Mini Brief 2: Daidō Moriyama Research


These are Moriyama’s images and I do not own the rights to these images.

In this blog post we’ll be looking at my research on Daidō Moriyama for the second mini brief.

Daidō Moriyama is a Japanese Photographer, known for his images depicting the breakdown of traditional values in post-war Japan. Moriyama has been quite open, about his use of compact cameras throughout his photography. But as one of Moriyama’s photography assistants has said “The photographer had been a slave of the camera for a long time. Good camera, good lens, Leica, etc….. But in a way, Daido Moriyama is a photographer who started to make the camera his own slave. Photography is not about the camera.” He went on to say that you can use any tool to write a romantic letter and it is the same with photography.

It has never been about the camera for Moriyama but he has always shot with Ricoh Compact cameras. He started with a Ricoh GR1 which was a compact film camera. At some point Ricoh gifted him a digital compact camera – the Ricoh GR Digital series, which has an APS-C crop-sized sensor. Though not as big as a 35mm negative, the sensor will provide very good image quality. This will provide image quality similar to APS-C DSLR’s.

This image was taken when Moriyama was working as an assistant to Eikoh Hosoe. This was part of his collection Nippon gekijō shashinchō, which showed the darker sides of urban life and the less-seen parts of Japan’s cities. This image has film-noir aesthetics and does communicate the idea of darker life in cities of Japan. The composition of the image is very appealing and looks like Moriyama was standing outside the café looking in. This only emphasises the film-noir aesthetic and the film still look. The image has its own story the girl waiting on someone who is late looks out the window. Moriyama would have likely seen the image in his mind and waited to capture the image.

I like Moriyama’s work unlike Zack Arias, it feels up close and in the moment of the subject. Whereas more Arias’ images seem to be a step back and give you more information on what the subject is do


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