Yasuteru Kasano

Japan’s aftermath

Immersed in the surreal and tragic images of tsunami-hit Japan, headlines ringing with nuclear warnings, the world slowly begins to take stock of the damage.

For the imaging industry this has meant the closure of two major manufacturing plants, one Canon the other Nikon, after employee injury and structural damage in last week’s quake.

Canon has confirmed that 15 employees sustained injuries at its Utsunomiya plant, which is responsible for a large portion of the company’s lens production, with operations suspended indefinitely.

Nikon experienced similar disruption at its Sendai plant where an unspecified number of employees, working on the company’s professional DSLR models, were injured and the plant shut down.

Despite these blows both companies have pledged large sums towards the country’s relief effort.

Canon has pledged 300 million Yen (about NZ$5.8 million) and Nikon is making a cash donation of 100 million Yen (about NZ$1.69 million) to the Japanese Red Cross.

Update: Panasonic has also reported staff injuries in one of its its digital camera manufacturing plants, as well electronic materials and washer and dryer factories, ceasing opperations in one unspecified location.

The company has pledged 300 million Yen (about NZ$5.8 million) along with 10,000 radios and flashlights, 500,000 dry batteries and 4000 solar LED lanterns to the recovery effort.

On a smaller but no less generous scale, Japanese photographer Yasuteru Kasano has pledged to donate all money from sales of his independently published photography books to the aid effort.

You can view and purchase Kasano’s work at his website.

Update: Skye Hohmann, a photographer selling prints on image hosting website PhotoShelter, is donating all proceeds from her print sales to the Japan relief effort through the Canadian Red Cross.

You can view the photos and order prints at the artist’s website.

Putting the terrible sweep of damage in perspective is no easy task, but Google Earth and Maps team along with mapping company GeoEye have done their best.

The team has provided a KML file that can be uploaded to Google Earth in order to digitally survey the affected area, or a series of before-and-after shots can be accessed in this Picsa album.

The D-Photo team’s thoughts certainly go out to the nation, if our readers are aware of any other photography projects seeking to help the relief effort please let us know.