Little Hiroo

Just some interesting street art I found walking around Hiroo, very near Shibuya, or at least I think that is where I was.

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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.

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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Additional Asakusa

I usually process a group of photos from a particular day I went shooting, then pick my favorites and post them. These 2 shots taken from Asakusa kind of appeal to me enough to keep from putting them into my un-posted archive. There is something about the way that the Nikon 70-200 renders bokeh that I just love. Most of the 80-200 variants render bokeh in the same pleasing way. Pretty much the biggest reason why I have no desire to pick up an 85 f1.4D as I don’t need the extra speed and that is a lot of money for a slightly smoother bokeh look. Interestingly, the new 85 f1.4G lens produces busy bokeh that reminds me of my 50 f1.8, which I don’t really like that much. I have had thought about the Rokinon 85 f1.4 since it is about $250 and has a really unique look it produces, but more appealing to me would be using a lens reverser and some extension tubes for a killer macro lens.

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Awe

Lantern Light

It has been a long time since I last posted a shot. Not sure why I haven’t had much interest lately, but I mostly blame the state of Georgia for not inciting that sweet, succulent desire to transpose life onto a camera sensor and attempt to call it art! I did go out shooting last week and Georgia nefariously called a legion of stinging or biting ants onto my leg in an attempt to derail my burgeoning photographic desires. Still, I feel I may have come away with some good shots, but we shall see once I load them onto my computer. I will say that it is highly possible I will be moving yet again within the next two months if my dubious plan comes to fruition. Until then, I give you the lanterns of Asakusa!

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Time Was of the Essence

Time was a tickin for me. I had one more free day available to go into downtown Tokyo before I would be leaving Japan and I STILL had not shot the Roppongi clock. It is kind of easy to miss since it is behind the Mori Tower, but damnit, there is a Starbucks right across the street with an open air seating area. I could have been comfortably sitting across the street sniping people as they walk past the clock while sipping down my Grande Carmel Machiotto that is sized for a midget and priced for a baron!

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I don’t know what the hell kind of time it is flashing, if it is even time at all. The numbers seem to be a bit more random and only change once every 10 seconds or so. Maybe it is a Mayan numerical countdown until the end of the world, I don’t know. I just know that you need to take a walk behind the Mori Tower and find this clock and feed your camera!

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Ebisugram

Minato-ku Ward is a great place to escape the relative bustle of Tokyo if you ever find yourself in the area. There is a great Sapporo Beer Garden located here at Ebisu Garden. You could probably spend a couple of hours within this little complex to find cool pictures due to the interesting architecture and open market that is regularly hosted here.

Ebisugram

The Archive

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?

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Rainy Day

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The Last Walk

Here are a couple of snaps from the last photo walk in Tokyo that the wife and I took a day or two before leaving. I definitely miss the gold mine of photo opportunities in Japan. It would be nice to go back to live again, but this time further north to see something new and beat the crowds a little bit.

These shots are taken in the upscale Roppongi Tower area. I am sure that the meal at this restaurant were not cheap!

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A Security Guard Called Wanda