【Column】Places I Use my GR / Satoru Watanabe

2024.03.22 BLOG

Upon writing this column about the GR, I did a search to see what I had taken with the GR. I searched the camera metadata in Adobe Lightroom, the image editing software I normally use, and found that I have taken 3,684 photos over the past few years.

The Hasselblad X1D2 was the one that I took the most shots, which is not surprising since it is my work camera, and the GR was the second. While most people would use the GR to shoot streets, parties, or food, I found that most of my shots were taken at photo exhibitions or art museums.

These days, more and more art exhibitions allow photography. They even encourage people to take pictures and “share them on social media”. I share the exhibitions I have seen in my YouTube Lives and Art History broadcasts. I see about two exhibitions a week, and it is the GR's job to take pictures of the venues. I don't use my smartphone to take pictures in museums and galleries. Always the GR. This is because smartphones make a shutter sound when you take a picture. This seems to only be the case with Japanese models. However, there is no setting to mute the sound, which is quite annoying to my ear. Museums and galleries do not mix well with smartphones. In other words, taking pictures with a smartphone is an “inappropriate” act.

On the other hand, the GR can be set to silent. I turn the volume up a bit, because I feel uncomfortable with no sound at all. I don't have to worry about disturbing others because the sound is barely audible.

As I mentioned, the reason I take pictures in museums and galleries is to show them on my website, but the main reason is because it's fun. Because the greatest subject is right in front of you, and you have been told you can photograph it, you have no choice but not to photograph it. Installation sites are especially fun because they change their expression depending on the angle from which you look at them.

It seems that photographing the works helps me fix my memory of the exhibition. Places where photography is not allowed often leave me with a weak impression when I return home. I remember the exhibition by photographing it.


Satoru Watanabe
Born in 1961 in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture. After graduating from Nihon University College of Art, Department of Photography, Watanabe joined Nikkan Sports Newspaper, where he gained experience in sports and news photography. After leaving the company, he founded Studio Monochrome. He has been working as a freelance photographer, mainly in the field of portraiture, and has been holding workshops since 2003. Recently he is known as the creator of Youtube "2B Channel". Winner of the 33rd "The Society of Photography Award" Special Prize. He is currently an adjunct professor at Keio University Graduate School. His recent books include "Toru chikara miru chikara (Power of Shooting and Power of Looking)" (Hobby Japan).
Satoru Watanabe@watanabesatoru2b

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