sechan19: (butterfly)
[personal profile] sechan19
About a month or so back, I was invited to attend a research session (chōsa) at the Kōsanji Temple Museum in Hiroshima Prefecture with my Japanese cohort. (I didn't blog about it at the time, although I should have. Sorry!) During this session, I spent a lot of time doing odd jobs for the group—helping to hold the folding screens (byōbu) flat for photography, recording measurements of the objects, and even taking photographs for the cohort's image archives. I was pretty nervous about playing photographer; the camera I was using was expensive, belonged to my professor, and seemed a lot smarter than me. I carried on, though, and shot somewhere in the vicinity of one-hundred pics (both close details and distance shots that captured the entirety of the works). At the end of the session, I was heartily thanked for my contribution.

Flash forward to today. We had our first day of seminar after the New Year holidays, and there were a lot of announcements to be made. The professor handed out free tickets to museum exhibitions that she had received and mentioned that we'd be discussing plans for upcoming research sessions at next week's meeting. When class broke up, after three interesting presentations, we all milled about—as per tradition—making small (and large) talk.

I was about to pack up and leave when I heard the professor calling me.

"Teva, come and look at your photo!"

It turns out that the professor had used one of my shots from the Kōsanji trip for an article she recently published on Genji-e, and she wanted me to see it in all its glory. Myself and two other students had a look at the glossy shot, while the professor praised my photographic skills to within an inch of their life. It was apparently an incredibly well-detailed photo, perfectly suited to the specifications of what she wanted to illustrate, and she was exceedingly happy with it.

Admittedly, this was all a little embarrassing. I consider myself an indifferent photographer at best. When I do remember to take pictures of things with a camera, I typically point, shoot, and hope for the best. But I'm very happy that she was pleased with my shots, and it was incredibly kind of her to make such a big deal of what was a actually very small contribution on my part—even if it did cause me to blush profusely in front of my colleagues. The journal issue itself, which is entirely dedicated to Genji-e, looks very, very interesting. I'll have to see if I can get a copy of it...
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May 2014

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