SUPPORTED BY 18-270MM

PROFILE

Etsuko Enami

Etsuko Enami

Enami was born in Kyoto. Always being grateful of "only once in the life" encounters, she continues to capture, with an agile viewpoint, a wide range of subjects from people, nature, customs and the issue of aging population. She won the 37th Kodansha Publishing Culture Award with her photography collection, Little People. She is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society.

GALLERY

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The Sunlight of Provence

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MESSAGE

My shooting territory for this trip was Arles in the south of France, a prosperous region in ancient Roman times. In its old city center remain an ancient arena still in use today for bullfighting as well as Romanesque buildings such as the Church of St. Trophime with its beautiful cloister. Being a home of World Heritage Sites and a photo festival, Arles had been a subject of interest to me for some time, so I decided to go and take a look. Departing from Narita, I arrived at Paris in the early morning and immediately took the TGV to Avignon. On the journey from there to Arles, as I gazed upon several sunflower fields, my exhaustion from the long trip seemed to vanish and I suddenly felt full of energy. I saw dazzling sunlight and deep blue sky. I hear that many people come here just for this sunlight.

Arles is famous for being the place where painter Vincent van Gogh spent his last years. It is possible to visit the locations where he painted such famous works as Langlois Bridge at Arles and Café Terrace at Night. I went straight to these places to take a look for myself, but unfortunately, they did not interest me photographically. The old buildings of the city were themselves quite impressive, but visiting the arena at night, I accidently sat on a slug and was bitten by insects, and these events ended up leaving a greater impression on me.

While I did have such somewhat uncomfortable experiences, what drew my attention more than anything else in Arles was the refined appearance of women who reminded me of Van Gogh's paintings and The Girl from Arles, a short story by Alphonse Daudet. There was a festival in progress on the day I arrived in Arles, so I spotted many people dressed in traditional costumes, and every woman I saw was brimming with dignified grace. I suppose this impression may have been partly due to the impact of the costumes they wore, but, as the rumors imply, the city was full of beautiful women. I was particularly surprised at how, even on ordinary days, there were people walking around in costumes and they wonderfully matched the city scenery. What also stuck with me was the tranquil manner and bearing of the people and the way the flow of time seemed somehow unhurried. When I pointed my camera at an old man relaxing on a balcony with his dog, his wife appeared from out of the house to give me some candy. I would hear laughter coming from blue and green doors of other houses. My best travel memories of Arles are dominated not by famous sightseeing spots, but rather by its radiant light and the clear gazes of people I met while walking its streets.

Feedback on having used 18-270mm (Model B008)

I like to travel as light as possible, so the fact that this lens by itself could handle almost all subjects was most attractive for me. In actual shooting, I was able to conveniently utilize the entire lens range, from wide-angle to telephoto settings, according to the subject. However, since telephoto shots can result in a dark image with an f-number of 6.3, I realized I need to be careful in shooting shadow and twilight scenes while raising the ISO speed, rather than relying too much on the VC (Vibration Compensation) function.

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