For the last three months now, I have been trying to come up with a decent next post. I wanted to write about something positive for my present situation, a kind of “keeping the spirit alive” post. This year has been one of slowing cutting back and going into a kind of hibernation. What things I gave up last year – memberships in photo associations, magazine subscriptions, being on a submission list – were augmented further this year as my activity in photography shrank to even lesser levels. In a way, it is difficult to avoid thoughts such as, “I used to climb and photograph mountains,” or “In my 30’s, I traveled, photographed, and was regularly published.” I have to keep reminding myself that this period of low activity is only temporary and that within a year or two I will slowly rebuild my busy-ness.
So, let me consider what the year 2012 brought me in positive respects. I managed at least two day trip outings this year and climbed my 32nd “Hyakumeizan”. I also made time here and there to get out and shoot local scenery around Konosu/Gyoda/Kumagaya, Ina Town, and Higashi Matsuyama in Saitama. These short outings afforded me the opportunity to simply enjoy using my camera and spending sometime with nothing more to do than enjoy a walk in fresh air with charming scenery around. I have yet to compile enough images for any kind of project, however, it has given me a purpose to continue photographing even in areas close to where I live and work.
Though I sent out only one submission this year and it was returned unpublished, I still managed to get in print in three publications. Fuji Film Japan used an image of mine for the cover of their magazine, an image that was picked out from the stock agency that has many of my images. And Yama-to-Keikoku magazine ran a few of my images in a magazine supplement in January and then asked me to participate in a discussion which was later published in September. I still have one submission out there and I am hoping for positive results.
Finally, a big thanks to the Kakizawa Clinic in Kumagaya for using my photographs as decoration in the clinic. Every three months a new selection of five images is chosen and displayed and thanks to them I have maintained at least a meager income.
I guess one thing that has helped with regards to “keeping the spirit alive” this year was the purchase of a DSLR. With this I have been able to continue enjoying photography without having to consider the cost of film. Though I still prefer the colour of film, I have taken the liberty of experimenting more with the camera again and that has been fun.
It’s hard to think clearly about my plans for next year. I always prepare a list around the New Year and a rough schedule which gets revised once in the summer and once again in October. I have a list already started and one of the top priorities is to push my manager (busy as she always is) to correct my write-ups about foreigners who love climbing mountains in Japan. I had so thought it could be all done by the end of the summer but various troubles cropped up at work this year, including an employee off in hospital for a month, and even when I leave work after 10 P.M. she is sometimes still there. So I hesitate to ask her to get started on checking over my Japanese.
So, here’s where 2012 ends on this blog. I hope to be back in January with a report about a day trip to Harunasan in Gunma and who knows what else.