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Showing posts from May 27, 2023

Day 15: Industrial Fireworks

I love and I hate working down at the docks. When we get an install job down at the shipyards, the working environment is heavy, heavy industrial. The smell, the noise, heavy objects being moved just above your head, it’s all very stressful. And on top of that, you actually have to concentrate on work too!! At the same time, it’s a great backdrop for great picture taking opportunities. Every moment I have, I sneek a quick picture off, since I don’t want to waste any time at work. I was able to get this picture off because I was up on a manlift above the welder. We were working on a Coast Guard ship, and as we were maneuvering above and around him, I quickly took a few shots off, and this one stuck. I didn’t know how the sparks would affect the camera’s exposure, but I think it did a pretty good job. Pretty heavy post production work: Focus blurr, colour isolation, vignetting, aggressive contrast increase.The only thing that bothers me about the picture is the piece of masking t

Day 14: Yoshi Attacks!!

I took a picture a few days ago of Yoshi resting on her log, like a stump. It was such a busy day, I just ended up making that my pic of the day. I wish I could go back and put another picture…. but I know I can’t. Today, I didn’t get home from work until past 8pm, and didn’t get a chance to get any sweet shots, so I knew I had to hunt down a pic inside the home. So I sat in front of Yoshi’s 55 gallon tank and started shooting, and shooting, and shooting. I finally got this shot. I’m shooting iso 400, and still shooting a slow 1/15 of a second, while Yoshi moves back and forth and left and right and up and down……. I’m pretty happy with what I got though. I shot it at F 2.o, so the depth of field is a bit shallow and not very forgiving……. Side point: I wonder why Yoshi moves both her arms up and over her front with her claws out like that? Is she attacking? Double-sideways high 5’s? Whatever it is, I think turtles would look more vicious if they opened their mouth while in attack

DAY 13: Where Am I?

Can you guess where I am? I took a picture of my reflection on a chromed knob end of a towel rack!! And yes, this is my second self-portrait from a washroom. Weird right? Anway, I like taking reflection shots against warped glass or mirrored metal surfaces because of the way it distorts reality, kinda like an impromptu fisheye lens (one just came up for my camera mount for $600 on Craigslist!! What a deal!!). I’ve taken cool reflection shots on this knob many times, but other pictures made my blog instead. This isn’t the best shot I’ve taken up to now on this silly chromed knob, but I took it today, so here it is. I had to shoot at iso 400 because my hands were too shaky to hand hold 1/6 of a sec today. In fact, you can see my other hand bracing against the towel bar so as to steady the camera a bit more….. oh ya, and also, this is my 3rd self portrait….. so vain……..

Day 12: Here Comes the Clouds

I’ve been wating for dramatic clouds since I’ve started this project. I ride to work, and I cross 2nd Narrows Bridge (okay, Ironworker’s Memorial Bridge!!) on the East side in the morning, and the West side when I go home. Depending on the time of year, I get real dramatic sunrises and sunsets, and double bonus if I get dramatic clouds or fog. The dead of winter or the middle of summer has either too much sun or not enough when I travel to and from work, so I love spring and autumn the best for taking dramatic landscape shots. Since today was a grey and cloudy day, there was no point in shooting in colour. I think black and white truly brings out the different textures and layers, much better than colour. As well, by equalizing the shadows and highlights the best I can, I can get a very HDR-like picture. Punch up the contrast and then darken the image 2-3 stops, and you get this very sereal image, almost as if its a painting…..

Day 11: Yoshi the Turtle

As my previous pic mentioned, my wife loves pets. This was a rescue turtle my wife adopted from my little sister. We renamed him Yoshi, although we’re pretty sure it’s a girl, as her nails are not long or sharp enough to be a male red eared slider turtle. I took a picture of him just as I was leaving the house. I knew today would be a really limited day to take pictures. I think I only really took two shots today, including this one. Not a great shot of Yoshi. Before I took it, she had her arms and legs and head stretched out, but as soon as I approached, she shrunk back into her shell like a turtle……. but this is my shot of the day…. too tired to run around the house and try and get a better shot. I’ve got work tomorrow, so I should have more opportunity to get something more interesting than a turtle in a tank…….

Day 10: 1975?

I love the 1970’s, and I love the way pictures looked back then. Since I had a Japanese dad, he took plenty of pics back then, and so any picture that has that same 70’s look evokes very strong emotions for me. I actually had a technically better picture to post, but I just want to jump into this picture. I want to put on my brown couduroy pants and my blue and yellow addidas runners and be part of this picture. I took this shot riding downtown on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was perfectly clouded over, and I took this shot on the way home, near Pender and Cambie. I’m sure if I waited long enough, I could of framed in a couple of European hippies coming out of the hostel upstairs. It would have totally looked like 1975…….

Day 9: The Times They Are a-Changin'

I know I said I don’t have many pictures of myself, and that’s true, of other people taking pictures of me. But I do take pictures of myself. I don’t know why. I guess I like the aspect of me taking a picture of me posing back at me, does that make sense? I can direct myself to pose a certain way, and then instantly see if I’ve done a good job as a poser….now I know I’m not saying it right. Anyway, I liked this picture because it reminds me of a pose that Bob Dylan did on the cover of his album “The Times They Are a-Changin'” way back in 1964. Sort of like Blue Steel, but with more of a “Get Lost” or “I don’t care” type attitude written all over his face. For Dylan, he wasn’t posing. For me, total poser. I guess you can discern as well that I like black and white. I like the rawness of it. My brother always says you can convert it later to b&w, but it’s not the same. Taking a picture evokes emotion, and shooting in b&w puts me in a certain mood that a colour vie

Day 8: Matte Vinyl Vehicle Wrap

Today was a rainy morning and I thought it would be a struggle to get a good shot of anything. After a morning out and on my way home, in a parking lot I saw the perfect subject, a perfectly wet and glistening VW Passat. Vehicles actually shoot well in cloudy and wet weather. This particular vehicle was matte vinyl wrapped by my buddy, and you can tell he did a pretty good job, considering it’s his first vehicle. A roll of the vinyl costs about $1000, so a job like this would cost in the 8K range. I shot at medium telephoto (so step back 20 feet from the car and shoot, so as not to get that fisheye effect when you shoot too closely at wide angle) to isolate it from everything else around it. In post production, I converted to black and white to keep the green vegetation in the background from distracting the eye, vingette the edges to focus the eyes to the centre of the image,and finally colour isolate the rear of the car to draw the eyes to where I want the viewer to focus their a

Day 7: Not Flowers Again!!

When my wife saw that I have another flower picture up on my blog, she said the above title. I know it’s not really my style, but my exercise only allows me to post a single picture that I shot that day, the best shot of that day. Because I spend most of the day at work, most of my pictures are taken either at work, or on my way back from work on bike. I ride over the 2nd Narrows Bridge and then through trails and then through a park. I pass by a lot of nature, including plenti-o-flowers. Until I change the rules of this exercise, I just have to work harder to get the shots I want. I’m also a slave to the weather as well as the seasons. As I get older (and wiser), it’s good to challenge my creative juices…..let it flow…..

Day 6: Hot Wheels Gone Wild

I rode past this car on the way home, and it just happened to be all by its lonesome in a big empty parking lot. Either everyone else was too scared to be parked beside a car that who knows who is driving, or the driver wanted the most attention, not wanting to be stuck between two big trucks, so he parked far away for the most exposure….. either way, the vehicle is a poster child for vehicle decals and how it can go so wrong….. Either way, it makes a great photo. This picture has some pretty heavy handed post production work. Focus blur, colour isolation, shadows increased, and increased contrast. It was fun to shoot since it was so isolated from any other car, but I do wish I could have shot it in an alley against a more grey and boring background. This is the main reason why I used the post production techniques to isolate the vehicle from its surroundings…….I love how even the yellow parking lines act as sort of a border for the vehicle, and how it sort of fades away….

Day 5: Norco Bigfoot with Canondale Brake Levers

I’ve been on two wheels for most of my life. I had a paper route all through high school (a real route that meant 6 days a week, 5am in the morning!!), and I rode rain or shine, or snow, or even my graduation. Yes, I had to cut my all-nighter short so I could get home and do my paper route… I know, real cool… I also rode everyday during the summers, even after all my other buddies grew up and got cars. As an adult (okay, I’m going on 38) I ride to work everyday, and I still feel like a kid. It’s as if I never grew up. I still stare at cool cars as they pass by, and I daydream of owning them one day, even though I’m past the age one should have some of these 2 door, 2 seater sports cars. But I think I’m happy being on two wheels, and self propelled. My daily ride, like most daily riders, is a bit ghetto, but it gets me from point A to B. It’s my 1996 Norco Bigfoot, and yes, I’m the original owner. I’ve made modifications over the years, and everytime I put more money into it, I

Day 4: Koko is not my friend!!

I don’t hate animals, nor do I hate pets, but I don’t like it when wildlife invades my private home space, invited or not. Unfortunately, my wife loves pets, so we 3 birds, a turtle, and a cat. Koko is 13 years old this year, and basically, she’s a home cat. She spends most of her time indoors. I caught her hanging out under my wife’s piano, so i grabbed my camera and took a low angle shot. In fact, you can see my reflection in the piano to Koko’s left……

Day 3: Pretty Flowers

Okay, I’m not really into flower shots. When it comes to nature pics, I prefer trees, not flowers. But I happened to see this weird, cone shaped plant and flower, so I just had to try and take a good macro shot. The other pic had a bee in it, but maybe a bit too cliche for me……

Day 2: Eric Easy and the Brass Monkey

I take a lot of pictures of Eric, my coworker. He always poses insane for me, and he has these crazy Norwegian eyes. This is a very low key pic of him, but I still love the way he makes his eyes in every shot. I also like how the rolls of vinyl on the wall looks like its stabbing at the air behind him….. Brass Monkey? It’s some guy’s boat decal…. Beastie Boys anyone?

Day 1

I realized that I’m rarely in any of my pictures. Sometimes I have to submit pics of myself, and I have to really look hard to find a picture of just me!! Anyway, when I got home today, I was curious how I looked, or maybe I was more curious about how I appear to others. So I took a few shots, and picked the one I think I most resemble in real life….. if that makes sense? It’s like hearing your voice, you never think you sound like yourself. I feel the same about pictures. Some look better in pics, others look worse…. I’m neither extreme, but more towards worse I think…… anyway, first pic is a pic of me….. so vain….

Fuji Track Bike

When I first heard of the existence of track bikes being ridden on the road, I was at first confused. No brakes, no gears, no coasting at all? How is this possible? Then I saw these insane guys in Tokyo, whipping in and out of traffic and pedestrians, and skid stopping with ease. They rode differently, they dressed differently (very cool), a totally different energy….I was hooked. I had to get one…. finally, I got one just over a month ago as a gift from my wife as an anniversary gift (thanks babe!!). She said for me to pick one out, so I picked a modified Fuji Classic track bike by Megadestroyer. I loved how it’s all matte black and very low key. I don’t like my bike too flashy, as it’s only too easy to catch the eye of a bike thief…. I locked it up while I went for a haircut, so I did my usual double lock system as you can see (chain lock and u-lock)…….

Ride On in Osaka

I love Osaka since it’s the bike capital of Japan. I was in Osaka in 2008 for my youngest brother’s wedding, and I really enjoyed seeing that cycling was just part of daily life. Me being a daily rider here in Vancouver, it was nice to see my Asian brothers and sisters were also my Asian cycling brothers and sisters……I have awesome bike pictures from Tokyo as well, but I’ll post those some other day……. Even cool guys ride bikes in Osaka….. Although it’s illegal, many double…. in fact, my brother and his wife and their friends even go drinking on bike, everyone doubling each other while they hop from restaurant to bar to bar…. it gets funny at the end of the night when everyone’s had a few…….. As I just mentioned, late night food and drink establishments are often filled with cyclists…. see, no cars in sight….. these are usually local watering holes that most either walk to or bike to…. It’s nothing out of the ordinary to see police on bikes in Japan…… over here, bike cops look less c

Tokyo Trip 2009.... Subject? Food!!

These pictures are from a single 10 day trip to Tokyo in the spring of 2009. I have more pictures, but these give you the overall, general idea of how awesome the food was…… I’ll post pics from my most recent Tokyo trip as well…… food pics I mean…… I’m also thinking of starting up another 30 day project concerning food…. I just don’t know when to start it…… maybe I’ll do it when I’m in Tokyo again in the fall…..

Vasoline Filter

Old school trick. Take two clear UV filters. Mount one on lens and rub vasoline on it. Take the second filter and sandwich it on top of the first filter. Voila!! A poorman’s hazy filter. If you don’t like the haze pattern, un-sandwich, rub your fingers across the vasoline and create a different pattern, re-sandwich, and new pattern…….. I took these shots a few years ago down by Jericho Beach with the wife……

Picture Postcard

I’ve done a few installs at 943 West Broadway, so I’ve got to know the building manager reasonably well. One day I was up in his office, and realized what an awesome view of downtown he has. I just happened to have my LX3 with me, so I asked if it was okay for me to take a few pics. What a most excellent day to take this picture. In fact, the manager was telling me that after the olympics, the USA Olympic hockey team took a team photo up here for some cereal box poster or something like that……

Hong Kong 2008

I haven’t posted anything in a while, so I thought I’d go to my back catalog of pictures. I take so many pictures, but very few people actually view them. Either most expect to see the typical vacation pictures (couple standing in front of something famous) so they don’t bother asking to see my pictures, or else I’m too lazy to show people….. anyway, here are some pics from my 2008 Hong Kong pictures….it was hard to just choose a few, as I took many cool pics…. I avoided any pictures of myself, wife, her sisters, or relatives………. I may explain these shots at a later time… every picture has a cool story……………

Bridge Pics and Equipment Debate

I’m facinated by cloud patterns. I love the big fluffy ones (aka Cumulus). Whenever I ride home and I see a bunch of clouds just hanging around, I stop and I take a picture. I’ve posted 4 pictures, two are taken with my Minolta A200 camera, and the other with my Panasonic FX50. Both have similar pixel count, but notice the difference in over all texture of the images. Even though all pictures have been edited, they still have a distinct look, especially the grain pattern. I like the look of the Minolta (the top two pics) versus the Panasonic. There’s too much smudgy noise reduction on the Panasonic pics….. too bad it was pouring rain when I shot with the Minolta (you can see where the raindrop hit on the first image), while the Panasonic got the killer clouds!! As mentioned earlier, my Panasonic FX50 is a cheap work camera, but is small enough to be on my hip whilst I ride my bike, so it’s always ready to take a picture. My other cameras I have to pack in my bag and takes a lot

Day 00? Shipyards....

Well, I haven’t posted any new pics for a while, only posting lost pictures from my picture a day project. I’ve got some input from others, and I think I’ll do a few mini projects from time to time, and also post pictures when I’ve shot something interesting. I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned this in my blog, but I started this blog to get myself back into creative photography. I wasn’t trying to take prize-winning pictures, and I avoided using my top equipment. In fact, I shot mostly on my cheap work camera… it takes not so good images. Noisy images even at a low iso 80, and then attempts to correct it with noise reduction that smears details. As well, most shots were taken on the go, at work, or commuting to and from work while on bike. I didn’t use a tripod, nor did I spend time pondering over the shot. I see a shot peripherally while riding, stop, take the shot, then back to riding. Gone in 30 seconds!! At home, I edit on a free photo editing program (Photoscape, found

Lost Dogs

Pearl Jam had a double cd with all their b-sides and movie soundtrack and other obscure song releases throughout the years that were never officially released on any albums, and they released them all in one collection and called the album “Lost Dogs”. These are my Lost Dogs, the pictures that never made the blog, but got pretty close….. ha ha…. lost dogs…..

Day 30: Which House Do You Want?

This may be the last day of my project. I don’t know how long I can keep this up, as fun as it is. I was thinking I would last 60 days, but perhaps 30 is the number. I did my long route home through Stanley Park and DT, knowing I’d find something cool to shoot. This was the last picture of the day for me. I found this uber modern house right next to an almost cliche ghetto-home. Colour isolation emphasizes the isolation of the house from the rest of its surroundings…… Although this may be my last day of my shooting and posting project, I will still post a few more pictures, perhaps the lost pictures… the shots that never made the blog…. I have a mess of cool shots that I mulled over posting or not posting…… Anyway, thanks for viewing. I don’t think I got a single comment , and neither do I know if I actually have a viewing audience. But I had fun, and its got me back into taking pictures. I may eventually go public with this blog, just to see what strangers think………

Day 29: Painting with Light

I know, 2 days in a row of a bridge shot. I almost posted a cool picture of a block full of fluffy cherry blossom trees that made the street look like an insane tunnel of pink leaves …… but I just loved this shot more. This is what I was trying to get yesterday. I love the swirly cloud patterns circling the rising sun, and how the industrial smoke climbs up into the sky and tries to join the clouds…..this picture looks so much like a painting to me, it definitely felt like I was painting with light this morning as I snapped this picture….

Day 28: Sunrise or Sunset?

There is a debate if there is a light quality difference between a sunrise versus a sunset. Some claim they can tell which is which from a picture. Others claim there is no difference, the quality of the light is the same going up or down. I don’t know if there really is a difference, but there is something about a sunset that I like better than a sunrise. Maybe its the idea of it being the end of the day and the sun is the last thing that keeps the day “alive” until it disappears beyond the horizon. Or maybe its because I hate getting up early, so I see much less sunrises. Well, I took today’s pic on the way into work, and I have to say, the light was pretty cool. I like how the factory smoke to the left and the single cloud puff above the train bridge tower sort of contrast each other, and I like the way the light hits the railway tracks to the right of the image… reminds of a Blue Rodeo album cover….. very little post processing. Contrast, sharpen, and slight vignetting..

Day 27: Do you really gain 5 pounds in pictures?

I think the saying goes for video, that you gain 5 pounds, but is it really true? I thought I’d test the theory. I’ve been a steady 160 for a few years now, and the “Healthometer” keeps me on tract since it’s located in the staff washroom and I check it almost every day….. I just loved the name “Healthometer”, and I visualized the picture in my head ahead of time. Totally worth getting another washroom shot. I mean hey, we all spend a lot of time in there right? I’m very regular. What can I say? Oh, and I just happened to be wearing my merino wool socks with the orange tips, so it kinda worked out in the picture…..

Day 26: The reason why WD40 was invented....

I found this bike leaned up against a rail behind the MEC in N.Van. It’s not locked up, but as you can see, there’s no point. I don’t know if the rust from the rail worked its way to the bike, or the other way around. You can smell the rust in the air. It makes for a cool pic though. I had to do some heavy handed post production work to isolate the bike from the goofy pink wall. Colour isolation, vignetting, focus blur…. I know, I’ll try my best to stop using photo editing “tricks” to get my pic of the day. I’ll try to find more pure shots with as little editing as possible. Tomorrow is a meeting night, so my shooting window of opportunity will be very small….. maybe I’ll get more washroom shots at work…….

Day 25: Zoom Zoom

When I was young, I dreamed about driving. The only way to satisfy this need was by playing with Hotwheels cars. As I got older, I continued playing with them, even though I did so in secret. My mom gave them all away when we got older, to the shock of all us brothers. When I got older and married, and after many years of driving, I realized I still wanted to play with Hotwheels…..well, maybe collect them and just look at them. Now that I have two nephews (and a niece) I’ve started buying for them as well…… I’ll make sure their mommy’s won’t give them away when they get older!! I took this shot on top of my wife’s glossy black piano bench and used window light. I fisheyed the picture a bit, colour isolation and focus blur.

Day 24: Me, Wife and our Toques....

I had already picked the shot of the day, but I passed my wife in the hallway as she showed off her new goggles and I saw the new shot of the day…… it’s a pretty busy picture but it works. It’s my first non-landscape post, although it’s almost a square pic. Very little post-production. It’s all in the picture…… and oh ya, another self-portrait again!! Vain!

Day 23: Biggest Frame Ever

It was a beautiful day and I thought I’d take the long route home through Lions Gate, Stanley Park, downtown, and then through East Van, then back to N.Burnaby. I knew I’d fine some sweet pics on my journey home on my bike. I picked up some cds from HMV on Burrard & Robson, and slowly made my way home. I roamed strange neighbourhoods, and took really cool shots. However, the shot of the day was one of the last shots of the day. I take this route home all the time, so its funny that none of my other exotic downtown shots made the blog. The lighting was just perfect, as the sun was just beginning to set and hit the yellow of the bridge.What I like about this shot is the bridge acts as the frame for my picture, as it leads your eye to the centre of the image. To emphasize this, I used a very subtle bit of colour isolation and focus blur, but very little….. your eye naturally looks under the bridge……

Day 22: I Dig Music

Some of the pictures I’ve taken reflect the things I enjoy: bike riding, eating, and obviously photography. Some pictures don’t, like flowers and pets…..However, one of my biggest passions is actually music. If I had to give up all hobbies and only choose a single one, I’d say that music would be it. I love listening to music, I love playing music, I love writing music….. I dig music…… Anyway, finally, a music themed picture has made my blog. I was visiting a newly re-opened cafe near my work, and owner clearly enjoys music as well. She has 3 guitars and a piano in her very small cafe, including guitar plectrums (aka picks) at the bottom of every glass sugar package holders at every table!! I quickly took this picture with very little thought to composition, although it worked out okay I think. You can see the over exposed picture of a guitar to the top left of the picture. What drew me to take this picture was of course the piano, but I love the two Beatles’ song books, which

Day 21: Drive-By Shooting

Okay, to start off, as they say, don’t try this at home. That is, don’t take pictures while driving. I don’t do it all the time…… okay, I almost never do it, but I’ve seen some pretty spectacular images while driving, and this shot was one of those impossible shots unless driving up high in a van. I was on lower levels in N. Van and I saw this perfect landscape, including a group of crows flying together in a big flock over to the right……I grabbed my camera, which is usually on my hip when I’m working, and I quickly shot off a few shots, with minimal composition. I did shoot in colour, but that’s only because I didn’t have time to switch the camera to b&w mode. It didn’t matter because it was cloudy and gray and pretty much monochromatic anyway……..but the picture works. The glue that holds the image together is the sideview mirror showing what’s behind. I’m happy with this dangerous, accidental, uncomposed, spontaneous shot…… not too much modification, just darkening of the

Day 20: 2nd Narrows Bridge

The 2nd Narrows Bridge is the bridge I must conquer to and from work every day on my bike. On the way to work is mostly downhill, but on the way back is a grind!! The McGill / Hastings Street exit sign is about the halfway mark of the hill, so when I approach it, it’s a psychological marker, as I tell myself: “I’m halfway there, I’ve almost conquered you, you stupid bridge!!” So this time, I decided to stop and take a picture of it. As I did, a quick rider was riding up my butt really fast, so I’m happy I had a reason to stop and take this picture…. or else I’d have to jump on my pedals and make sure he couldn’t catch me!! I did a lot of post production work on this, including fake tilt-shift, equalizing shadows and highlights, contrast boost, sharpening. I also shot it because I liked the shape of the clouds that day. It was just about ready to rain on me……..

Day 19: a Kingly Breakfast

Today is check-out day in Whistler. We did our best not to eat out, so we brought up lots of food and did most of our own cooking. This morning’s goal was to finish eating what we could, so we didn’t have to carry anything back to Vancouver. There is a chaotic randomness to this meal: carrots with veggie dip, pancakes, scrambled eggs, banana loaf, veggie soup and apple pie (still being heated up in the oven). Although there are all these different colours (I like the smoky green of the green tea), the consistently white plates acts like the glue that keeps the randomness in tact, sort of like picture mattes…….

Day 18: Main Street

Third day in Whistler, and I spent from 8am to 4pm snowboarding. The pictures I took up at the mountain were more smiley tourist shots, and my mind was not in photo-blog mode. I was in “don’t fall on my face while trying to go from heel to toe edge” mode…… anyway, after getting back to the apartment, taking a shower, going out for dinner and then back to the hotel, it was pretty late. After looking at all my pics during the day, including food pics at the restaurant, nothing was blog-worthy. So I trekked out late, hunting down a good shot. Not unlike the night before, I took lots of shots at dark, empty store windows, lights and buildings, and finally I took the above shot. I love the halo around street lights, especially the type that arches straight down. I waited for a car to pass by just to add a bit of something to the picture…. I did want something or someone under the street light…..a couple kissing under the light would have been too cliche…… how about a young kid doing

Day 17: Pose for me Rose

I love window displays at night. There’s something eerie about a display that is so animated and meant to attract attention, but late at night and long after the store is closed, it’s sort of out of place. It’s like running into a clown in a dark alley. Out of context. I also always shoot in black and white to accentuate the shadows…. it increases the mood of the already moody picture….. by using focus blur, it makes the model look 3 dimensional, even though its just a flat image. I also shot from an angle to avoid window glare and to distort and compress the space between the objects in the picture……

Day 16: Glow in the Dark Inukshuk

What a long day!! Work all day, and then scramble to pack to go to Whistler, go to a buddy’s house to pick up snowboard equipment, fill up gas, and then finally off at 7pm!! We rolled into Whistler at 8:30pm, and it was snowing hard. As we drove in off of Highway 99, what greeted us was a big, illuminated Inukshuk, a remnant of the 2010 Olympics. After dropping off our luggage and settling in and relaxing a bit, I ran outside in the snow to take this picture. It was cold and wet, but I was well prepared. I braced myself against a light post so I could still shoot at iso 200, a wide open F 2.0 and a slow 1/6 of a sec. You can see the snow coming down in the top right of the image, falling like stars…… not a great image, but good enough to make the blog. I was too tired to run around the village at 11pm to look for the perfect picture…….

Who's the Boss? Me or the Old Guy?

It’s very common for famous stars to go to Japan and partake in ad campaigns that are hard to ignore. Bill Murray’s character in the Suntory Times whiskey ad in Lost in Translation was sort of a satire I guess on the whole thing: American actors who would never, ever do an ad campaign for a pop drink or for a fast food chain, or mass market clothing company in their domestic market will gladly go to Japan and happily lend their face. In this picture, I was trying to get this shot with no one in the way (which is very difficult at a Tokyo train station), and just as I was ready to snap, a young boy appeared in my frame, and it worked…… downstairs of Ikebukuro Station in the North West corner of Tokyo…….

Tokyo 2010: The Beginning

Well, first new pic in a while, and first fresh pic from Tokyo in a year. Since arriving, I’ve been busy doing some work for my father, as well as settling in, and going here and there with my wife, I just haven’t been able to get any good shots. By the time I see something I want to shoot, hand over a shopping bag to my wife, take out my camera from my bag, make sure the settings are correct……. I lose the shot!! I just wasn’t mentally in shooting mode yet. I felt out of photographic rhythm. Today was the first day I felt half on. I’ve been playing around with my i-Phone camera as well. The resolution and quality is okay, but I like working within limits, and it’s a lot easier taking certain pics with an i-Phone versus a camera, especially taking discreet pics of people. I may do just i-Phone pics only entry soon. This picture was taken just outside the outer area of the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo. A bike rider taking a nap in the afternoon sun. From a distance he looked like a s

Yoshi Swims

Sorry for the slow-down in posts. I was sick a few weeks ago, and then my wife got sick. Then 2 weeks ago my wife’s beloved cat Koko had to be put to sleep. Perhaps one day I will post the whole story and some pictures of the whole ordeal, but it was quite sad and tragic. Let’s just say the vet messed up and basically forced our hand to put the cat to sleep…. not too impressed, especially of how it affected my wife. As soon as the cat passed away, the turtle started having some issues with shell rot. My wife frantically did everything to make it better, including another visit to the vet ( a different one that specializes in reptiles ). I thought I’d take some pictures of Yoshi as he swims happy in his 55 gallon tank…… I’m not a big pet person, but it is pretty cool to own a turtle. Minus the cat, we still have a turtle, birds, and a dog….. man alive!! My posts will soon be more regular as I’m off to Japan again for most of November. I’ll try to post daily……. thanks for visitin

Sushi in Vancouver

I grew up eating sushi, but I was conflicted about this. When I was a kid, I was beat up and teased for being Japanese. It wasn’t easy growing up Japanese in the 1970’s and 80’s, as most of the visible minorities in Vancouver were either Chinese, East Indian or Vietnamese. Yes, us Japanese kids were the minorities within the minorities. One of the biggest things I was teased about was that I ate raw fish…. first of all, sushi isn’t raw fish as many of you already know. That’s sashimi. Sushi is about the vinegar and sugar rice. In fact, you can have vegetarian sushi if you want, like kappa maki (cucumber and seaweed and the rice). Sometimes I’d take the sashimi off and just eat the rice with a bit of wasabi and dip it in the Yamasa soy sauce. Anyway, none of my friends ever came over to eat sushi with the family, as they all assumed eating raw fish would be disgusting. Even my best buddy in high-school tried it once (1989), but couldn’t finish it, even though it was ebi and taco

Late Night Ride Through the Park

Last year I rode through the local park and noticed they left the soccer field lights on. At the same time, fog was just settling in across the park. It felt surreal. It looked as crazy as the picture shows, like I was walking on the surface of another planet, or inside a scary movie or something……. I think the empty bleachers is what makes it all the more creepy….. and how the flood lights substitute for a full moon…….

Onsen in Hakone April 2009

This was my first experience at an onsen as an adult. When I grew up in Okinawa, I have very fond but vague memories of going to onsen with my family. But after moving to Canada, and although making many visits to Japan, I’ve never been to one again. It was a great experience: the surroundings, the food, and of course the hotsprings!! After a long train ride to Hakone from Tokyo, and then a nice quick dip, and then a fantastic dinner, and then another, more relaxing dip, I completely passed out. I went again in the morning, and then the day was over. I went with my father and step mother on this trip. I hope to take my wife next time. Good memories. Good times…….

Japan and Vending Machines

I was on Lisa Katayama’s blog tokyomango.com and saw her recent entry of a cool special edition vending machine. This most unusual vending machine was found near my dad’s apartment in Otsuka….. it dispenses batteries!! I should have double checked to see if it was still operational, or if it was just an old relic that no one had carted away yet. I mean, it looks like it was put in place in 1985!! You know what would be cool? If there was a vending machine museum in Tokyo! Wouldn’t that be cool? They have every other type of museum you can think of (parasite, tobacco, salt, etc.). How about one that people actually want to see?

Tokyo at Night

Shinjuku Station facing West Shibuya, just up the street from 109… Kitamura Camera to the right! Great used section!! Nissan Showroom in Ginza…. no people in the way at night Just South of Ginza Marunouchi area, near Tokyo Station Still Marunouchi area Same…… Roppongi Hills light show Roppongi Hills Tokyo Station area Shinjuku West government building public observatory…. it’s free!! Who needs Tokyo Tower?!?! I’ve been sick at home for almost a week (well, a work week) and I’ve become sick of being sick, and tired of being tired, and bored of being bored. I thought I’d look back at some old pictures to re-live some of my recent trips. I thought I’d share some night shots of Tokyo. I’ll post something more interesting (people or food, or both), but please enjoy these pics for now…..

Harajuku & Omotesando @ Night

There’s a certain peace when shooting at night, especially in areas that are usually populated during the day. Not so many people….Harajuku and Omotesando look like ghost towns at night in the retail areas… the only thing is I have to shoot at a higher iso, and sometimes I get blurry shots…

More Bridge Pics...... I Love Fog......

I guess I should correct myself when I say 2nd Narrows Bridge pic (on previous post… and perhaps other bridge shots I’ve taken). These pictures are not of the 2nd Narrows Bridge ( aka “Ironworker’s Memorial” ), but taken from the bridge, as I cross it every morning on the way into work…… the bridge you see here is a train bridge that crosses Burrard Inlet from N.Van and into a tunnel through Burnaby.

2nd Narrows Early Morning Fog

I was almost late for work, but I just had to stop and take a few pics. Again, I didn’t have my good camera, so I didn’t get the best of shots, but good enough…… I need to upgrade my work camera… my dream would be the Ricoh GR Digital III. I know, kinda overkill, but I just can’t live with a bad sensored camera (1/2.5″ size)….. maybe I’ll pick it up in Tokyo in November…….

Buskers in Harajuku

In Japan, it is not uncommon for the next pop band to be discovered on the streets, and what better place to showcase your band than play in Harajuku on a Sunday. These guys were pretty good, and the lead singer was very charismatic, really playing and singing to the crowd. I love the quiet mystique of the bassist (as are most bassists…..). You can’t see the girl drummer, because from my view, she was behind a tree, but it looked like she was playing a hacked Rockband drum kit……..if I can find the name of the band (I picked up a flyer) I’ll post it….. I took in 2 other street performances in Tokyo. I’ll post those in the future, including one of them that I actually bought their CD…. they were really good….. I love Tokyo!!
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