Welcome back to another website update, folks! August marks the last full month of summer, and Japan definitely felt the heat for a lot of the month. I didn’t get to experience the “beach scene” that is apparently super popular here, though I had some personal time a couple weekends to go stand-up paddle-boarding (harder than it looks!) and deep-sea fishing for mahimahi. For the former, I’ve managed to paddle-board over 4 miles without falling off, and the latter, caught hundreds of pounds of fish with a fierce sunburn worn as a battle wound.
I rarely take my camera with me on personal adventurous outings, however, since I don’t have a weather-sealed kit (yet?). However, I still managed some more shots this month despite the heat and constantly busy schedule. Earlier in the month Yokosuka held its annual Kaikoku Festival that saw thousands of Japanese citizens visit Yokosuka Naval Base, with a spectacular over-water fireworks show in the evening. It gave me a chance to try out my new carbon-fiber tripod as well as get re-acquainted with the challenges of fireworks shooting—in particular, correctly exposing for the scenery AND the fireworks themselves with varying hues and intensities.
Some individual fireworks were simple two-stage affairs…
…while others exhibited more vibrant triple-stage burns.
Some volleys lit up the sky in deep red and sparks…
…while others turned the dark ocean bright and filled the sky with streams of light.
The atmosphere was warm and friendly, and I couldn’t believe I managed to squeeze in a space for my gear among the thousands of eagerly waiting guests crammed into one of the base’s small parks.
With another summer month also comes another on-base triathlon, and I was tasked with photographing the event yet again. For this race, however, the swimming portion was in open water, so I decided to lug out “Big Papa”—my 400mm f/2.8 AI-s—for many of the action shots on a new monopod.
Just as last time, all of the photographs from that day are posted on Navy Fitness Yokosuka’s Facebook page. Click here for the link to the full album.
The very next week I got another chance to volunteer for some action shots, though this time it was for an annual blacklight Party Run that saw over 600 participants of all ages. Families lined up at the start of the short 5k fun-run with all manner of glow sticks and batons to light up the night. I got to have a bit of fun experimenting with a long exposure to get some light trails, as well!
As the nighttime racers made it back to the finish line—usually covered from head to toe in fluorescent powder-paint—they were greeted with a concert put on by Karmin, an American pop music group that played some covers and original music for the excited (yet tired!) crowd.
Just as with the triathlon, the full album with many more photos can be seen on Navy Fitness Yokosuka’s Facebook page, with the album here after the jump.
That just about catches everything up with photography for August, though if you haven’t yet caught my quick post from another Tokyo walk, check it out here!
In other website happenings, I am still working on testing the awesome Laowa 105mm T3.2. I am hoping to get a decent “first impressions” post up within a month or so, though if I can get enough photographs by then, I may just write up a full review. Also, as I mentioned earlier in the post, I bought a new tripod and monopod recently to help better stabilize my gear. So far, they are both holding up very well and getting the job done without fuss. The only potential problem…is that they are Manfrotto products. Long-time readers may remember my very negative first run-in with defects and quality-control issues about four years ago. I swore I wouldn’t buy their products again, but as time went on and improved iterations released, I decided to give them another shot. Time will tell if I made the right decision, and two quick reviews will follow suit after more extensive use.
In other photography news, I am STILL waiting for that magical a7000/9000 or even an A9 series camera from Sony. The company has greatly sealed up the flow of loose information, as even big rumor sites like sonyalpharumors.com aren’t getting much information. In fact, Sony even released a new 50mm f/2.8 macro lens for their e-mount cameras without so much as a peep of warning from the rumor mill. Who knows, then?! I’ve been saving up for my dream camera for a while now, maybe it is coming sooner than I think…
Rumors and hopes aside, that’s all for this photo-filled August update, guys and gals. Thanks for dropping by! I hope you all enjoy the last bits of summer before the cool Fall air starts blowing in your neck of the woods. For me, I definitely can’t wait for the leaves to start turning, as there are some spots locally in Kamakura that I want to photograph with all the warm-colored plumage. As always, have a great day!