I went to Mizukoshi's photography exhibit at in Ebisu, Tokyo today and was quite impressed with his photos. I go to a lot of shows, mostly small, and try to get to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (in Ebisu Garden Place) at least once a month and his is one of my favorites. I have seen his work in books before, but as expected, it is completely different when one can see the real photos.
One thing that I have noticed with his and other's photography is how little some of the things we worry about on some of the photo critique sites like photoSIG or equipment discussion/debate sites like the Nikonians, seems to matter. Had he put some of his photos up for critique on those sites, he would have been told that he occasionally had blown highlights, his photos had too much noise (grain, since his was film) and most weren't sharp enough by far. (Black and white photos were all very sharp, but the color photos were not at all.) I am sure that some would have said many of his photographs were too dark. Why, good god, he even had a few corners darkened perhaps from a filter or lens hood. He also failed to list such trivia as the camera, lens, f-stop, ISO/ASA, shutter speed, camera bag, lens cap brand etc.
It made no difference, and I supposed nobody cared except for those of us who spend time looking for such things. None of it detracted from any of his photos. And as for the "noise," I was satisfied to see it again. Now I can stop worrying much about it in photos I take.
His photographs were consistently exceptional because of his use of light. His composition was spot on too, but naturally did not always follow so-called rules. (He does make good use of diagonal lines in most.) Since most of his photos are landscapes, his subject matter is excellent o begin with and he does a superb job of enhancing that excellence in photos.
A lot of the photography forums are more focused on technical details and equipment because that is the easy part. All you have to do is learn it. The actual art is the tough part. Only a select few are really successful as artists. Most of the rest of us just have to please ourselves and be satisfied if a few other people occasionally enjoy something we have done.
Anyway, I liked his show and purchased one of his books with photos from the show. They don't look nearly as good as the prints---most are lighter too, but still an excellent reminder of what is important.
His exhibit runs through July 1, 2007.