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I have always been a huge fan of Michael Kenna’s photography. I think I have been inspired to do many of my black and white photographs in square mode because of him and his use of Hasselblad cameras. I have however never aspired to taking long exposures like him but his minimalist, beautifully visualized photographs have always made me wish I had his talent for seeing a scene.
My daughter recently gave me his book “Forms of Japan” for my birthday and it is an awesome volume. It is a coffee table format book designed by Yvonne Meyer-Lohr with 300 pages that are organized into chapters titled Sea, Land, Trees, Spirit and Sky. The reproduction of Kenna’s images are superb and although they obviously cannot emulate the luminosity and depth of the original silver gelatin prints they are nevertheless excellent. The full page photographs in the book are faced with haiku poems that complement the photographs perfectly. It is a book which will inspire and make me return to it time and time again.