While we often know that we should do something we often don’t because there’s not enough pain involved. There’s no compelling reason for change. Tim Ferris relates a story in the Four Hour Body about the moment Chad Fowler realized a need for and committed to his transformation. That it happened on the street in the Harjuku district of Tokyo gave rise to the name. Here’s how Tim Ferris describes it:
So the harajuku moment refers to very specifically a story by Chad Fowler or related to Chad Fowler. So here’s a case study in the book, kicks ass in every possible way. Professionally, he’s a computer programmer, runs a number of very famous conferences in the tech world and he was in Japan shopping for clothing with a number of friends and he was very overweight and he and one other person ended up sitting on the sidewalk and he said, “Yeah. It doesn’t matter what I buy anyway so I’m not going to look good at it”. And there’s this awkward mood of silence like, “Wow, I really just say that?” And he realized that that at point in time, how painful it was to be overweight. And that was his harajuku moment.
I had my own moment similar to that described above in December of last year. For the first time in a long time I saw the person that I had physically become rather than the mental image of who I was. That was enough to kick start the process of change for me.
What if you had an equally compelling reason that guided all of your actions, that pulled you through life? What we’re talking about here is knowing what your purpose is, what you stand for. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Or is it already clear for you?
I’ve been thinking in recent weeks about how photography can support environmental concerns – not a unique idea I will give you that – and some of this research led me to the work of Naoya Hatakeyama. I have not read much about Hatakeyama but it seems to me that much of his work deals with the interaction of man with the environment, how we shape and bend nature to suit our purposes. It is interesting to me to see how his projects evolve – his photographs of the limestone quarries in Japan was followed by an investigation of the factories that processed the limestone, then on to the cities that were subsequently built from the cement and then back to the sources of limestone in the underground tunnels in Paris. Something to consider as we look to extend and develop our own work. Naoya talks about this project and more in the videos below. Check them out.
The gear sirens have been calling me again. I’m now deep in thought regarding what a compact camera system such as the olympus pen e-pl5 coupled with a Panasonic 20mm F1.7 would do for me. I’m sure it’s a game we all play from time to time. Somehow while I was surfing around trying to get to grips with how much better my life would be with this combination I stumbled across Daido Moriyama.
It seems to me that Daido Moriyama is ‘street’ photographer, who seems to produce much of his work in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. The photographs are predominantly high contrast, gritty black and white images that depict the seamier parts of life. I could take or leave much of what he’s produced but I do like the aesthetic of the images and also of interest for me is his prodigious production of photography books.