Daily Photo – Wallpaper
You know those “free desktop wallpaper” sites? For some reason this image always appears on them, it’s like it is included in the toolkit used to build the sites it is so frequent! I get nothing from it, usually not even credit but hey… people seem to download it regularly and that hopefully means it brightens their day when they see their desktop.
Daily Photo – Quirky Fuji
A version of this photo/location currently sits as my 2nd most viewed image ever on Flickr but this one I quite like too. Something went a bit mad with the sky in this one during processing, but it was a happy accident that I decided I liked. That weirdness works well with the crispness of the lower half of the image, I think.
Daily Photo – Tokyo Gothic
While leaving Harajuku, I saw this person (I assume person, not creature of the night because they do have that cool look about them) walking toward the action. I still had on my 50mm prime and I wasn’t quite close enough, but they had the right stride, so I took the shot. I cropped in quite heavily in post, and then I ran one of my Lightroom Preset filters on it…
Daily Photo – The Blacksmith in Osaka
I spent a few hours here watching this blacksmith craft a few different knives and swords. I had a translator with me and asked him a ton of questions. I’m an amateur blacksmith myself, and, by that, I mean I only perform blacksmithery in role-playing video games. I tried to explain this to him and he was so confused. Finally he understood and laughed the loudest laugh I have ever heard! And then I got the international high-five and that made me feel better. Just one of the many awesome people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in Japan.
Daily Photo – There Were Rooms After All
I came to this place with one of my worst plans, but it totally turned out well!
I tried to get reservations here via the bilingual concierge at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, and even though he was very resourceful, he said it was 100% full. But I decided to go anyway and knock on every door of every ryokan until I found a room. I knew it would be hard because nobody speaks English in these places. Anyway, after I knocked on the door of ryokan #4 I finally found a room! Even better, they had private baths fed by all the steaming water from the nearby hot springs. It was incredible to be soaking in steaming hot mineral water while watching snow fall all around me. Thank-you universe, you worked things out great!
Daily Photo – The Lamps and the Sakura
Sakura is the Japanese word for the Cherry Blossom. I don’t know if I can explain how crazy the Japanese people are about this yearly bloom! For one thing, every local newscast has a big “Cherry Blossom” report that has in-depth descriptions of exactly where the trees are blooming in the country and upcoming predictions. The wave sweeps across the island of Japan and rich graphics cover the screen like a cold front, assaulting the countryside.
I took this photo with the Nikon D3S. Back then I’d recently taken to carrying two cameras with me. I’d take the Nikon D3X with me, and it’s usually attached to the tripod. This is the one that I used for 90% of my landscapes. While I carry that, slung around my neck and shoulder, Chewbacca-style, was the Nikon D3S, which I use for people shots, DOF shots, and videos. Nowadays I’m much more minimalist. I think the advances in mobile photography have very much helped that, and the “pro” cameras are way better handheld than they used to be.
This was taken at F/1.4 with a 50mm prime lens. The shutter was 1/8000 and the ISO 200.
Daily Photo – Kyoto Closing up Shop at Night…
I was walking up and down the tiny streets one night, getting snacks and sake in different places while taking photos. Most of the places there are quite tiny, as you can see here in this image. Everyone is super friendly and it’s easy to make friends, especially because the Japanese people are some of the nicest people in the world!
Daily Photo – A Gentle Kiss in the Hot Tub
These snow monkeys are the greatest. I spent so long with them, we almost had a three-way.
They are all wild (in the natural sense, mind you), and they come down from the mountains near Nagano, Japan, for several hours a day to play in the natural hot springs. They gallivant around, have fights, play with their kids, have a bit of sweet carnal monkey fun, check their email, and pose for my camera.
These two monkeys spent a lot of time together… they were in maximum “relaxation mode”. They lounged around in every possible position and took occasional breaks to do a bit of mutual grooming.