Sunday, January 10, 2010

And There Was That Time


Sometimes when I'm on the road trying to get the inside scoop and some pictures for a sensational, once-in-a lifetime event, I have to wear things you wouldn't normally see me wearing. Like in this photo taken by Doc Graff. I'm wearing a HAT. I hate hats and always did. But, for this event which was some kinda secret ritual conducted in the mountains of northern Okinawa by men, only, I wanted to make sure I blended-in, as much as possible. That's just in case them mountain boys started playin' that tune "Dueling Banjos" and started lookin' around for strangers to fool with, if ya know what I mean.
The rest of the uniform is pretty much what I normally wear, as little as possible, unless I'm goin' to town, or it's real cold outside. Then, I wear socks with my flip flops and maybe a jacket, but no damn hat; 'specially one with flowers in it !
People don't realize what a cameraman goes through to get a story, sometimes. You can't just show-up with a fancy camera at someone's sacred rituals and start snapping-away thinking you'll give some magazine a Feature Article , you have to get permission, for a lot of events, especially if you plan on living long enough to tell your story.
This particular event, the Shinugu Matsuri , took months of planning in advance and I'm still tying up loose ends, months afterwards to keep good relations with all the folks who helped make my stories possible. Every now and then, I go back to the village of Ada and pay a visit , meet people who remember the bearded old guy with the cameras and spend some time socializing with them. The festival they hold only happens, the way I want to shoot it, once every two years. I figure if I keep going back and making friends, soon everybody up there will know me and we can chat, visit with each other and soon enough I'll know where everyone lives and I'll check their houses and make sure nobody bought any damn banjos before I go up the mountain again !
Oh, before I forget; my New Years Resolution hit Print , so, if you get a chance check it out and Stumble/Tweet it; it drives them Google folks wild !
To be continued.....
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