"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few; (38) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" Matthew 9:37-38 (King James Version)
This verse has come to mind over and over as we look at the work to be done in Japan. We need as many workers for the harvest as we can get. It just so happened that today as I was planning to post this BLOG that I received an email from someone wishing to come here on a mission trip. In two days time we'll have a Japanese Lady (who lives in Perth) here to give a testimony. Not long after my parents are coming for a 10 day visit and my dad will be preaching on two Sundays. Indeed we pray there will be a harvest of souls in Nagaokakyo.
There's also a good parallel with agricultural work in Japan. It is difficult to attract younger people to stay on the land, and there's a shortage of agricultural workers. Yes, it can be hard working the land in both physically and spiritually. At the same time it is a very rewarding occupation because you're more in-touch with the source of life. Living in Nagaokakyo where we have a good mix of urban and agricultural helps me to understand these metaphors in the Bible in new ways.
First Signs of Autumn
These plants whose name translates into “Cat Teaser” are one of the first plants to appear heralding the arrival of Autumn in Japan. The nights are getting cooler now and the day time weather slightly more bearable. It's wonderful to watch the sequence of plants that come into the spot light just for a few weeks, following a schedule of some kind. It's something I didn't see as much of in Perth. The excitement is building as we head towards the colour change season.
So I'd like to dedicate this shot to a photographer who has been both a big encouragement and inspiration to me over the past few years, the one and only Kaden K.
A master of both film and digital he never ceases to amaze me with his creative compositions and processing.
Going to an exhibition
Our good friend Hiromi kindly gave us to two tickets to an exhibition of Seiji Fujishiro's
work at The Museum of Kyoto. This shot is of one of the buildings at the museum, it reminded me of some of the buildings in Fremantle
. If you're not familiar with Seiji Fujishiro's work, he uses paper cuttings of many colours to create his works. These paper cuttings are then mounted in front of a light for a kind of stain-glass effect. The whole exhibition is in darkened rooms. Some of the works have mirrors on each side and water at the bottom making an infinite tunnel.
The colours he uses are amazing, as is his use of light and shadow. Hmm... I think the exhibition is very inspirational for anyone working with visual arts no matter what medium.
One disappointment we had seeing this exhibition, was although he drew on a lot of Christian symbolism and even Biblical events in some works, is that he seems to misunderstand what it is all about. It seems he is not the only famous Japanese person that misunderstands things, there is even a “Christian” author who is very famous and popular who actually doesn't get many important things and thus people reading his works are left very confused.
So, this is one of the things we struggle with in Japan that people just don't get so many basic things (although sometimes they pretend to understand) about Christianity. It can be very frustrating for Ritsuko and I, but we continue to pray that God will open people's eyes to the truth.
Now I'm dreaming...
Being in Japan (GMT+9) means that I didn't get the official Leica M9
announcement until the following day. Yes, I had read through some of the leaks that had been posted on the net prior to the official announcement. This camera has caused a lot of strong reactions (both positive and negative) on the photography gear related forums on the net. Here's my take on the whole thing, if your an Obi Wan Kenobi and like your elegant weapons from a more civilised age
then this camera is for you. If your a Han Solo and prefer a good Blaster then you'll be wondering what the fuss is all about, I say stick with your Nikon D3
or Canon 1D Mark III
! If you more of a Luke Skywalker (like me) who likes to use both Light Sabres and Blasters, but is on a tighter budget, you'll skip this one, but wait until the cheeper Zeiss Ikon or Voigtlander Besa full frame digital range finder comes out for less than half the price! (disclaimer: I have no inside knowledge as to when or if the companies will release a such camera, just my wishful thinking, hopefully it might be noticed)
Seriously if someone bought me a Leica M9, I wouldn't knock it back. If I was shooting reportage or street photography professionally I'd get one without thinking twice. At $6000US for the just the camera body, it is very steep for an amateur with little disposable income... Well, if you are on a budget you and don't mind the 1.3x crop then you might be able to pick up a second hand Leica M8 or M8.2 for a song. Couple it with a Carl Zeiss Biogon T* 2,8/28 ZM lens and you've got a pretty good reportage set up.
It's nice to see a camera maker releasing a camera that returns to the philosophy of “the simpler the better” without all the gimmicks that most of the other camera makers are cramming to the cameras, making them harder and harder use. At the same time I can see how I could make good use of one of the so called gimmicks, that is video in a dSLR. Well, at least we have a choice again between feature packed or just getting the highest quality still image...