【SENSE】VOL.2 Koichi Akagi

2021.10.14 BLOG

*Please take your time and look at the article as well as the video (subtitles are available).

Due to my father's work, I moved frequently since I was very small and lived in most of Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures. I don't have a specific hometown in that sense. The first thing I did when I moved was to just walk in the neighborhood. I wasn't interested in nearby facilities or parks, but in checking the difference in the smell of the city, which included the shopping streets and back alleys. It was also important for me to see what kind of people lived in the area.

Since I got my camera, even after settling down, my interest has not changed, which is to observe the city from around my house on a daily basis. There is something about how things look differently depending on the time, weather, and season, even though you walk in the same streets every day. Basically, I wander in my neighborhood, which is my daily ritual. It's like cats' patrolling or me walking a dog.

The circle has grown bigger and bigger from around my house, to specific areas, to the whole of Tokyo, to the whole of Japan, and to the world. Despite the changes of location, my shooting stance has not changed and the motifs are the same. I frequently go to good old towns, but that's probably because I lived there often.

The GR looks best in the city regardless of the model generation, the 28mm has the flexibility to see the whole city macroscopically and from a micro perspective, and the 40mm of the GR IIIx has the perspective to look straight at the subject as if you were blinking or the view angle and distance as if you were talking to a person. Unlike zoom lenses, the fixed lenses may seem inflexible, but fixing your field of view helps you keep your feet busy without being lazy.

The GR is a rare camera that you can carry without being aware of it. It makes you feel like you can quickly take what you like and make it your own. It's so to speak the closest camera to your eye.

Koichi Akagi
Born in Tokyo. In editorial, Akagi shoots documentary and reportage. In PR magazines and commercials, he shoots portraits. He is involved in many camera/photography magazines and web magazines, and writes from how-tos to mechanism and tech reviews of new cameras and lenses. He also reviews photo books and exhibitions, teaches photography in workshops. His cameras range from used 70 year old Leicas to the latest digital cameras. Regular articles include “Gin-en kamera hotoki (Analog Camera Prodigy)” in Asahi Camera (Asahi Shimbun Publishing). His books include “Teiban kamera no meihin renzu (Legend lenses for classic cameras)” (Shogakukan) “Gin-en kamera o tsukai nasai (Use analog cameras)!” (Heibonsha) “Zumu renzu wa sutenasai (Discard zoom lenses)!” (Genkosha) and the latest “Akagi shashinki shinryosho (Akagi Camera Clinic) MarkII” (Genkosha).

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