Teruhiko Tsuchida is a master in creating moody B&W images.
He claims that photography and music are very similar. Jazz, rock, soul, classic, the subject in his photos is a melody and the impression will change according to the arrangement. Let us be overwhelmed by the musical and atmospheric impact of his work and the man behind these images full of poetry.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born in Tokyo, Japan and I currently live in Tokyo. I am an amateur photographer.
I work in accounting. Other hobbies are dance music, disco, soul, funk, and pop music vinyl records and a CD collection, mainly from the late 1970s and 1980s.
I have about 3000 vinyl records. . . However, as more records are added, it will be a problem if the floor collapses, so we stopped collecting them now ...
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
I have pictures of my parents when they were still very young. I have pictures of me when I was a baby, taken by my father and mother. They all are sepia toned and monochrome. Those pictures have a very good atmosphere. I think my current work has been influenced a lot by old photographs.
We can remember the past with photographs, we can imagine stories, we can share them.
I think that is wonderful.
What first attracted you to photography?
About 20 years ago I started a website as a hobby. The content of the website featured poetry written by oneself. The site also posted photographs of landscapes fitting the poems. At that time, I was not interested in "photography". Therefore, I used free scenery material. Adding photos to the poems made it more intense and emotive. I reviewed plenty of photographs and thought they really were beautiful. That's when I started thinking about taking pictures myself.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
Many of my work posted on 1x is "Creative edit". It is pure fantasy and my "own world” re-created". To get the mood, I think the following elements are important: mood, lyrical, poetry, atmosphere,sorrowfulness, loneliness... If a viewer sympathizes and feel it, we can become one and that gives me lots of satisfaction. That's my target and I will continue pursuing the creation of my own vision on the world.
Why are you so drawn by moody Black and White Photography?
That is because I like monochrome and old photographs, as I said before.
I think that photography and music are very similar. The subject is the main melody.
Developing, editing and retouching are the personal arrangement.
Even with the same main melody, you can re-arrange it as romantic music or an up-tempo song. Which do you prefer? That depends on peoples choice.
I like quiet romantic music, jazzy, slow or mid tempo-music. Creating mood is my favourite way of expressing myself.
What is more important to you, the mood, the story behind your images or the technical perfection?
To me, the atmosphere is more important than technical completeness.
For example, you have a portrait but there is no face to be seen. The viewer imagines what kind of face it may be. It can be described in abstract terms as blurring or floating in noise. This kind of technique in photography can be characterized as "unfinished".
If it is "incomplete", what kind of story does it tell ? Everybody can fill it in according to his own imagination to make it “complete”.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer? Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
I do not prepare any locations where I want to go to photograph. I simply walk through the city looking for interesting subjects that are touching me. Everything is coincidence and I'm always ready to walk a lot to finally meet a good scene.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
EXAKTA VX Iia
ZEISS IKON Ikonta521/2
Lenses (for Pentax)
FA 77mmF1.8 Limited
SAMYANG 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm F2.8ED SDM WR
Cullman camera bag
What software do you use to process your images?
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I have a lot of photographs that I took in my past. I wander through them and select a picture with lots of atmosphere OR I will go out to take new photographs.
I'm imagining stories and will take pictures of landscapes and people which are going to fit.
I'm editing and matching the images to create the story that I have in mind.
Using Photoshop Elements, I create a layer from one photograph and more layers for the sky, the ground, the buildings, the people.
Afterwards, I apply effects and blur on each layer. And finally I tweak and fine-tune all of the layers to get the result I want. I adjust the light and contrasts with a brush.
This is outlined. I explain it here considerably simplified. But it doesn't always go well.
Even after lots of editing, it may fail. But if the final result is convincing, I upload the image on 1x.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in moody Black and White Photography and how do you get started?
This is a most difficult question!
Please calm down your heart before processing.
Put on your favourite slow songs. Dark music may be good.
Have a drink if possible and you should become romantic!
Than you can start editing! ;-)
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I'm a big fan of the famous Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama
I also do love a lot street photography. Even before I became a 1x member I was browsing a lot through the splendid photos on the site. And by chance, I discovered Milena Seita that I really admire. Her work is so beautiful. I respect her wonderful sensibility very much.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
Yes, "Someone Else's Dream" by Milena Seita
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography into in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Photography... A wonderful moment is a moment to catch.
I don't have specific goals currently. I'm just very happy if I can go out shooting. Therefore, I always carry my camera around. It is not a specific target, but I want to continue that consciousness and keep on enjoying.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
Shooting on rainy days is not easy. The reason is obvious, everything gets wet, including the camera. It was winter when I took this photo. It was very cold too and I was soaked wet myself. I remember that I was trembling in the cold when I pressed the button.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I got a lot of excitement and inspiration when discovering so many outstanding photographs that 1x features. To me, it is the very best photo site. I am honoured to be a member. I'm learning everyday and got lots of stimulating reactions. It makes me very decided to pursue and improve my skills. I appreciate all of you.