The Art of Stone

Last Saturday I made my presentation about photographing the beauty of interesting and unusual rock formations and landforms, as well as finding the beauty of ordinary rocks. I was the first of four presenters at the annual technical seminar and year-end party of the Society for Scientific Photography and the only one using a slide projector. It was an old unit that didn’t focus well automatically and I often had to manually adjust the focus while I was trying to concentrate on reading my notes. As a result, the presentation didn’t go perfectly smoothly but perhaps well enough for my first presentation ever in Japanese.

My talk was all about discovering the art of photographing things from a scientific and artistic viewpoint. I wanted to illustrate how to find and photograph the natural beauty of things that are often represented in textbooks by straight forward documentary images. The other presenters talked mostly about equipment and how-to techniques. Their work was interesting but the presentations more technically related, particularly the presenter who talked about underwater video recording and making short movies by computer, and the presenter who discussed how to make time-lapse photography movies. I felt pretty old-school with my slide show and talk but I received many polite compliments and was asked many questions later.

By remarkable coincidence, one of the people I met was Mr. Koichiro Ohmori, photographer for a book called “神々のみた氷河期への旅 – Journey to the Ice Age  Seen by the Gods”, which I had signed out from the library only the day before. The book is about the evidence of glaciers having been in the North Alps of Japan. When I met him I had no idea who he was. We talked about glaciers and he gave me his business card. The next evening, when I was taking a look at the book, I noticed his name on the cover. I am finding the book really interesting and I am thinking I’d like to get a hold of my own copy.

I have sent Mr. Ohmori an email message asking him a few questions about the natural history of the North Alps and also if he still has any old copies of the book he can sell me.

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4 responses to “The Art of Stone

  1. Interesting about the glacial theory – there’s another book by Ono Yugo along the same lines. Details (and a spectacularly well done trip report) here:
    http://onehundredmountains.blogspot.com/2008/03/snows-of-yesteryear.html

    Oh, and Happy New Year!

  2. That’s the same book! Ono Yugo is the author and Ohmori is the photographer. I took the liberty of translating the title on my own. Thanks for the link. I like Project Hyakumeizan’s posts. I’ll be reading this one in a moment.

    And a happy New Year to you too, Chris. I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures this year.

  3. Ahhh! I did wonder – it seemed strange that there would be two books on the same topic. If you do contact Ohmori-san for a copy, would you mind asking him for me as well?

  4. I asked him and he gave me the phone number for the publisher. He said they should still have stock (the book was published in 1991 though!). It’s also available on Amazon.

    The number he gave me is 3272-7263. Ah, sorry. That’s the editor, 三井さん’s number.

    I saw that book years ago at the visitor centre at Kamikochi. When I came back the next year and planned to purchase it, it had gone. It’s a very interesting book for sure. Fun to look at the routes you have followed from the air too!

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