After I posted this on my blog yesterday, I set out to go through my photos that were taken in Japan in 2012. I started with the images from the first week of our family holiday (even though I had reviewed most of these some months ago) to refresh my memory.

What struck me as I was going through the photos was how I was seeing some of these with fresh eyes – as in, they had not left an impression on me previously and while I didn’t delete them, I didn’t process them either and left them as RAW files.

This reminded me of a recent conversation with someone who used to assist French photographer, Marc Riboud. We were talking about the archival challenges related to analog photography and digital photography. He shared how sometimes Riboud, while going through old contact sheets, would point out certain unmarked images and wonder why he hadn’t notice them before.

I suppose this is due to new perspectives because the photographer and/or one’s memory of the event has/have changed. Which is why certain things that didn’t stand out to us may grab our attention at a later time.

Back to the photos taken in Hokkaido… For instance, I find certain images that were taken in Rausu tell a more interesting story as part of a diptych instead of being presented alone. I could see these coming together as a series, except that I didn’t take many photos in the village as I was unwell (car sick!) for half of the time when we were there. Perhaps this calls for a return visit!



Why, or what brought about, the change in my perspective?

1. I’ve visited more photo and art exhibitions, as well as browsed more photo books, in past year than ever before – thus expanding my horizons, exposing myself to new and different styles of visual communication. Love it!

2. What I learned from the Magnum Photos workshop with Chang Chien-Chi, especially with regards to photo editing and how I see images coming together to tell a story. This was an invaluable experience and I only wish that the workshop was longer.

By the way, here’s the four-page mock-up of what I submitted for inclusion in the Blurb book that was produced following the workshop:




I would like to work on a photo project this year but am still thinking of what I want to do. In the meantime, I shall focus on editing my 2012-2013 RAW files. Who knows, maybe something might trigger an idea for a new photo project!

5 replies on “New Perspective: Rausu, Hokkaido // 羅臼, 北海道

  1. wow… I can’t believe you went to Rausu. Most Japanese people I know barely know about, and most Hokkaido people haven’t even been there!

    I lived there for 3yrs. The dead of winter and the middle of summer are the two best times. In between it’s just grey and dreary… Kind of miss it though!

    1. Hi Sean, Rausu didn’t pop up immediately when I was researching for this Hokkaido trip. I really wanted to go to Shiretoko Peninsula and came across Rausu, thanks to Google Maps. Bit by bit, and with some help from online translation tools because a lot of information is in Japanese only, everything came together for the few days in Rausu.

      Wow, you lived there for three years! We were there in August for just two days. I’d love to go back and spend a few more days and go hiking around the area. Would also like to return to Rausu Lake, which is really quite special.


  2. Nice photos, especially like the black and white. 🙂 I have to start archiving my RAW files too…been thinking about doing so for over a year, and many are gone. 😦

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