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.

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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 Gateway

After driving from South Dakota down to St. Louis in a day, we were pretty tired and it was very late, but we made a quick stop to see the Gateway Arch. I don’t know how this thing is able to stay standing in a wind storm. Would like to go back for their fireworks display. I have seen some amazing shots with the fireworks going off right next to the arch.

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St Louis

Street Monkeys

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!

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And last, but not least.. I leave you with more snow monkeys. I just cannot get enough these little guys!

Monkey Pow-wow

Second Chance

I always enjoy going back to Shinjuku for a chance to shoot all of the many buildings and man-made structures that are abound in this area. Some of my favorite shots were from these two vantage points below. I already have shot both of these structures below from almost the exact same spot. This time I just tried a slightly different angle of view and differences in processing.

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Odd Odaiba

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.

Vacanseat

Bluoddity

In Spite of Ferris

Visited the Yokohama landmark tower for a second time with the intentions of capturing some shots of the ferris wheel spinning; I like the light painting effect it gives for long exposures. The last time I was up there, it was spinning, but I was sans tripod. This time I had the tripod, but the ferris wheel was not spinning. I don’t think it was open yet since it was stationary the entire night, I guess I should just be happy they turn the lights on! The third time might be the charm..

In Spite of Ferris

City Life

I am going to quick post up some Istanbul shots that I just processed, mostly straight out of Lightroom with minor adjustments to convert from RAW to JPEG. It is 12am right now and I am a bit tired and these shots mostly explain themselves so I won’t go into great detail about them. Tomorrow will be a good day for me because the movers are finally delivering my household goods that I haven’t seen since I left Japan. That means I can finally work on a proper computer and monitor for my shots.. or play games if I am misbehaving..

Chestnut Tweezer~
Chestnut Tweezer

Compositioning~
Compositioning

Dirty Harry~
Dirty Harry

Fishtanbul~
Fishtanbul

Suspendered in Time~
Suspendered

The last one is one of my favorites because old couples out and about enjoying life and traveling together are alright in my book. I hope to be lucky enough to do that with my lovely wife one day!

Bizlicious

I took a trip to Akasaka last Sunday with the wifey. She wanted to see one of Tokyo’s renowned hair stylists so she could show up and ask for a haircut and style that would be most appropriate for her facial structure and hair type; the kind of makeover you see on TV where they tell you how they are going to cut it instead of the other way around.

I dropped her off and took a little walk about to an area I had been before. For once I left my tripod at home and really, really regretted it. Pretty neat little area, but I still keep getting my ass kicked by my D80 overexposing shots, but on the LCD screen they all look like they are spot on. I need to permanently dial it to -1 EV whenever I am using spot or center weighted metering which is about 95% of the time. Luckily, I bracketed a lot of shots and ended up with a few that should turn out okay.

Biz

And if anyone has a wife with naturally curly, caucasian hair and was wanting to get a ‘makeover’ from a trendy stylist in Tokyo.. Well, 3 hours later, wifey looked like someone put a high-powered tazer in her hair and juiced it up with 1,000 volts of electricity. Basically, what I am saying is… Beauty is subjective!

Happy World Diabetes Day

Today we are off into the heart of Tokyo for a few nights stay close to the Tokyo tower. Once a year it is painted with blue light in honor of World Diabetes Day. Hopefully I can get some decent photos of it! This photo has nothing to do with the Tokyo Tower, but it was taken in Akasaka which is close to where we will be staying.

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