Most of the content on my blog consists of lengthy pieces of writing or collections of photographs, or some combination of the two. I understand all too well that most people don’t want to read pieces of such length, but the simple fact is that I want to write pieces of such length and, let’s face it, what is the point of a blog if it isn’t to write in as self-indulgent a manner as possible? Free of any editorial constraints, we can go to town and ignore the rules that dictate word length and format, along with accurate referencing. Perhaps it’s because I spent so long working on novels and longer format short stories, that I believe a blog post must be substantial in some way – at the very least, a thousand words, and at the very least, a decent collection of photos – maybe 15 minimum. Then I watch with a strange, almost powerless sensation of envy as other bloggers simply go and whack up one or two photographs with barely a line written and have praise heaped upon them. This feeling is especially ironic since it’s not really the praise that I’m interested in, though I don’t deny it’s nice, but rather, the feeling of having posted something worthy of praise. On this latter score, I am a victim of my own grandiose expectations of myself; mea culpa and all that.
For a long while now I’ve been toying with the idea of posting single photographs more regularly – personal favourites, with a paragraph or two of context and commenary to accompany them. I wanted not necessarily to focus on what I consider my best photos, but photos that I really like, for whatever reason – which may mean they are not technically great, but have an interesting story, meaning or emotional impact. I used to use the term “secret favourites” for songs which I loved that might not be the most obvious choice for a favourite song from an album with more obvious choices. Like, for example, David Bowie’s The Secret Life of Arabia, being my favourite song on his Heroes album. In this case, the photos I intend to examine are all “secret favourites”, though some, I’d like to think, will be so spankingly good as to require no qualification. Trumpets!
So, to Favourite Photo # 1 – which, whilst being numbered 1st, is not, by any means, my favourite favourite. It is worth pointing this out early on in the piece, that the numerical order in no way reflects preference. I shall try to mix things up as much as possible.
This photo was taken either in Shinjuku or Shibuya in Tokyo (I forget) in May 2006, whilst shopping for electronics. The guy in the foreground was sitting on a railing with a few mates, watching the beautiful girls standing outside the shops in uniforms handing out fliers. I watched them for a few minutes and they were clearly interested in the girls, but too shy to approach them or do anything about it. I guess they hoped they might be noticed. After taking a few photos of them, indeed, about three seconds after taking this shot, they caught me shooting them and were good enough sports to give me a lovely wave and big smiles all round. It was a sweet moment – they all seemed like nice young guys and I’ve always looked very fondly at this young bloke, hoping for his sake that he got laid in the end.