Saturday, November 8, 2008

Shutterbug Showdown

One of my oldest and dearest friend, Han, and I have an on-going competition to determine who is the better photographer. We’ve known each other since high school and pretty much have been driving each other nuts since then. One of the many things we like to do together is travel. We’ve pretty much scoured Asia, Europe and even Australia together. Just last month, we both ended up in Japan during a business trip for me and while he was visiting his very cute Japanese girlfriend.

On the streets of Shibuya we got into another one of our epic stand-offs about photography. Lately (as in years now) Han has been quite the nag about how I should take pictures for him. “Your pictures are boring. Have better composition. What happened to you? You really suck now. Give me that camera! Do it like this. Are you paying attention!?” That’s pretty much the script whenever he sees a camera in my hand.

This is all rather ironic since I was the one that introduced him to the art of documenting history via the camera. I am the one that got him addicted, no, more than that, obsessed with taking pictures of every single damn thing in sight.

Actually, I know where it all began too. It was in Ankor Wat (Cambodia). I insisted he stand by a magnificent stone window. He was not in the mood and resisted (see expression of pissed off-ness to the right). Basically I ordered him to pose for me and would not take no for an answer. Then I directed him to take a similar shot for me. Instead of saying thank you for making him look like a model with my shot and reciprocating in kind, he said, “You need to date a photographer so you can leave me alone,” and walked off. Nice friend, huh? But, when he finally saw the image, he was converted. That picture (shown here) remains a classic and the impetus for his obnoxious camera-happy attitude now.

So, back to Shibuya where Han was once again belligerent about me taking the perfect pix of him. He claims I no longer possess such powers and that, “the student has surpassed the master.” Well, just because I am calmer these days does not mean I lack the ability to create interesting images. So, here’s the deal, this is going to be a minor SHUTTERBUG SHOWDOWN. I will post a few of the better images directed by us. The ones he directed will have his name next to it, Han. Mine will have, Master Monkey Ninja (MMN).

Please vote and comment on pictures if you can. Let me know why you chose one photographer over the other.

Image #1: Han & I in Harajuku (photographer: random stranger, director: MMN)
Image #2: Me at Edinburgh Castle garden grounds (photographer: Han, director: Han)
Image #3: Me in Shibuya (photographer: Han, director: Han)
Image #4: Han at Ankor Wat (photographer: MMN: director: MMN)
Image #5: Han in Tokyo Metro ((photographer: MMN: director: MMN)

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