I am not always sure why I like Daido Moriyama's photography so much. After all, it is often out of focus, very grainy and contrasty. His photographs are usually of urban settings and not the prettiest parts of town. And yet, his photographs are so compelling. Daido Moriyama is best appreciated by looking at, and reading, his books. Like many Japanese photographers, he has mastered the art of the photobook. Over the years, I am slowly building a little Daido Moriyama library. It will probably never be complete since he is so prolific, but it is a growing collection I enjoy. For me, Moriyama captures like no other the smells, rhythms and sounds of a particular city. I find his type of photography liberating. He goes out most days (actually nights) with a small, simple compact camera and just shoots whatever he feels and sees. When the pictures are put together, they make a unique Moriyama story. Whenever I feel timid about going out doing some street photography, I read one of his books or watch a video of Moriyama on YouTube. Recently, Thames & Hudson (beautifully edited by Mark Holborn) has published in one volume Daido Moriyama's Records numbers 1-30. These were first published in 1972 as small magazines serving as a sort of visual diary, Kiroku (record in Japanese). Moriyama still publishes them today (I believe we are up to number 36 now). Here is a trailer of the video filmed in London when Moriyama was having an exhibition at Tate Modern with William Klein. You will see how Moriyama goes about taking pictures and putting together one of his records. (The whole video used to be available for free on YouTube but you can only see the trailer now; worth hunting down the video).