My story begins of me visiting a used camera shop. There were the Ricoh section on a glass cabinet, displaying the G series digital cameras of the past 5 years. The ones that caught my eyes were the GX series. They were selling at around HKD $1200-1300. I think it’s even possible to bargain to $1000. Attractive price..but one is all I need for now. Especially I’m on my one camera project.
This afternoon I suddenly remembered Daido Moriyama has a new photo book come out the first half this year. Normally I don’t feel too much of his black and white photo books as I’ve already own a copy of his best works (The World Through My Eyes). As I’ve heard from the news, Daido had been shooting digitally in the past few years. I don’t know whether he had really put down his Ricoh GR indefinitely or only shooting with the Ricoh GX200 during sparingly in his off-times. Either way, I feel that a change for a fresh new expression in color photography is an interesting move to see what this legend could do with gear that he’s not often seen with. (Some of his recent record photo magazines have featured his color digital photos too.) Anyway, I ordered a copy of the book online just to see how his photos turn out, and how he used his Ricoh GX camera capture Japan. I’m eager waiting for the book to arrive.
Perhaps I’m really not into the cult of photography. I’m finding extremely difficult to find photo books in Hong Kong. Arguably the best known photo bookstore is the AO Book Store. Are they comprehensive enough? Yes and no. Yes for other genres of photography that I’m not too interested in (mainstream contemporary, travel, landscape,..). No for the street/photo-journalistic type.
Besides a copy of Andreas Herzau: Istanbul and Magnum Magnum, I basically bought all my other books overseas. That is from either Amazon, direct publisher by the photographer, and more recently JapanExposure.
I really wish there could be more resources locally, perhaps someone with capital should open a photo book shop with a cafe, function room for exhibition/press/seminar. That’d be what I call a proper photo book store. I think a store alone is lack of interaction. Cafe can bring in visitors or aka foot-traffic. Photo geeks can spend time at the cafe reading photography magazines or sharing ideas with their photo buddies. Regular activities and events can be held at the function room. I think it’d be nice to invite amatuer photographers to submit essays and photo series as a bi-weekly or tri-weekly small scale exhibition. It’d be a perfect platform for the locals to know more about what others’ work is like in our tiny city.
Although the photo books are only reference and supplement to my photography, they’re very essential to give me a sense of the overall presentation of photographs by the pros. It also helps on my digital photo development. I’m very much still at the beginning stage. One of these nights, I’d really spend time experiment with it like Einstein.
(Please if you live in Hong Kong and know a place locally that carries a good collection of photo books, drop me a line. I’d like to check it out. I’m sure there should be some hidden upstairs store somewhere…)