Opinion

The Floating World of One Woman’s Camera Diary

For her May 30 levitation, "Yowayowa Camera Woman" Natsumi Hayashi demonstrates a perfectly reasonable solution to avoiding subway seat grime.
For her May 30 levitation, "Yowayowa Camera Woman" Natsumi Hayashi demonstrates a perfectly reasonable solution to avoiding subway seat grime.

Floating around Twitter and Sina Weibo as of late has been my new favorite blog, Yowayowa Camera Woman Diary. Lifted to the web by Tokyo-based photographer Natsumi Hayashi, the diary features a series of “daily levitations,” as Hayashi drifts through the hustle and bustle of her city.

The levitations, of course, are ever so carefully staged, but in a very low-tech way.  In a series of clear instructions posted on her site, she describes the meticulous steps she follows. Having experimented with photo self-portraiture myself, I can attest to the difficulty of capturing that perfect moment [emphasis mine]:

First, I get a composition and a focus manually.  Then I press the shutter release, run to the right position for a levitation as checking the camera’s blinking red LED counts down 10 seconds and jump by my intuition. In this manner, I need to jump over and over to get the right shot.

As Hayashi describes, “yowayowa” means “weak” or “feeble” in Japanese, and the works reflect a childlike whimsy as she floats out of the mundanities of life, from drinking fountain water to vacuuming the house.  They remind me of the primary way of navigating through Second Life and, naturally, Dwight Schrute’s addiction in The Office. =The blog has been a hit online, as she hosts nearly 10,000 followers and rising across Twitter and Sina Weibo.

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