Sundays spent around the Yoyogi Park entrance adjacent to Harajuku Station should be a treasure trove of seriously unique individuals for any photographer to find. The area is usually known for the cosplayers that hang out for the crowds to see, but I found that a lot of the cosplayers would bring along a photographer friend that was always a gigantic sleazy asshole to any other photographers in the area who would dare take pictures of a cosplayer in a public place. They would get in your face even if you were taking pictures from really far off. It is best to just move along a few hundred yards to the park entrance and catch the greasers and their awkward dancing! They had no problem with photographers as long as they do not light a match anywhere near their hair..
This is the last shot that I took while in Asia. Minutes later we boarded our flight and we were off back to the States. Bittersweet.
Monkey seemed like he needed a friend, so one week ago we went and adopted another kitten who wears cute little mittens everywhere she goes. She is a lot more photogenic, cuddly, and about half the size of our other kitten, but she holds her own when they play fight together.
So I have not been processing photos lately, setting up our place, kittens, and school all kind of have higher priorities lately, but I have this archive folder of shots that I have worked on and then never posted for some reason or another. I don’t know why I do not dig down into my archive folder with my little spoon to keep my blog from getting moldy?
I finally bought an Arca-Swiss plate for my 70-200 tripod foot so I can start getting some landscape and architectural shots with this most excellent lens. I have really liked the results, although, if it gets very windy, I find that my carbon fiber tripod is a little bit too much on the travel size to be able to handle long exposure shots with the 70-200 mounted up there without getting a little blur. It was a bit windy this evening, so I had to hang my entire bag on the tripod to ensure all exposures would come out sharp.
Why I did not lie down in the monkey scat speckled ground to capture an eye level view of a baby monkey wrestling match is beyond me, but this will have to do. I was thinking about making something I could print out and hang on the wall and wanted to try my hand at a tryptych variation, the quadtych. The only problem is that the wifey and I are both obsessed with these monkeys and will probably end up with an overabundance of monkey pictures on our wall once we get moved into our next place.
View in SUPER ULTRA MAXIMUM Size
I know some people like to give their lenses people names. I think I might name my 70-200 Mr. Peepers. I love throwing it on and just camping out at different crowded spots in Tokyo and seeing the reactions I get when looking through the lens. It is kind of big, so it stands out and some people immediately dislike it, a lot of them seem to like it, and some don’t really know what to think. Here Mr. Peepers and I were camped out at Shibuya Crossing. My friend was with me who has the same camera and the newest version of my lens, so we stood out pretty well.
I usually do not mess around with using filters in my post processing, it seems to take a long time for me to get them right. I attempted it in this shot since the sky was ugly as can be reflecting all of the city light in the frozen moisture particles. I think it is an improvement, but it is hard to make the look subtle. I am also thinking about purchasing a Cokin Z-Filter system in the future and switching the 14-24 for the new 24/1.4, mostly so I can use filters in my landscape shots. I’ll test it out on the 70-200 before making the switch; I have never used filters before and 14mm is a lot to lose!
And last, but not least.. I leave you with more snow monkeys. I just cannot get enough these little guys!
This friendly local fly fisher saw me shooting pictures of the sunset on my tripod and tried to communicate with me, asking if it was okay to move to the area my camera was pointed. Above and beyond respectful and I would never expect anyone to stay out of the way of a photographer in a public area like this, but I was actually quite glad he was going to position himself close to the setting sun rays reflecting off of the water. I hurriedly moved my tripod into place for a better composition with my freezing cold wife in tow and snapped these off.
I have only a couple of weeks left here in Japan and kept realizing that there were quite a few shots that I did not have due to my short notice move to Turkey before last summer. Now that I am back, I now have only a few weekends left before leaving Japan for good. We basically only had this last weekend as our only time when we don’t have something planned and getting a good shot of Fuji was one of “those shots” I was missing out on. So we threw our sleeping bags into our small little Toyota Starlet to camp out on Friday night for a 4am viewing of Fuji across Lake Motosu as long as our luck way for clear viewing conditions.
Two people sleeping in a Toyota Starlet goes against the grain of the universe and I would never recommend anyone ever try that. On top of not being able to sleep in 3 cubic feet worth of space, I also omitted my allergy meds, and allergies in Japan kick my ass. Luckily the weather cooperated and we had our first clear skies in what seemed like weeks. Not only did we get an awesome viewing at Lake Motosu, but we were also able to get some nice warm light paint on Fuji across nearby Lake Saiko.
This was taken the day after the gyoki festival ended at Zōjō-ji Temple. We didn’t stick around for the entire ceremony after being attacked by some ruthless Japanese women with cameras that were half our size!
I usually would have deleted a shot as soft as this, but something about this shot tells me not to do that. It kind of looks like sparks, but this is actually light reflecting off of water as he cleans his machete/knife looking instrument with his sponge. I have a lot of other Tsukuji shots to post since it is such an amazing place to visit. Highly recommended if you are ever in Tokyo.
Yes, the first trip I took when I arrived back into Japan after my time in Turkey was back to the monkey park at Jigokudani-Yaenkoen. I still have yet to see through my devious plan to steal a baby monkey. This man with his cell phone was on to me. I knew my mug would be all over the news–caught in the act–had I tried to boost a baby monkey.
Odaiba is one of the best vantage points for a cracking Tokyo sunset scene with the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower as a backdrop, all interspersed with architectural shots of the futuristic urban environment unlike pretty much any other city I have ever seen, but here are a couple of random shots of the less obvious shots, which will of course come later on this blog.
These two shots kind of break the rules of composition, but they kind of jumped out at me in a pleasing way. They were both taken at the Zōjō-ji Temple during a cool Gyoki Festival that was going on this week. JRaptor from Flickr was nice enough to give me a heads up so I could get some nice shots. The actual temple is definitely worthy of a visit at any time of the day or year as well. Lots of great things to see in that entire area and great views of the Tokyo Tower as well.