16mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400
Ah, I can’t argue with the fact that breaks are nice. Especially around the holidays (if you’re able to avoid the stress!), some well-deserved time off with friends and family can do wonders for the mind and body. My two-week “reset” really helped fix some of my health issues I have been having, notably regarding my sleep. Though it is likely temporary since I am headed back into the same conditions of barracks living like I have lived for the past year, I’m enjoying the respite from exhaustion and sleep deprivation while it lasts.
As such, I am getting out and photographing even in the cold of winter here in Japan, and while I am still working on photographs from late 2016, new sights aren’t going to see themselves around here! Back on the subject of catching up on 2016, this post contains my first adventure into Yokohama, what some consider as the “little brother” to Tokyo. Easier to access, and a bit more spread out than the megacity many around the world already know, Yokohama is a large but manageable Japanese city on its own that holds many attractions for everyone. Best enjoyed with friends, a day trip to Yokohama (this one in the tail-end of November!) is sure to end with some fun and memorable times. Continue Reading
Howdy there! Right up to the few days before Christmas, I hoped to get my last couple catch-up posts written up online from Yokohama and Tokyo. Unfortunately for the past six days straight I had work almost the entire day (and evening), so you can imagine all I wanted to do when I made it back to my barracks was sleep! Rest assured, though, the photos aren’t going anywhere soon, and I will work on them upon returning from a two-week hiatus.
Speaking of why I’m taking a break anyway, Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to all my readers out there, I hope you take note to spend some good time with friends and family, and maybe treat yourself to a little photography gift this year too. C’mon…you know you deserve it! On break I will be photographing and videoing with my new a6500, so we’ll just have to see just what this blocky little camera can do (spoiler: I love it so far…except for it missing Tri-Navi…).
And with that, I leave you with my first photograph to share from the a6500. Actually, it’s 12 photographs stitched together with Lightroom CC, a whopping 87 megapixel file! And if you look a little closely, you may spot a nice little moon “ornament” shining brightly in the center of the tree. Take care guys and gals, I’ll catch you on the flip side. As always, have a great day!
Christmas at the End of Blue Hour
32mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/30, 12 photos stitched
16mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/100
Well, day by day, I’m still editing and posting up what’s left of my previous photo excursions into the late November/early December time of year here in Japan. As the chill of winter starts to set in, the flora all around is slowly dying off, with colors fading and leaves falling to be swept up the next day. Pretty soon, the hum-drum of my least favorite season will take over for a few months, leaving me a bit more time to a) Sleep in more b) Work on some lens/gear reviews and c) Hopefully sleep in again some more! Of course, when the cold does get here to stay, I will make my best effort to get some snow shots, maybe even as far north as Hokkaido’s epic snow villages if I get a 3-day weekend.
But, if my current photos have anything to say about it, that time has not yet come! Right near the peak of Fall color in Tokyo, some friends and I headed on a late afternoon trip to the 143-acre Shinjuku National Garden to catch some late November sights. I did not realize just how impressively the park expands into about a third of the size of New York’s Central Park. As are many things in Japan, however, the park is very space-efficient and contains many smaller vistas and gardens for visitors to enjoy, in addition to vast stretches of open field for picnicking and recreational sports. At the super-reasonable 200¥ admission price, I’ll likely see myself coming back again later next year. All photos below with the NEX-7 and Rokinon 16mm f/2, Zeiss Touit 32mm, and Laowa 105mm T3.2 (the last of which I really, really am trying to find time to review!). Continue Reading
16mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125
I knew I would find myself back in Kamakura sooner or later. In fact, I even mentioned I looked forward to a return visit upon planning another route in my last walkthrough around the historic city. Just as Fall colors entered their season, I decided it was time to give it another shot. As luck would have it, though, I quickly found the day to be mostly overcast and rainy. Granted, this made it easier for getting deeper colors in the foliage (and avoiding those pesky hard shadows), but as many know, I’m a sucker for deep blue skies and fluffy clouds in my images. Continue Reading
Ready to Party
16mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/60
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. Continue Reading
16mm, ISO 100, f/2, 1/125
When you live near the most populous metropolitan area in the world, it pays to get out and experience all there is to see, as often as you can. When that city is also just an hour’s train ride away, there is really little excuse not to go! As I am always finding out, Tokyo is a city I will likely never be able to see all of during my stay here in Japan. Its sheer size and density makes planning out a day trip all the more difficult. Nowadays, when I do go to Tokyo, there is rarely a specific place in mind I try to go to. Instead, based on the weather conditions and local happenings, I vaguely plan my route as I am on the train ride over!
Dontonbori in the Rain
16mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/25
Though this post comes in a week after I intended to publish, I’ve finally come to the end of editing and captioning my series of photographs from my week-long vacation in Kansai! Even looking back over a month ago, the places visited and experiences I had are still very vivid in my memory. Every time I look back at my photos, I want to go back, or even explore new places here in Japan. It’s great that long distance buses are cheap here for weekend trips!
In my last few days in Kansai, I got to check out the port town of Kobe, enjoyed a mostly-indoor rainy day in Osaka, and wandered around a couple of the massive temples in Kyoto. I wasn’t as trigger happy with my camera these last days, though combined, this post has 70 photos in all. So with that said, let’s do a little exploring around Japan, shall we? Continue Reading
105mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/500
Whew! Seems like with every passing day I am getting further and further behind in my personal photographic work. The files just keep piling on, while I can’t find the time to edit and post up the shots! I have to admit that this is a great problem to have, though, especially given my photographic drought in 2015.
Up for posting today is day two of my photographic journey in the Kansai region, specifically my time in Osaka at the Rice Planting Festival (Otaue Shinji) and a brief stop at the majestic Osaka Castle. For more information on the rice planting festival and its history, please see this link. Since I already made the fortunate mistake of arriving to Sumiyoshi-Taisha a day before the festival, I had a decent mental map of the area to navigate the grounds easily among all the visitors and performers. Note: a video recapping much of the festival’s events will be near the bottom of this post. Continue Reading
Buck over Nara
105mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/200
Every once in a while, you have to go into full-blown tourist mode. I am positive that everyone does it at least once when visiting or living in someplace new. Usually it involves overzealous sightseeing, diving into the local culture, and perhaps spending a bit more money than one should have spent. This is all well and good in moderation, though, since it gives someone the chance to experience something unique in the world and take in a breath of fresh air. Continue Reading
105mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/1000
The spirit and tone of sightseeing varies greatly depending on who you are with, the weather of the day, as well as whether or not you brought a camera along. The last time I visited Kamakura, my camera gear had not yet arrived to Japan. Granted, it was also December, and a little too cold14 to be holding a camera all day. For a long time, I wanted to go back to this historically significant city and take a closer look around with my trusty camera in tow. Continue Reading