Comfort Women in Photos

Comfort Women

Yet again, Japan has campaigned to erase its wartime history into the classroom by demanding that a US publisher remove what they deemed to be “inaccurate” descriptions of tense of thousands of women who were forced to work as sex slaves before and during the war. It aims to delete texts and depictions of women from textbooks used in high schools. “Comfort women” is a euphemism that is commonly used for sex in Japan, even Japanese comfort women.

Japanese Comfort Women


They had reportedly removed this part of the history from  three social studies and politics textbooks. Because of this many Japanese protesters rallied against the Shinzo Abe government. According to Larry Niksch, Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, “He is trying to have it both ways. He says things that encourage the history revisionists, but he also makes statements that put some distance between himself and the revisionists.” What only remains is photos of these comfort women being thrust upon us via the media. This is the power of the photograph. Protesters in Japan display portraits of women who were sex slaves during the second world war. and every time you look at these photos, you see in these women’s eyes a story of abuse that only speaks of a desperation that wants to be recognized and finally acknowledged by the very government that had restricted and stripped them of a normal life. All this can be gleaned just by looking at a photograph. This is why photography plays a very important role in preserving the history of truth, and its people.

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Depth of field

DOF in action

One of the technical elements that you should take note of when you are a budding photographer is the element of Depth of Field. Depth of Field is important because it has a great impact on your photos. Doing a bad job at it will mean negative effects on your photos, and positive effects, when you know exactly what depth of field does, and how to control it. Taking control of it is essential to being able to take the best possible photos. First we define Depth of Field. Depth of Field is actually the distance between the closest objects in focus and the furthest point of focus, which can be decreased or increased by simply changing the aperture of the lens. A shallow Depth of Field is often used when it forces the focus only onto a certain part of the photo. The Depth of Field is controlled by adjusting the width of the aperture in the lens. So if you do not have a strong understanding of what aperture is, you have to go back and study what it is, how it works, and how you can make it work for you. Go back and read this to learn more about aperture. If your aperture is wide, the depth of field will be shallow. A narrow aperture, on the other hand, stays in focus much longer as the light has a further distance to travel to get out of focus. However, this is not all that affects DoF, there’s also the focal length and distance from subject.

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Comfort Women in Portrait Photography


One of the most powerful ways to take photography is through portrait photography, because portrait photography is not arbitrarily called “portrait” for any reason at all. It is the kind of photography that really seeks to capture and portray its subject in the best and most complete way that it can. To portray a person’s soul, their life and their way of living, their very being can be torn apart by viewer’s just by looking at the photograph, if it was done. For instance, any of the photographs documenting Comfort Women, even US Comfort Women, during the war are done in portrait by the best portraitists or shooters available.

DAYS Japan magazine

There you will see how many o f these photos can say so much about themselves in so little as the eye tell many in-depth about their experiences without ever having to put more elements in the frame. Sometimes all you really need is the subject to do the work for you, but that’s w hat actually is going on right now is already. So some tips for creating good portrait photos include number one, framing your subject. Framing is a photography technique where your goal is to draw attention to one element of an image by framing it with another element of an image. What framing does is to give you an image depth and help your image draw the viewer’s eye to the point of interest in the image. Examples of framing include putting your subject in a window or doorway. However, it is extremely interesting to observe that portrait photography of Comfort Women often do not need framing. Most only need to center in their subject and look them straight in the eye. The natural curves of their faces’ lines, and their eyes looking straight in the camera is almost always enough to tell the entire story about how they were forced into sexual prostitution, the physical and psychological torment that it included, as well as the grievances that continue for not receiving any form of retribution or compensation from the Japanese government who has continued to turn blind eyes, deaf ears, and revisionist hands on their stories.

Comfort Women exhibition

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Aperture sizes


In order to create a good exposure for your photograph, it is important to understand how you can have a good grasp of taking an evenly exposed photo. There are really three factors that affect the exposure. There is the aperture, the shutter speed, and finally, there is the ISO that help each other to produce an exposure. But perhaps, the number one factor that affects exposure is Aperture. When we talk about aperture, you can think of it as the controls for the pupil of your eye. If your eye gets wider, more light is allowed inside. Depending on the diameter of the aperture, more or less light will be absorbed by the sensor depending on the situation. Wen we talk about light and exposure, the wider apertures will really allow more light and allow less for narrower apertures. The aperture that we keep talking about is measured using something that is known to photographers as the f-stop scale. On your camera, you will see an ‘f’ that is followed by a number. The number will then denote how wide the aperture is, which will consequently affect the exposure and depth of field. The lower the number gets, the wider the aperture.

The scale is as follows: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22

The most important fact to know about these numbers is that, from each number to the next, the aperture decreases to half its size and allows 50% less light through the lens.

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