Yoshizen's Blog

Amaya !


In the 80s, before CD, the source of our music was an analog casset tape and a Walkman, if not a FM radio.  (Still, there was a possibility to resort with vinyl disc, open tape, AM radio, even live music etc)  So, I was collecting some tapes, or even making live recordings. 

Other than the photography, a Raison d’etre of me in the west was to feel the music in its original acoustic environments —– in fact, I made no secret why I took a boat from Yokohama to Siberia and to the west was to listen the Organ music and the Spanish Flamenco, both of them needs to be in the original location.   If you listen the Flamenco music and see the dance in a Tablao (a wine bar with flamenco performance) you must hear that the audiences (participants ?) not only clap the hand but often shout (give a call) = calls “Ole”, “Asa” or “Amaya”(sounds amaja = in spanish, Y pronounce as J — J became H ) = I asked what is the difference of those calles , Ole, Asa, Amaja —– people said all same.    Still, Ole seems to be highest praise = “Great, Go on Go on” and Asa seems “Good, carry on” but Amaja was a ? ? ?

Some days ago, when I checked Youtube viz, I found an old viz of Carmen Amaya among the mountain of flamenco.

Some of viz saying “Legendary Amaya” = It seemed She was the great dancer and a singer, as Wiki tells the impressive story. —– with a flash of inspiration, I realised that a call of Amaja was, in fact the name of Carmen Amaya.   It was somewhat the same to give a call to the beauty queen “Cleopatra” = To call a dancer Amaya mean, “You are as good as legendary Amaya” or “You are a Reincarnation of Amaya” = the best praise.  The name Amaya has become to be the Honorary Title for the bast dancer. (Of course, people calls it for a compliment — Don’t be too serious.  It was not a selection of National Academy. —– In the other hand, now I became aware that there is a sensitive issue behind = since Carmen Amaya was a Romani / hitana / gipsy, therefore very tricky minefield is here, such as to give a call Amaja to a non Romani dancer could be an insult = has to be careful = better just call Ole or Asa. )

(This was what I thought, but if you know the otherwise or have a different view please give a comment here.)



Bach — Bernstein — Gould — Zen

Oh my Goodness.    I bumped this old film clip, on Youtube = Leonard Bernstein and Glenn Gould talked about J.S.Bach.
Film was shot on 57 years ago, 1960 then Glenn Gould was 28.   Naturally the film showed the two’s younger looks but what surprised me most was, on that time Bernstein was already “the Educator Bernstein” and Gould was “the Only one, Gould”.

(Other nearby Youtube posts, Gould or Bernstein posts are very educative and highly recommended to watch !)
In fact, me to encounter Bach first time was in the Fellini’s film, “La Dolce Vita” —– in the film, a gossip journalist, Marcello met a church organist and the organist played Bach’s music, Toccata and Fugue in D-miner (the most famous and popular organ music — famous still it was the first encounter to my 15-years-old ear)   (incidentally, that the same actor who played the organist later appeared in the other film “Emanuel” as a sex-gulu ! )

I think, it was the early 90s, I listened a BBC annual radio 3 event, the Christmas Lecture, Bernstein talked about the structure and the music language.  It opened my eyes. —– in fact, it taught me more about our emotion than of the music. —– If the music could expect the same effect, it is the proof of that our emotional pattern is much simpler = such as how we feel from major or minor key, even B-miner is associated with the feeling of death ! — how accurate his view was the other matter, but such a view-point to analyze the relation of us to the music was a shock to me. 

So that, that was the same stance, how and why I adapted my view toward the Zen = instead to see it as a holly spiritual mumbo-jumbo but the scientific / medical phenomenon of the neuro-physical function.

Amazingly looks ordinary young man, Gould was already a master of the finger of a Harpsichordist and already know what is the Bach = mean what he is going to do with him = the man aware of his own karma.  (People became aware of their own karma on their later life —– I wonder how he found it in such early life ?)

***** PS:   Related post (following links)  J.S.Bach,  Aaaaaa~~~~~!  are highly recommended post to go. (They clearly explain what I said here.)



This is a tree flower which I have deep attachment, hence I want to see more here = though, strangely she was not planted often.  Probably because people afraid of the poison of this plant.   In deed, if you feed the handful leaves to the animal (cow or goat kind) the animal would die easily = strange contradiction is, its poison (Oleandrin) has very similar effect to the poison of Foxglove (Digitalis / Digitoxin = Very strong stimulant and or poison to the heart) —– yet you can see the Foxglove everywhere even though Foxglove can kill you too.
Oleander(2)-001The reason why I feel such attachment to this flower was, she was associated with some poets who I respect, — and its poisonous nature.    When I was small, my hero was the Ninja or humanoid Robot, not a Superman kind of American comic fantasy.  So, we kids practiced how to make a rope to climb a wall or the formula to make a poison.  (still, I never heard of any accident with those poisons = Japanese got necessary knowledges —– idiot can’t be a Ninja = we kids wanted to master the real skill, not dreaming in a silly fantasy to fly a sky.)

Very remarkable fact of this plant, Nerium Oleander (夾竹桃、キョウチクトウ)is, that this plant has the will and the ability to survive while eliminating other plant with its poison.  Oleander was the plant first revived and flowered on the literally scorched ground of the Hiroshima, after that atomic bomb.   Hence, she was named and honoured as the Flower of the Hiroshima. —– (Hidden message here might not be a flowering peace but a kept poison / we never forget.)

(Those photos were taken by a homemade lens nicknamed “koda-fun lens” with or without extension ring.)


Those images were the products of which I didn’t intend or a by-product occurred in the other process.

You will see what I was doing on the next post.

Half of the Photography said to be made just by chance encounter — may be true.  😀


Instamatic Macro

Instamatic Macro(1)-DSC06872

Well, as I suggested in the previous post that  25 mm lens of 110 Instamatic camera is suited for macro use = So, I made a lens.

Instamatic Macro(2)-006

No doubt, this must be the most funny looking lens among my homemade lenses, since the material I used was a water bottle for bicycle.  (No problem, it only costed me £1)   The lens was fixed on the cap in the reversed direction, and with its about 17 cm extension, its makes about x6 magnification of the image.

Instamatic Macro(3)-000

Photo left was  a dead mosquito I found in the kitchen.    I’m not happy with its bit blurry image (available light with 1/3 sec exposure —– at moment I’m not using my Sony with flash light = no synchro-socket, nor adapter) —– anyhow, I need to go out to see something small insects or a kind.  (Photography is a kind of life live on the leg. = You can’t do it while sitting.)   😀


Instamatic Camera (and its 25mm lens)

I found a dear old 110 type Kodak Instamatic Camera (together with their 126 type brother as well) in a junk-box of a camera shop.  This camera shoot 12×18 mm size image with its 25 mm lens. = So, it is possible to put this lens onto Sony A7 camera and see small round image though, if it was a case, have a test on the original camera with a film would be more worthwhile. 

But what I was thinking was, try to expand the image by adding a diverging lens on front (make it to a retrofocus type lens).

But, while disassembling this camera, I was amazed how the designer made this camera complicated.  (Due to the camera has to do so many tasks = wind the film, charge the shutter, rotate the Flash-cube, change the shutter speed for bright or cloudy day, together with shutter click then return the mechanism to the first state) —– Once disassembled, never able to put it back again !   (In comparison to today’s “One time use camera” which is doing about the same with much simpler mechanism,  they looks almost like a hell.)

With an added diverging lens, its became about 32 mm lens though, the image circle didn’t come wide enough to cover the full frame.  (I need to find even stronger diverging lens.)  (Lens quality was just usable with such modification.) 


PS : As I said above, I further tested that 25 mm lens with much stronger diverging lens (which has been used for other “Fancy lens” before) = With stronger diverging power, the lens could have much longer back-focus = hence larger image circle which can cover the full frame.  The image quality of the center was usable though the corner became very bad. —– Then I gave a thought, —– for a technical challenge, I found a sort of the answer though, ? ? ?   DO I need to use this lens ?   = On the end it became rather big = While having Very tiny omnifocus “Fun camera lens” etc, why do I need to use such lens ?  —– The reason why I started to use Sony A7 was, that I can go for shooting with my camera and 3~4 lenses all in my pocket ! =  May be this Kodak 25 mm lens suite only for macro use !

So, I tested this Kodak 25 mm lens as a macro lens, while mounting it on the reverse direction —– with 18 cm extension  = The results wasn’t too bad.  😀

(Photo left was a close-up shot (about  x7) of a Butterfly Wing.  Photo right were the screen of the tablet.)

—– Not so much dramatic outcome though, it was still a fun for one afternoon.  😀


Ultra Wide Angle Lens (Sony 12~24mm F4 Zoom)

I had an opportunity to test an ultra wide-angle lens, Sony 12~24mm F4 lens.  With its spec, the lens was amazingly light (in comparison to similar Nikon or Canon lens, it only half of the weight.  And smaller.)  Mounted on Sony A7R body, its handling balance was very comfortable. And function well.

Though, the image itself, the 12mm lens’ 120° view is not so new to the man using 15mm lens or fisheye lens almost like an everyday occurrence for the past 40, 50 years, looks nothing special.


To make the view with a big distortion of perspective or looks more natural is not difficult at all. (in fact, it would be only few degree of the camera angle or move the position few steps away.)

Sony-12(3B)-DSC06721The lens was supposedly a rectilinear, not fisheye though, having rather prominent barrel distortion.  (Both Nikon and Canon seems to have about the same distortion) (All the pictures here showd quite of a vignetting (corners getting darker) because of they were taken with fully open F4 = so, the shutter speed was 1/3000th kind and the water splash became the dot ! )


The lens said to have some measure of dust and water protection though, we better not to trust them.  Simply because, we the user will be the one who suffer with the trouble, and the service charge of the Sony is three times more expensive (Any service start with £90 deposit and another £90 for repair — even for just tighten-up a screw !)

The image which give you the impact or pressure may not necessary be created by the lens, it is simply the matter of subject or the landscape.  (You have to find the “impressive subject” first.   😀 )

But I’m not implying you to feel any impact here.    😀

(You know, it IS a joke = Ultra wide-angle or Fisheye is easy to make a joke as they can twist the view very easily.  In other words, often it is very tricky to show the natural view without any exaggeration.  Such as, that the lens can take a picture of very confined place though, it would give a false impression, as if it was a wide space.)



Go into a mud (but not me)

(On this post, as it happened often, the sharp clear pictures were taken by Canon Fisheye lens, a bit fuzzy images were taken by a Pinhole, and more fuzzy pictures were by homemade Mag Lens on Sony A7R camera.)

There was an event to walk the low tide creek, at the Deptford Creek, organized by the Creekside Discovery Center, as a part of the Creeknet, XF Symposium. — http://deptfordcreek.net

It can be a kind of treasure hunting or a nature study.

(So, the “Treasure” found in the past walk has been displayed in the center = after such tenacious repeated  hunt, there may not be anything left though.  😀  )

M m m ——.

So, the participants borrow the big wader and the stick and get the instructions.  (but being as a Japanese, with our deep religious restriction, we wouldn’t touch somebody else’s shoes, let alone a wader worn by hundreds of others = It was the same reason how the prisoner could keep their shortwave radio in a prison camp of the WW2, as the Japanese soldier never touch the prisoner’s possession.)

And receive more lectures.

So, at last they marched away to the mud.

And after came back in one piece, received even more lectures.  After all, to organize a community activity is a campaign.  Campaign means persuading the mass with one opinion, same to the political campaign. —> Successful one may become a politician. (and get a power and money ?) — am I too cynical ?   Ha ha ha  😀

Don’t get me wrong, to show this picture here, is not meant to be implying a “Rubbish”.  Walking in the mud is a great act though, a funny story here was that, they are appealing that the new development of the area are destroying the environment and the nature etc etc —– but they’ve found that the water is getting cleaner, the more fish, shrimp, crab were found etc etc !  (Unlike the hundred years old traditional housing or local cottage industry, those new developments are having much more strict environmental regulations (such as a sewer etc).   Don’t dwell in an easy buzzword.  See the situation with your clear eyes.  (If you have one — or two ?)


Multi layered Cherry – X6 Lenses(?)

Mag Lens

Multi layered Cherry (Yae-zakura) started to flower.  Here is a collection of the photos taken by 6 different homemade Lenses / Pinholes.

Sony 30 mm Macro

Gaudy Lens

Gaudy Lens

Sony 30 mm Macro

Mag Lens

Sony 30 mm Macro

Gaudy Lens

Mono Pinhole

DD Pinhole

X4 Pinhole

X4 Pinhole

X4 Pinhole

Sony 30mm Macro

You must be convinced that how dry the images of “So called Good Lens”.  Still, you may not to have any choice but to go with the “Good Lens” other than just wet the lens with your spit.   😀   (Don’t worry, it’s not a serious matter at all.)


When 3 Artists come together

There was a gathering with 2 Cinematographer / Video Artist = Mr A and Mr G.  Basically Mr A was curious about my homemade lenses etc.

It’s a visual artist’s habit.   They tend to grasp the world with their camera.   Then try to compile a poetry or report kind while using intentionally picked up material in the convenient order (and sometime made-up a false story.)   Since I brought my wire Dragon as well (Demonstration model), Mr A who never seen it kind was rather puzzled of its mechanism. (I guess, video camera’s eye might make small wire structure even harder to comprehend.)     Any how it’s a his business / expertise.  Something funny about this gathering was, since all three were long running artist, and got own style and the concept, each of us was shooting their camera in their own pace, without telling what he IS shooting or aiming what.  (So, when their footage come up, I might incorporate them into this post or make a link to their Post or Youtube.)

Mr A was shooting rather heavy weight video camera and Mr G was using 8 mm film cine camera.  (And I was using Nikkor 24 mm F2 on Sony A7R)

(I have no idea what they were shooting.   😀  )  While going through the same environment, we three may make completely different scope.

I wonder, are they making a kind of human drama ?   We are seasoned enough, to talk on the Film, not on the mouth.   (We no longer believe blah blah but the resulting solid image.)

They were 2 of the ordinally shot though, put them in this way might give you an impression, “We are walking towards the doomed future”.  (= that’s how the trick of the political bias works. “Donate the money to protect the earth, before it become  too late !  😀  )

The area in question was socially rather interesting place though, political Art never work. (Because, the art is the matter of emotion —– emotional power always makes mistake in the social movement.)


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