Spring is Coming

I was in Tokyo this past week for some new work and was able to do some shooting during the weekend.  Fortunately, I came across a couple trees that were in bloom with what I think are plum blossoms.  An added bonus was all the birds that were flying and jumping around these trees sucking the nectar.  When I saw this I stopped, pulled my camera out and changed to my Olympus 14-150mm 4.0-5.6 lens.  I started taking pictures from about 50 feet away with the lens all the way to 150mm, but the birds were still too small.  I started easing my way toward the trees, but all the birds took off to another tree.  I continued to ease closer and then just stood there with my camera at eye level waiting for the birds to come back.  After about 10 minutes they would slowly come back.  Again, I kept the lens all the way at 150mm the whole time and started shooting with high speed continuous shooting to get several shots of the birds and catch the right one.  I spent about an hour just hanging around this one tree waiting and trying to follow these birds who were jumping around very fast.  This was a fun and difficult challenge and look forward to doing more of this type of shooting.


Early Morning Commute

An early morning at a Tokyo train station.

I took this on the day we were returning to Okinawa from Tokyo.  We had to get an earlier flight from Narita than we initially planned so we had to get on the first train from Mejirodai (Hachioji area) at 5:30am.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 14-150mm 4.0-5.6 lens.  Processed with Lightroom and Perfect Efex 4.

Looking Back in the Archives

Did a quick look back at some photos from 2009.  I am starting to look at my really old files to see if any can make it into my print gallery.  Here are a few of the shots that I've looked at so far.

Rainbow Bridge From Odaiba

Happy at His Work; Tanabata Festival 2009

Local Brewmaster, Tanabata Festival 2009

Tokyo From Above

Haven't posted much in the past week due to our traveling in Tokyo.  My previous post talked about how I am starting a grand experiment with mirrorless cameras, specifically the Olympus OM-D E-M5 micro 4/3rds camera system.  So far I've been completely blown away.  I have a lot of photos I will be posting in the coming days, but today I want to discuss two that I took from the 27th floor of the Mori Building Roppongi Hills.  

This past Friday, 12 Apr, I attended a special photography event hosted by Google Japan in their corporate offices with the guest speaker Trey Ratcliff.  After the talk, Google opened their windows and we were just in time to catch the sun setting over Tokyo.  Normally in this situation you would want to have a tripod to get a solid footing for longer exposures as the sun gets lower in the sky.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my tripod with me so I had to lean on the built in stabilization system in this new camera. I was not disappointed!  I was also not disappointed with the quality of the photos coming out of this camera.  The first photo below is an example of how sharp and clear these photos are.

TOKYO SUNSET

Handheld with Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 14-150mm 4.0-5.6 lens @ 14mm.  4 images blended with Photoshop HDR 32bit and processed with Lightroom and Perfect Effects 4

Handheld with Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 14-150mm 4.0-5.6 lens @ 14mm.  4 images blended with Photoshop HDR 32bit and processed with Lightroom and Perfect Effects 4

The 2nd photo below is an example of the outstanding built-in stabilization this camera has.  This photo is a 2 second exposure HANDHELD.  I put the camera lens against the glass and pressed the shutter and held as still as possible.  Even when zoomed in it's hard to see much camera shake.

MOODY CITY, TOKYO

Handheld for 2 seconds with Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 9-18mm 4.0-5.6 lens @ 9mm.  Processed with Lightroom and Perfect Effects 4.

Ningyo-Yakima (Asakusa Specialty)

This man is making Ningyo-Yakima (a Japanese sweet) in traditional manner.  He pours a small amount of batter into the four molds, puts a small ball of sweet red bean paste (Anko) into each mold, then pours more batter over the Anko.  He then closes the lid and puts it onto the spit over the fire.  He then turns the other 4 molds over and takes the last one off the fire and empties the contents and starts the process over.

Asakusa Sensoji Temple New Years Eve

We're back in Okinawa.  A bit disappointed; it's always tough to leave Tokyo but we had a great time visiting friends and family and just hanging out together.  As I said in the previous post I didn't have any time to do any photography on my own so the vast majority is family oriented.  I did experiment a lot with off camera flash and learned a few things.  These photos are a two of the few I was able to get while running around following the family around.  We went to Asakusa Sensoji Temple New Years Eve and as you can imagine it was a bit crowded.  Despite the crowds, we were able to have dinner in the nearby market area.  After visiting the Temple, we went to the Tokyo Tower to see the city by night.

I did get a bit creative with the processing with Color Efex Pro. 

Sensoji Temple

Cleaning with Incense Smoke

 

Great Time Here in Tokyo, but...

My family and I are having a great time here in our hometown of Tokyo, but I haven't accomplished very much photographically that I hoped to get done.  I've had no time to go out on my own (not that big of a deal, I'll be back in the area on my own in a couple weeks), I was hoping to complete selecting my "Best of 2012" photos and have a post about that, I was hoping to make some progress on my refreshed website (notta), and finally wanted to start putting together some of the timelapse footage I have (once again notta).  I guess it will all have to wait until we get back to Okinawa.  For the meantime, here are three photos from Tokyo Tower on New Years Eve.

Tokyo and the Rainow Bridge

 

 

Jumping For Joy

New Years Eve in Japan, we all went around Tokyo; Roppongi, Shibuya, Asakusa and Tokyo Tower.  I'm still working on the photos, but I wanted to go ahead and post this one.  It's one of my favorites, showing my daughters' joy of the day.  This was in Asakusa.  Used an off camera flash held by my wife, triggered wirelessly by my 7D and edited with Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro 4.