Pingoramas

I have started to go through some of my shots from China, which seemed like it was years ago when I went, because it was. Still one of the coolest places I have ever visited. These two panoramas were taken near the highest overlook of Longshen in the Ping’an area. Both were taken in the evening as a storm was passing by. Of course both are quite underwhelming unless you click on them to see the larger size in flicker..

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O’haido

From an extremely fun trip to Hokkaido for some skiing at Niseko and a little exploring in Sapporo, this being on top of Grand Hirafu resort after a small hike from their highest chairlift, classy little single seater.

It was a cold March night in Sapporo and the foggy storm told me it would be interesting to get out and take some shots despite it being late in the middle of the night, so I rolled out of bed with my camera and ended up with a few shots like this.

I was a little tipsy one night after eating out and ended up with a bunch of crooked, off kilter shots, but this decent one was found in that series.

Ōsanbashi Pier

I was packing for a badass trip to the Sangre de Cristo mountains for some paragliding, hiking, and photography when my wife gets a call on the phone. Time to go back to work. The bastards! We had a good 6 or 7 week run of no work, so I can’t really complain. Anyways I am taking out my frustrations on Lightroom. These were all taken at the Port of Yokohama on the Ōsanbashi Pier.

I have no idea who the hell Jack is or why that is there. It must be some kind of conspiracy against Jack Daniels for making liquor that tastes like ass.

Shinjuku Cluster

Oh my god! Who ever gets tired of shots from Japan? Not me, not you, not anyone! I guess I will call these series of shots I post that are geographically minutes away from each other a “cluster”. I bring you a Shinjuku cluster. Post dated of course.

I’m like a monkey drawn to the lights I guess, but I mean, look at everything going on in this scene! It just makes me want to walk into all of these stores and buy stuff even though I don’t know what any of it is!

Every one of these shots from my last three posts were taken with a photo buddy who visited just before we packed up and left. He makes a ninja appearance in this shot.

Vicinity

This week I processed my shots like a machine. Just going through a set at a time. Well a walk through ODaiba always yields a huge collection of shots, so there is not a lot of variety going on around here at the moment. It is about a 5 minute walk to each one of these spots from that psychotic-light-show-escalator-tunnel deal in my last post.

This one might be a bit funky for some as it is the Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge as seen though a bunch of windows. Deal with it!

A perv-spy shot of a happy couple on a dock. Luckily she was more interested in him rather than some jackass perv-spy gaijin. I seem to usually take a series of 2-3 shots like this and one of them always ends with a person glaring at me once they realized I stole their sole through my camera sensor. Not this time!

And some oh so exciting railing with completely original camera tilt thrown in. I am also post dating this post as I write this on Saturday and tomorrow I am leaving on vacation to Montana for awhile. Hopefully I bring back some shots from there to vary up this blog a little bit.

The Light Show

Wow, over a year since my last post. My original excuse last year was that I was too busy with training at my job to take or process shots. Then during the last 2 months I have barely worked any hours at all and had more free time than I have ever had. Still didn’t take or process shots. Oh well, here we go again..

So here we are on Odaiba Island just outside of Tokyo. When you see this unique building with a giant sphere overhead, you’ve come to the right place for a light show once the sun has set. In fact, I see this spot on TV quite a bit, most recently the Black Eyed Peas used it as a backdrop for their “Just Can’t Get Enough” music video.

Just below the bay side of the building there is a wicked escalator that puts on a rather interesting, yet oddly psychotic light show.

I had shot this little area quite a bit while I was in Japan, but it was kind of challenging to get any usable shots as the lights change so often that it seems to wash out the highlights if you capture more than one color on the same neon tube. I had to bump up the ISO so my exposures were not too long and just hope my timing was synced to the color changes. I’m sure others have been able to provide much better examples!

Can’t Miss February

My wife is here in Nebraska with me now and I have been busy finding a house to purchase while finishing up my job training and thus kicking photography to the curb for the time being. For some reason I didn’t want my archives on this site to skip the month of February, so I will quick upload a shot I worked on a while back that I thought was only so so before I jump into bed for my midnight shift. This shot is looking off into the Cappadocia horizon with little rock churches strewn about with Mt. Erciyes looming in the background. I believe this stitch is from about three or four shots as well.

Cappadocia Sunset

Gotemba Project

Last May we took a quick trip over to the Hakone area to go to this crazy onsen that has everything from a coffee bath, a wine bath, sake bath, and a pool you dip your feet into and let little fish nibble off your top layer of skin. We also were able to see another side of Fuji I had not seen before once we reached the Gotemba area. The city of Gotemba has got one hell of a view! I took these shots from their shrine, which was also nearby an awesome camp spot we found that was cheap and had a pretty amazing view of Fuji as well. I think I actually enjoyed the Gotemba area a bit more than Hakone, which is probably blasphemous to even say as so many people love Hakone, but that is the problem.. So many people in Hakone!

Gotemba Project

Peeking Fuji

Skybrant

Of course, every time I go through my shots of Japan I miss it quite a bit, but it is easy to forget that during the spring time when I took these shots I had the worst allergies of my life! I could barely sleep at night for over a month during our last year there. I guess that is the price exacted by Mother Japan for so much amazing photography potential.

Spiderer

I am pretty sure this is in no way a unique shot as about 5 million people have probably stood beneath this sculpture with camera pointed towards the sky, but this is my take. I used a 7 shot DRI for the sky and HDR for the sculpture and building. I cheated a little bit and cloned out a small amount of some random building on the bottom left side of the shot.

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Crowd Sourcing

More, more, and even more shots from the photography goldmine known as Shibuya Crossing. It is quite entertaining to browse through my shots from this location. A lot of them are not fit for posting, but the expressions on random strangers faces will keep me from ever discarding the files into the bit shredder. When I am shooting, I never realize how many people glance at me with my camera then become extremely shy or timid and look down towards the ground or towards their side  with a big awkward smile. Sometimes I come across a pair of fashionistas that are eager to get themselves into a shot to hopefully one day be acknowledged for their chic taste in seasonal wardrobe.

 

The Lineup
So first you have the lineup between each succession of lights. This is were I begin my offensive planning and the other team begins their defensive posturing. I plot my victims and they plot their evasive actions, strategic placement behind others to block my view, and funny faces to be made.

 

Heightened Senses
My coach usually pulls up on his bike beside me and gives me some helpful advice, like pretending to take a picture of the street light above me, then quickly moving in for the capture kill when they least expect it. Thanks coach!

 

The Weave
Some of them are tricky and can generally work strategic placement to their advantage. This is when you have to bump up the ISO, open up that aperture, and “snipe the gaps” as coach likes to call it.

 

Conflicted?
Here is a perfect implementation of the photographer distracted by the street ligh.. not! technique. She never had a chance, caught out in the open.

 

Wind Through Her Hair
Yes, I see you back there running with ear muffs.. You have bested me with strategic placement behind random stranger, but random stranger has wind blowing through long flowing hair. I win this time!

My Congregation

This post leads into the last shot I posted of the city. I took a couple of steps back and snapped off some shots of the other people enjoying the observation deck. There are usually quite a few people with DSLR’s pressed up against the glass, trying to find the right angle to eliminate glare from the sun and building lights while avoiding the atrocity I call window smudges! I messed around a bit in Lightroom to convert it to black and white, then just exported the unaltered shot into Nik Softwares Silver Efex Pro. This program is just amazing for black and white conversions. I don’t think any other software is quite a match for it! I thought my Lightroom version was looking pretty good, but Silver Efex Pro just seems to know something I do not and bested me and my Lightroom sliders.

My Congregation

Merry Christmas

I just cannot win and today marks the second year in a row that I am living far away from my wife during Christmas! At least this time we will only be apart for a couple of months. Last years 10-month separation was way, way too long! Last December she went out on her own one night into Tokyo with her D40 in hand as well as her trusty little Gorillapod to capture the jaw dropping Christmas lights strung up around the city during this time of the year. Please do not ask me why I did not ever make it out to see these lights the year before, they are quite a display and I still have no clue how I missed out on that opportunity completely. Here are some of my favorite shots she took from that night.. Not too shabby if I must say myself!! I love you wife! Merry Christmas everyone!

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Tokyo Runner?

This shot kind of reminds me of Blade Runner. I guess I am supposed to like Blade Runner, I have watched it multiple times and I just cannot get into it no matter which cut I watch, and this shot is exactly the same.. I have worked on it multiple times in the past and just cannot really get into it. This is my last attempt and I really am not sure about the selective coloring, but I put too much time into the shot and I might as well post it!

Tokyo Runner

This also marks my last post from Georgia. As soon as I post this shot I am dismantling my computer and loading it up for tomorrows journey to Nebraska. This is the 2nd holiday season in a row that I will be spending away from my better half and hopefully the last!

The Immortal

My eyes are more than healed enough to process photos, but I am still going to just fish into my archive of photos I have already completed but have yet to post. I think that snow monkeys and Fuji must be my weakness, because after a couple of hours around either, I end up with way, way too many shots! I don’t remember if any of these shots were DRI’s or not, but I am pretty sure that at least one of the color ones was a DRI.

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Mt Fuji

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