It is 10:00 am, as I gaze out of the United Club window. Ahead of me lies 14 hours of flying and about 20 hours of total travel time. We will travel from New York to Chicago, then Chicago to Narita, take the NEX to the Shinkansen, whip past Mt Fuji and finally arrive at Hotel Anteroom in Kyoto. When I hit the pillow again it will be in Japan. This trip is now an annual pilgrimage. For the last four years, I’ve been exploring Japan. For anyone who has not been to Japan yet, I recommend it. This will be the first year where I get to shoot purely for fun. All of the work for my project “Last Ceremony” is complete. As much as I will miss 12 hour days of travel and shooting, I am really looking forward to spending time with both workshops without the added pressure of creating my own work.
While I am away, the blog posts tend to slow down. As much as I love the Internet and all its connectivity, there is something to be said for enjoying a place without the tether of a computer. I’ve found that Instagram is much less intrusive. If you would like to follow the adventures as we shoot, you can follow it all on my profile:
Follow on Instagram: @adammarelli
So what will you be following? The workshops have been set up with a combination of private shoots with craftsmen like Sasuke-Smith (this is the first time I will take a group behind the scenes at Sasuke) to an unbelievable private shoot with the Kyudo (zen archers) If you ever wanted to see why Cartier-Bresson sited “Zen and the art of Archery” as one of his favorite books, this will be perfect for you.
Good photo karma
Packed in the luggage are a collection of gifts and prints. When at all possible, I try to bring prints back to everyone I photograph. It is a nice way to say “thank you” and people really enjoy the return favor. Many of the craftsmen I visit with are not under any obligation to allow me to visit with them. Photographers often ask about “gaining access” but I see it more as being “granted access.” When someone does me a favor like that, I like to return it best I know how. My printer, Digital Silver Imaging, did a fantastic job with the silver gelatin prints, which makes it all the more fun to deliver.
When we are not shooting, there will be a steady stream of Japanese meals and whiskey (hopefully not too much, but no promises.) To all of the photographers who are travelling with me this year, I hope this trip lives up to the excitement of the other workshops and for those who will follow from home, we would love to hear from you along the way.