Photobooks at the Griffin

Yesterday, Naomi and I were at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. We joined around 20 independent and self publishers for a celebration of creativity and vision. It was very gratifying to meet such a lively and engaged community. This was the first time we participated in such an event—we had a great time. We would like to thank all those that stopped and talked with us. Click on the image for a larger view.

Photobook Showcase

We have just received copies of our new book Tsukiji: Tokyo Fish Market Suite. It is a small 48 page book with 40 images documenting a day at the world’s largest fish market in Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government has had long-term plans to close this market and this book is my homage to this place. The book will debut at the Griffin Museum of Photography during their Photobook Showcase this Sunday and we will have more about this title at Hakusan Creation soon.

The Griffin Museum of Photography will be hosting events around publishing and the photo book on March 26th. From 10 am to 1 pm, Viginia Swanson will be hosting To Be Published, or Self Publish? From 2 pm to 4 pm, self-publishers, including us, will be showing their work during the Photobook Showcase. We hope to see you there.

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Photobook Showcase

The Griffin Museum of Photography will be hosting events around publishing and the photo book on March 26th. From 10 am to 1 pm, Viginia Swanson will be hosting To Be Published, or Self Publish? From 2 pm to 4 pm, self-publishers, including us, will be showing their work during the Photobook Showcase. We will have copies of our latest book Tsukiji: Tokyo Fish Market Suite available. We hope to see you there.

Tsukiji: Coming Soon

Naomi and I are pleased to announce our next book: Tsukiji: Tokyo Fish Market Suite. This 48 page soft cover book shows the inside of the world’s largest fish market. Tokyo Metropolitan Government has plans to relocate the market because of its aging 1935 infrastructure. This collection of 41 photographs pays homage to this remarkable place. The book will be released at the end of March. Click on the image for a larger view.

Photobook 2015

life_in_maine_photobook_2015Photobook 2015 opened in the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, last night. The exhibition runs until March 6th. The exhibition was in partnership with the Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY. The books in the exhibition can be viewed online. Along with the self-published books (including mine), there are a couple of other exhibitions of photographs on display. The museum and the town of Winchester are well worth a visit. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness in Stock

earth_water_fire_wind_emptiness_booksOur books have arrived. To find out more about Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscape, visit our book page. You can purchase a copy at our new online store.

We plan to release a hard cover edition soon. Click on the image for a larger view.

Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness

earth_water_fire_wind_emptiness__book_coverNaomi and I are excited to announce our upcoming book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscape. Taking inspiration from the five elements in Japanese Buddhism, Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness is a homage to a city we called home for ten years. Starting from the simple question of what is the natural landscape of Tokyo, the book weaves a quiet narrative of this city through space and time.

80 photographs, 1 illustration, text in English and Japanese, 96 pages, 8.5”x11”.

Available spring, 2015. Click on the image for a larger view.

Our Books Have Arrived

otohime_booksNaomi’s poetry book has arrived. Naturally, we are very excited about this. The text is in Japanese and you can find out more about her book here. On that page you will also find a link for a pdf sample you can download and two audio tracks of Naomi reading her poems. You can purchase the book from us. Shipping is free, but we do not accept returns.

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Upcoming Book Release

book_otohime_coverWe are excited to announce our next book. This will be a paperback of 101 poems by Naomi. The book is in Japanese and is illustrated. It will go on sale by the end of September. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Carmen Elisabeth Puchianu—Translations Poetry Festival

translations_2011_poets-8This is one of a series of portraits I did for Translation: Bates International Poetry Festival, 2011. Carmen Elisabeth Puchianu is a wonderful poet from Romania. Her dynamic reading and humor were captivating. You can see her performance at the Translations website as well as the performances from the other seven poets that appeared. An iBook of the festival for the iPad can be downloaded here: Translations – Claudia Aburto Guzmán & William Ash. A pdf version of the book is on the Translations website. Click on the image for a lager view.

Translations: Bates International Poetry Festival, 2011

translations_2011_cover_webTranslations: Bates International Poetry Festival 2011 documents this creative event featuring eight poets from around the world: Polina Barskova (Russia), Rhea Côté Robbins and Robert Farnsworth (United States), Francisca López (Spain), Naomi Otsubo (Japan), Danny Plourde (Canada), Carmen Elisabeth Puchianu (Romania), and Miguel Ángel Zapata (Peru). These poets spent five days performing their poetry in their native language and interacting with students and faculty on translations of their work. Contained in this volume are the original poems and the translations that came from this collaboration. Essays on the meaning of festivals, insights into translations, translation in pedagogy, and reflections on multilingualism from Enrique Yepes, Jane Costlow, Sarah Strong, Claudia Aburto Guzmán, Laura Balladur, Francisca López, and Raluca Cernahoschi round out this fascinating volume.

Use the following link to go to the Apple iBookstore: Translations – Claudia Aburto Guzmán & William Ash

Futon Daiko—The Picture Story

How do you separate luck and talent? Talent can get you good images, competent images. But those magic moments, where do they come from? Personally, I feel those pictures are given, rather than taken.futon_daiko_nightThis image from Futon Daiko: A Japanese Festival is a result of many chance factors. The crowd was huge and pushed me back against a stone lantern; the force of the crowd split the lens hood on another camera in my bag. Needing some kind of support to make a long exposure—a tripod was not going to work—I  clamped my camera on a steel I-beam supporting a branch of an 800-year-old camphor tree at arms length above my head.  So far, so good. Just one problem. How do I frame the picture? I could not see through the viewfinder.

For those without a photography background, there is a technique or style known as shooting full frame. The photographer frames the image in the camera and does not recompose or crop later. I have used this style for my entire career—an unnerving way to work as there are no fixes later. So guessing the camera position, guessing the focus, guessing the exposure, here is the result, just as the camera saw it.

How much of this image is mine? How much luck? How much the good graces of the god Hachiman? I doubt the question can ever be answered. But I feel blessed to be there to take the picture, or maybe to receive it.

Futon Daiko - William Ash

Futon Daiko: A Japanese Festival

We are pleased to announce our new publication that has just been released in the Apple iBookstore: Futon Daiko: A Japanese Festival.futon_daikoJapan has an ancient and mysterious culture that seems impenetrable to the outsider. Experience is the essence of the native Japanese religion of Shinto. This volume of photographs explores the Japanese festival, or matsuri, embodied in shrine Shinto. The book follows the two-day Futon Daiko festival at Mozu Hachiman Shrine in Sakai, Japan, after an introduction to another variation of the festival at Ogikubo Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo. William Ash’s photography shows the passion and power of these rites. The book provides a beautiful introduction to shrine Shinto with forty-six photographs, two illustrations, and an illustrated glossary.

Futon Daiko - William Ash