a data visualisation workshop at SemiPermanent last year I’ve had Open Paths installed on my iPhone, and I just had a look at the data it has collected from my travels…


Interesting to see where I’ve been in New Zealand recently too:


“Using our mobile apps you can track your location, visualize where you’ve been, and upload your data to the OpenPaths website. You can then download your data from the website in a variety of friendly formats, including KML, JSON, and CSV….

You can keep your location history to yourself, or you can share it with specific research initiatives, art projects, or educational programs as you so choose. The OpenPaths online interface allows you to manage who has access to your data. Regardless, your data is always encrypted on the OpenPaths servers, and cannot be accessed by anyone without your express consent.”

Open Paths

Detritus 403

▶ fish sing a dawn chorus? who knew?


▶ I changed my flight home by 10 days so I could go to a gig by Ryoji Ikeda x Merzbow, but this makes it even better! #we_LOVE_kakapo!


▶ get your unknown pleasures album cover gif thingy here



▶ An orchestra is arranged by the biology of the brain, apparently – I have always wondered if it was some roady imperative…


▶ new doco by Adam Curtis HyperNormalisation is available on BBC iPlayer this weekend


▶ stash this: wifi passwords for airports


▶ wow – new old African Head Charge release is coming!
I remember the day I first hear AHC like it was yesterday! #psychedelic_africa!


▶ maglev turntable, need I say more?


▶ new amiina album coming – interview/back story & preview here


▶ Photography in the Age of Communicative Capitalism by Ben Burbridge



One of the temples I visited in Kyoto this week provided an unintentional reminder of how beautiful feedback can be…. This particular temple has a massive hall/meeting room with a famously painted ceiling….. but the only way to view this ceiling is to take a guided tour…. And when I fronted up for the tour I was advised the tour was ‘Japanese only’ – NO PROBLEM I said & paid my 500 yen.

When we were led into the hall space, the ceiling was indeed beautiful… and our guide proceeded to explain in great detail the back story for the ceiling – or at least I can only presume so, as my slim grasp on Japanese language was not of much use here…. But what was unintentionally beautiful was that she was using a microphone, with speakers feeding/replaying into the large hall chamber….

Every time she paused, the reverb would start to feedback (presumably some compression or limiting was occurring in the PA system) and slowly I started to pay more attention to the feedback, than to what she was saying….

And slowly, it became a concert of slowly evolving reverbant feedback – her voice providing the somewhat relentless input, and the speakers feeding back into the reverbant space providing the beautiful sustained tones…

It made me think

Magic within


10 rolls of film off to the lab tomorrow

1. KODAK TriX 400 x 36
2. KODAK TriX 400 x 36
3. KODAK TriX 400 x 36

1. KODAK TriX 400 x 36
2. FUJI Velvia 100 x 36
3. KODAK Ektar 100 x 36
4. FUJI Velvia 100 x 36
5. FUJI Velvia 50 x 36
6. FUJI PRO 400H x 36
7. FUJI PRO 400H x 36

I’ve noticed changes in my behaviour since the TX2 arrived – while my Contax T2 is a ‘snapshot’ camera the TX2 is a camera for more considered, sentient shooting – no one told me to change my behaviour but I have noticed the change when using it, especially with the super wide 30mm lens & viewfinder attached.

Compared with digital I would likely fire off a dozen or more shots, while thinking about framing a location or situation, chimping to verify my doubts or lack of confidence.

With the TX2 I tend to have ideas and check them through the viewfinder, not necessarily thinking about what I am seeing per se but allowing my instincts to dictate whether there is actually a shot there or not.
If not, no photo is taken…. maybe reframe & iterate or move on…

I think this is strengthening my ability to previz a photo, whereas shooting any & everything with digital has allowed me to evolve to a degree but maybe as far as clarity of vision goes it does the opposite…

Of course all judgement reserved until those 10 rolls come back from the lab… I shall have a nice bottle of sake chilled & ready for the moment!



Spent yesterday back in Kyoto, visiting temples & mainly shooting dry gardens with my xPan – wow the 30mm lens in panorama mode was first time I’ve (maybe) actually been able to capture some of the gardens, will see when the film comes back from the lab! I revisited a number of temples I had been to before, but was my first time visiting Taizō-in. These are all shots with my Sony a6300














Z axis?


“yes, thats all good but…
how much is the model that can drive along the Z axis?”