by HIroshi Yamazaki
The word for the title of this collection, Heliography( Sun Picture ) , is the term which Nicephore Niepce, one of the creators of the daybreak of photography, gave to the photographic technique he himself discovered. In comparison with the trademark-like labeling of Daguerre’s daguerreotype and Talbot’s talbotype( or calotype), a frank desire and sensitivity toward the “art of light” seem to be expressed here. I think heliography, as a word, is comparable with the term photography, which is said to have come from the astronomer J.Herschel. Whenever I capture the sun, pure light itself, as subject matter inside a frame, the first thing that comes to my mind is the word “heliography”
The series gathered here was all shot and released in 1978. However I displayed two photographs taken through a long exposure of the sun as early as 1974 at my first individual exhibition entitled “Obserbation: Obserbational Ideas” at the Galleria Graphica in Tokyo. These were part of a series on the sea, which included long exposure shots putting the horizon in the center of the picture. For a while after that, almost all my presetations bore the title “Observation”. My “Heliography” photos first carried titles like “Observation No.8 ” (at my own exhibit at the Ai Gallery in Tokyo); and my “The Sun is Longing for the Sea”, for example, was presented as “Observation No.9 ” (at a group exhibit at the Designers Space in Tokyo). With the exception of my offering entitled “THE SUN” at the “Japan: A Self Portrait” group exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York City, I continued with that sort of naming until my 1979 exhibition called “Observation No.10 ” at the Konishi Roku Photo Gallery in Tokyo. However after that, I have been presenting my “photos of the sun” under the title “Heliography”.
Now that I have adopted Niepce’s appealing designation for titling my photographs, I feel I must also maintain the same earnest enthusiasm for photography as my great predecessor had.
October , 1983
by Hiroshi Yamazaki
(translated by Lora Sharnoff)
Hiroshi Yamazaki is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.