Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Three cheers for Hiro


Great news from my friend Hiroyuki Ito, whose brilliant photography you may have seen in a recent New York Times spread. Asahi Camera, Japan’s top photo magazine, is running a selection of his work in its April issue (left).

I picked up a copy at the Kinokuniya bookstore near Bryant Park, but Hiro tells me you can also get it at Asahiya, at 45th and Madison.

For those who have seen only his photojournalism, Hiro’s creative work is startling and thought-provoking. Taking his cue partly from Daido Moriyama, he engages in a kind of intuitive street photography: trusting his gut, he snaps dozens, hundreds, thousands of pictures with his point-and-shoot, often catching just the slightest glimpse of something before quickly putting it on film. Yes, film: dude is at the darkroom seemingly every other morning, and knows it’s time to develop when his fridge is filled with so many rolls of Tri-X that there’s no room for veggies.

He once described his method to me as “xeroxing the world.” If anybody else did it, the pictures would probably turn out looking like dull, blurry xeroxes, but Hiro lets the Force guide his camera, and so he often captures things more powerfully than if he stopped to frame and pose (and think).

Here’s an example, which is not in the Asahi Camera feature:


Hiro and I are collaborating on a nonjournalistic project, which we hope to share if I ever get off my butt and make good on my part of the deal.

Congrats, Hiro.

UPDATE: Here's an even better example of what he does:


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