Photo Workshop party in New Zealand! We do have a formal photo workshop coming up in April, but yesterday I did a personal one with this gentleman, Brandin Cooks. He first visited me a few years ago at my studio here, then became an art collector, and then we started going on photo adventures together! He’s a really good photographer and a hungry student that asks lots of good questions. Brandin is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met too… if any of you follow the NFL, then you probably know who he is. I think he’s actually carving out a very interesting niche by being the only pro photographer who is also becoming a pro photographer. Anyway, we had a fun little one-on-one day here in Skipper’s Canyon, then met his wife at Ferg before heading out to take sunset photos in Glenorchy.
Daily Photo – The Milky White Waters of Aruba
The water was like this each and every day. Not only was it this unusual color, but it was super warm and perfect. On our first day there, we went out paddleboarding, which was perfect for beginners because the water was so smooth. There was a lot of falling off anyway, mostly because Ethan was going around like a battleship trying to sink everyone else.
I made a bunch of changes over to the “bio” area of the About Me page here on the site. I never quite know what to say there… now I have a bullet point list of all kinds of stuff.
Daily Photo – Robin Williams in San Francisco
Man, I really loved that Robin Williams guy. I just watched a documentary about him on the plane that was super sad for some reason. There’s not a lot of guys like that out there. We need more of them! It’s interesting too how a lot of these extreme creatives end up committing suicide. I am not nearly that creative, but I am, objectively, kind of creative. But I’ve never even had the slightest suicidal feelings, which turns out to be a rather good thing for me and people around me!
Be sure to go check out my review of the Pixel 2 Phone and, even if you don’t get it, I still suggest you sign up for Google Fi. It’s the greatest phone network in the world! Again, they are not a sponsor or anything… I pay full price! 🙂
Daily Photo – Horse in Aruba
This is pretty good for a mobile phone photo, eh? And this was taken with the Pixel 1, which doesn’t even have as good of a camera as the Pixel 2. I’ve been sharing a bunch of my Pixel photos back with the team there at Google. I don’t have any formal relationship with them, but maybe someday… I’m such a fan of the phone!
I have a friend from Japan named Sony Suzuki. Yes, that’s his real name! And he has no association with either company. Well, I don’t think so. He’s so humble and awesome that he probably started both of them.
Anyway, he invited my son and I to his famous sushi restaurant in Tokyo called Kumagai Kuon. I’ve eaten a lot of amazing sushi in my life, but this was the best, by far! Even my son, Ethan (16), who has quite the hamburger-centric palette was overwhelmed and ate every single bite.
I realized, after I had sat down, that I had been here once before with two gentlemen from Google when I was here years ago to give a speech at their HQ. I didn’t think I’d ever come back to such a place, since I thought this was only frequented by Google executives and royalty. But I was back, and man o man, was I excited.
The Master Craftsman and my son Ethan
There are no “menus” in these places, you see. It’s called Omakase or “trust the chef”.
Whenever there is a situation where you can trust the chef, I always trust the chef. I eat anything. Anything. I am happy I’ve reached Level 10 of 10 when eating where I can be happy and enthusiastic about any kind of food. I still have ADULT friends who are Level 3, Level 4, etc, and they just don’t eat certain things because of some reason this or that. My wife is vegan; she would not have trusted the chef. It’s fine, you vegans, do whatever you want. It doesn’t bother me. But wow, you are really missing out on indulging in the food chain at this place.
This kitchen and restaurant was built especially for this chef. It only sat eight people. There were six people dining at different times this evening along with me and Ethan. There was some famous television guy beside me with a really beautiful flight attendant and then two other women that were busy chatting to one another about work or something. I don’t know. My son knows some Japanese so he filled me in later on all their office politics. But everyone was nice. And the gentleman beside me bought me his favorite sake drink and presented his card in the most gracious possible manner.
Speaking of sake, Sony-san has this place filled up with some of the best dry sake from all over Japan. Much of it isn’t even sold publicly. They have to drive around and get it from small family distilleries and the like. I thought almost all sake tasted more or less the same until I came here. But I didn’t have too much sake, as I wanted to keep my wits about me to enjoy the 15+ courses of food!
Dry Sake Tasting
The chef himself was very gracious and a true artist. Before the meal, I pulled Ethan aside and suggested that he might really enjoy watch the elegance with which a true chef moves. When guys go out together, they often don’t talk much. This is a strange thing for women to understand, but it’s true. Sometimes they talk a lot; sometimes almost nothing. But, this gives a great opportunity for guys like me and Ethan just to watch the chef hone his art. Even the way that he moves the knife across a vegetable is like a tiny Cirque de Soliel.
Real Wasabi Root and Traditional Shark Skin Grater
Below are most of the things that were served to me. I forgot a few. I put a few captions below to explain what they are. Or, at least, in my very bad translation. I’m pretty close in most cases. Anyway, Sony did not ask me to take photos or anything; I just did this because I was so excited by the meal and experience! Some of these photos were taken with the A7r Mark 3 (See the Sony A7r Mark 3 Review here) and the others with the Pixel 2 (read the Google Pixel 2 Review here). I bet you can’t tell the difference!
Round 1 – Flounder + Wasabi + Rock Salt
Round 2 – Japanese Flyer Fish + Leeks + Liver
Round 3 – Seared Yellowtail + Spicy Raddish
Round 4 – Seared Seabass Nigiri
Round 5 – Soy Marinated Tuna Nigiri
Round 6 – Half Beak Nigiri
Round 7 – Squid sashimi + Horseradish + White Onion
Round 8 – Octopus Head + Seaweed + Fish Eggs
Round 9 – Tiger Prawn Nigiri
Round 10 – Tempura Hokkaido Ice Fish
Round 11 – Sea Urchin Nigiri
Round 12 – Gindara Fish
Round 13 – Fatty Tuna Nigiri
Round 14 – Seawater Eel Nigiri
Anyway, it’s the best sushi in Tokyo. If you’re there, treat yourself!
What a fun cool camera! 🙂 I just finished the Insta360 Review here on the blog. I hope you enjoy! There’s a video there and everything featuring a strange-talkin’ Russian.
Upcoming Travel Schedule!
I’m headed on a fun trip with the family again in January! We’ll be in Dallas, Austin, Denver, Sarasota, Grand Cayman, Key Biscayne, Hawaii, and then Japan again! I’ve got my cameras all dusted off and ready to go!
Daily Photo – Hard to Believe the Google Pixel Took this, eh?
Isn’t it though! And this was taken with the Pixel 1; now I have the Pixel 2 and it’s even better. I’ve challenged myself several times ONLY to use the Pixel 2 some days (btw Google is not a sponsor… I bought mine full price). Some of the photos that are coming out of it are totally unbelievable! I don’t like editing on such a small screen, so I often download the images to my laptop and edit there.
I love this new Pixel phone from Google. I’m thinking about writing a longer form article about what it means for photography going forward… I just need a bit more time to write and think about it!
Daily Photo – Jogging in Millbrook with my Pixel Phone
This is a shot made from two different photos from my Pixel 1 phone. Now I’m actually using the Pixel 2, but I took this a few months ago. One great thing about Google photos (they are not a sponsor or anything), but whenever you take multiple photos and overlap them, the Google server will automatically build a panorama for you. So, after this, I just downloaded the new photo then made some adjustments in Aurora HDR.