The things I saw (Tokyo) #3


More visual meanderings and photographic sketches from a recent trip to Japan…

Eating in Tokyo can be problematic, especially if you stray merrily off the tourist route, like we did… a lot of restaurants have a digital ordering and pre-pay system – you go in, select your food, you get a ticket and go and sit down – then your food arrives, but because the entire menu was only in Japanese, you don’t actually know what you ordered, but the pictures looked nice. For one of my first meals I ordered what I thought was rice and chicken with soy sauce – it was actually rice (so I got that bit right) with pieces of boiled chicken skin drizzled with chicken fat… even typing that makes me feel a bit slightly nauseous.

All the images here were made using an Olympus MjuII 35mm compact and various film (Fuji Superia 400/800 and Kodak Gold 400, mainly). Processed and scanned at UK Film Lab

PK140416240617-11PK140416240618-11 PK140416002237-28 PK140416002238-25 PK140416002239-10 PK140416002237-26 PK140416240617-17 PK140416240617-04 PK140416240617-31 PK140416240617-26 PK140416240617-20 PK140416002238-29PK140416240617-33


  1. You’re one of a very rare breed of photographer – The Chameleon – you can totally change the way you shoot, and what you shoot, but still keep your very unique and individual look. Beautiful and thought provoking, as usual.


  2. I don’t get whats so special about these snapshots, because thats all they are – snapshots. Your work has no artistic merit whatsoever, anyone could take photos like this. Just because your shooting film doesn’t make your photographs suddenly become art. You seem to have a small following of people who just tell you what you want to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lenny, I take it from your poor grammar that you aren’t the brightest button in the box, so I’ll take this slowly for you – Firstly, if you took the time to read the first article in this series (for your reference, it’s called ‘The things I saw (Tokyo) #1’ ) then you’d know that what these photos are is ‘snapshots’, so well done.
      Secondly – I don’t claim or pretend that I’m an artist. I’m a photographer/photojournalist/documentary photographer.
      Thirdly – if anyone could take photos like this, then why aren’t they? I wonder how many other people were in Tokyo, at the same time as me, shooting Fuji Superia 800 film in an Olympus Mju camera? All I saw were people with iPhones and selfie sticks.
      Also, I’ve never claimed that shooting film turns your work into art, that’s just a ridiculous thing to say, isn’t it, Lenny.

      Finally – my small following of nearly 20,000 people tell me what they want to tell me – I never delete comments that I don’t like. Have a read back through the last couple of years, at least.

      Oh, thanks for at least having the balls to include your real email address 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. There’s A Genre Know As The Snapshot, And You Can Find Examples Of It In The Best Museums In The World – Take A Look At The Marvelous Examples In The Museum Of Modern Art, New York. There’s Also A Highly Respected Genre Of The Banal An Aesthetic Movement Found Within Contemporary Photography. Lenny ! Are You Acquainted With The Concepts Within Photographic Art History !


  3. I disagree with Lenny. Each one of these photographs was thought out. Perhaps they could have been snapshots, but not likely. And as a group, they most certainly are not snapshots.


  4. People like you have hijacked photography, Phil. You post mediocre photographs of random, boring things and expect everyone to blow smoke up your ass.


    1. But it’s not random or boring to me. And how have I ‘hijacked’ photography? It’s subjective, you don’t like my photos, but some people do… wouldn’t the world be a dull place if we all liked the same thing? I don’t get why you feel the need to pour venom and spite all over my work just because you don’t like it? You must be quite an angry dyslexic impersonator.


  5. How can a badly exposed photo of a plant on a table be interesting? None of these images are of any interest to anyone, so why post them? Why not just keep them to yourself?


    1. Oddly enough, on the first go, I didn’t even notice the “badly exposed plant on the table”. Instead, my eye was drawn to the beige lockers, and the numbers in the background.

      And contrary to your assertion, Lenny, I actually find these images (and most others on Phil’s site…) incredibly visually intriguing.

      That’s why I come here: Because I would never have thought to have taken them myself. I sure hope to some day…but for now, I have my own style (as I’m sure you do yours). I am just glad to be able to appreciate the work I see here.

      As my mama tried to learn me once: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say……” Perhaps the world would be a better place if we all followed that simple little rule.


    1. Yeah, that’s actually my daughter, she’s 15 years old. Again, if you’d taken the time to read the rest of these posts, you’d know that. So now you not only come across as ignorant… I’d give it a rest now, Gary.


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