I have been photographing with Leica cameras for thirty years. My first Leica was a IIIf, screw-mount Leica with flash sync capability (I actually never used flash). I added another IIIf, then sold both, switching to M-mount Leicas in early 1990s. I now own three M-mount Leicas, including one digital, added four years ago.

I have used many Leica lenses as well, but now I only own two 50mm, one 35mm, and one 90mm Leica lenses. All of them were purchased in early 1990s, and still working great. I will keep shooting with them for the rest of my life, so to speak.

Under Brooklyn Bridge. Photoville 2019

I have been mostly shooting with digital Leica for past four years, partially due to lack of darkroom. I had no problem with it, until recent visit to Photoville 2019 in DUMBO, Brooklyn, where Leica Camera booth was hard to ignore.

In film era, Leica used to be legendary among professionals from 1930s through 1970s. Then, Japanese SLR system took over. Now, Leica is regaining their popularity by digital convenience and versatility. Little by little, I see more Leicas on the street and in professional’s hands. I also know Leica now try to become a fashion icon, with extraordinary price tags.

Leica Camera booth at Photoville 2019 was also focused solely on digital Leicas, introducing current cameras with accompanying image shots. They look so brilliant, but wait. There was  an era of film Leicas for over eighty years. I still own two bodies, and I can shoot as long as I find 35mm film. I pulled them out and operated. Pure mechanical operation feels absolutely great with silky smoothness. Now, I determined I shall resume film photography in some way, occasionally.

Before shooting with film Leica, I have to read the light (mostly using light meter) and set exposure, which I can omit when shooting with digital Leica. They are redundant, but may be an indispensable part of photographing, I now realize.  “Slow down,” I remember the word; I was told decades ago shooting with film. KT

In this photograph of west Tokyo Station, I only remember white facade of the building on the right. Everything else is brand new.

Last month, I had a chance to revisit Tokyo and Kyoto of Japan. It was a nice vacation to me, with no specific engagement during trip. Thanks to jet lag, I could start walking around the cities right after sunrise, and photograph here and there.

Even since way before getting ready for the Olympics, Tokyo has been transforming and expanding. The huge earthquake in north part of country 2011 gave a tremendous impact on building design in Tokyo. I don’t want to call them “ugly,” but their new tall and thick appearance is nothing but visually intimidating. In a way, I had difficulty to find nostalgic remaining in Tokyo.

Kamogawa River of Kyoto City. The river must have been here for over thousand years.

Surprisingly, Kyoto was not quite like that. Of course, it is an old city, but the way the city transforms seems like water dripping into a pond. I was happy to find things I saw there about forty years ago. Kamogawa River is still flowing. Shrines and temples are there, of course, as if time is not an issue.

This was also the first time for me to revisit Japan with my five-year old digital Leica. I truly enjoyed quick photographing of scenes, of where I used to live and visit decades ago. KT

These trees might have been here for over a few hundred years. In Kyoto City.


This image scanned twenty years later

When I used to photograph only with film, I should dedicate all of my darkroom time to “work.” Of course back then, I photographed a lot of my family, friends and all, but I could not really spend much time for printing those. Darkroom work was so energy-consuming and professionally precious.

When I lost my darkroom three years ago, finally I could make myself some time to look at those “family, friends and all” photographs, and scan them. Some of them were almost twenty years old. They became to own another meaning even for myself. I felt sorry for my family and friends, who eventually had a chance to look at those photographs much later.

What I think of digital photography great is the “convenience.” No matter what your photographic device is, digital images could be sent immediately even to the other side of the planet. Using RAW processing application is as easy as just a few clicks, no physical exhaustion as darkroom work. Occasionally I miss darkroom work, but I shall cherish the convenience of digital photography. KT

You would never ever find this in Manhattan

Although having been living in Manhattan since year 2001, I used to live in Brooklyn for seven years before, mainly because my college, Pratt Institute, has campus there. In a way, I learned everything from art of photography through “how to live in this country” in Brooklyn.

Life in Manhattan is convenient, fast-paced, and exciting, but I believe something is absolutely missing, compared to life in Brooklyn. Because of it, I even think it was so fortunate of me to have learned and practiced my kind of photography in Brooklyn, not in Manhattan.

When I visit Brooklyn nowadays, I can feel it even stronger: In Manhattan, everything seems fairly in control, but in Brooklyn, something still remain out of control, with which you could find some kind of joy; In Manhattan, you can see another person with a camera on every street, but in Brooklyn, you could own the street with your camera…

On my way back from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I sometimes regain my pride as a photographic artist. I can call Brooklyn “my home,” where I successfully developed my own photographing life in my earlier years in this country. KT

This would be impossible with film camera

Back then in early 1990s, there was only film photography. I ended up examining characteristics of films and photographic papers in order to achieve the optimal quality. Before photographing, normally I pulled out my Spotmeter measuring shadows and (sometimes) highlights. It was a necessary redundant process.

None of above is required in digital photography. RAW processing application is much more capable than restrictive films and photographic papers. Some digital techniques are totally impossible for film photography, even with extensive darkroom work. You shall simply appreciate the blessing of digital photography.

However honestly, essence of film photography is always and only acquired by practice for years, even for decades. And, I don’t know if there is an essence of digital photography yet, since I find there is much less build-up in yourself practicing digital photography. Everything is in your camera or applications, and you would only pick and use some of those.

Simply because I know the world of film photography, I wander back and forth between them. I don’t know when I would reach a settlement. KT

Late cherry blossom in the Berkshires, MA

A few months ago, when I was told by the domain name administrator that I would have to recreate my homepage with new website builder, I was a bit uneasy. However, by learning BoldGrid with WordPress as quickly as possible, it turned out to be surprisingly easy, and my new homepage looks better than either of my two previous homepages, I believe. They were built over a decade, and the website building applications were not that convenient back then.

Previously, whenever I added my blog page, it was flooded with spam comments. After a while, I was always forced to close it overall. Now, it is a bit different. I still can put up my blog page. Thanks to the current internet technology.

The only consistent problem is that I don’t really receive any comment on my blog, except spam ones. It may be all right. This could be my self-expression. I thank everyone who would read my blog. KT

When I was working with film, occasionally I opened my book of contact sheets and viewed each image again and again. It was like reading my familiar book, and likewise, I found something new almost every time in them. Some images could be not so strong enough for my fresh eyes then, or I had to wait until I appreciate them right.

Although not contact sheets, this time I reviewed again seriously my digital files photographed in 2016 and 2017. Luckily, I found more than a few which drew my attention. I would like to show them, which is only available by clicking the button below. Hope you would enjoy! KT


I began photographing experimentally when I was twenty years old, and continued photographing entirely with film until early 2016, when I switched photographing with digital Leica.

Photography is an art particularly based on knowledge. The more you know, the more possibility you could seek. Sometimes I am amazed by how proficient notable past photographers were upon photographic process and chemistry.

When I began photographing seriously, I was aware of the importance of formulating chemicals by myself, such as D-76 for film development, and D-72 (aka Dektol) for paper development. I also paid attention to archival process issued by Kodak and Ilford. My original prints in “Classics” shall last as long as two hundred years.

Compared to digital photography, darkroom work is quite redundant and wearying. You may think why such a process is necessary. However, when you see the beauty in true black and white photographs, it is absolutely worth exercising the practice. And, those prints will last for two hundred years! KT

Some viewers of my website may think, “Why does this guy only show black and white photographs on his website?” I would like to explain.

I do not photograph with normal digital cameras, which would capture in color. My digital camera is Leica M Monochrom, which only allows you to capture in black and white. You may be freaked out, or unable to understand what I just described. There is such a kind of camera. I do not follow how it is made, though.

I had been photographing with black and white films for over twenty years before I switched to digital (I still own darkroom gadgets!). I could continue photographing with normal digital cameras, but I prefer visual restriction without color. It is still important for me to see in black and white in front of the subject. For the love of black and white photographs.

For those who know more about Leica: mine is not M Monochrom Typ. 246. Typ. 246 is bulkier, and with very unnecessary black and white video feature. I am a photographer, not a videographer! KT


My Leica M Monochrom with Voigtländer optical viewfinder. Photographed by normal digital camera.



Highway after storm near sunset

Here we go. My first “new” blog post. Yay!

My domain name server’s decision led me to learn something new about website building application, BoldGrid with WordPress. Took a while, but I think I could manage.

I know I am not a great blogger, and only had a bad experience with it, such as automated marketing comments. Hope this time it won’t happen. Anyway, it is simply nice to celebrate with my new looking website! KT