The Kansai region is made up of three major cities all within about an hour of each other. Two of which,Osaka and Kyoto, tend to hog the limelight. But the third, Kobe, deserves it’s own share of praise.It’s more quiet and relaxed that the others, perhaps, but it’s got it’s own interesting history as a port city (it was the busiest port in Japan until the Great Hanshin Earthquake in ’95) and lots of lingering international influences from it’s pedigree as a trade hub for the region.

Of course, you probably won’t see much of that picturesque and fanciful imagery here. You probably know by now that contemporary urban banality tends to be more of my bag, and of course there’s plenty of delicious reserves for that palette in Kobe as well.

“Oh, hello there.”
“Well, hello yourself. You’re looking well.”
“And you. Out for a stroll?”
“Indeed, nice day for it.”

While I almost always try to have my camera on me, because you never know when inspiration is going to suckerpunch you in the gob, there are often times that I’ll reluctantly leave it at home, particularly when going out with others. The issue is that sometimes you nat see something that your heart tells you needs photographing, but it’s not always obvious how best to go about that, which usually results in one of two scenarios:

  1. You’re holding everyone up while you try and explore the nature of your subject so you can get that image.
  2. You’re feeling anxious and jittery as you try and get the shot, which rarely works out due to your skills and instincts being saddled down with guilt and haste, never a good combo.

Nobody here is worked up about waiting for the others.

That’s certainly the great thing about photo walks, as everyone is there to be taking photos so no one is being held up or annoyed. And what’s really interesting is when someone will stop to take a shot and then others in the group will also stop to see what she or he was looking at and then they start shooting it too and you end up with half a dozen interpretations of the same whatever-it-was and everyone has fun, at the very least, and maybe even comes away learning something or widening their visual lexicon.

One more batch to go, if you can believe it. Like I said, when you’re not worried about imposing on the patience of others, you can be rather prolific. 😉

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