Embracing the Universe
During the last weekend I headed to the Niijima Island, Japan, for two days of camping with the wonderful folk of the Tokyo Snow Club and it was as good a time as you could have. After unhealthy amounts of food, booze, music and some more, we made a bonfire at the beach and had a great time.
Finally people started leaving around midnight, but my great friend and fellow photographer Aurora and I stayed behind determined to catch a glimpse of the milky way. We weren’t disappointed; after about a half an hour into the mid night the milky way slowly rose with its full majesty and the two of us had a great time time did fly by. In this picture I made her stand her there for about 30 seconds (bless her!) while I shot it, and it turned out quite lovely I think.
As Dr. Neil DeGrass Tyson would say, the stupefying vastness of the universe shouldn’t make us feel insignificant, for the universe makes up for it with the fact that we are one with the universe; we literally are made of star stuff. Knowing that, taking in the indescribable elegance of the milky way is one of the most soul searching experience one could have. And in that regard, I’ve been lucky more than once.
During the cherry peak of the spring cherry blossoms, this place comes to live; people gather round to see Sakura, to picnic under the trees on the floorboards to the left of the picture, and there are continuous festivals. There’s just continuous buzz around. After living here for 7 years you kind of get used to it, although you never get tired of it.
After the peak it’s a different story. People leave leaving us permanent residents to get on with our lives, the flowers fall (except for this lonely outcast) and everything turns to a lively green. I grabbed the camera and headed out the other day, and fittingly for a gloomy day there was a general peace and serenity of which I hope I at least captured a little bit of.
It’s a true calm after the storm.
On my way home from grocery shopping today I was passing by this place where lots of pigeons hangout, and seeing them I thought I’d take a few photos so grabbed the camera as soon as I was home and headed out rightaway.
One there, I started shooting a few ‘portraits’, but almost immediately lots of them gathered around me expecting treats! I felt bad, after all they deserved something for posing for me, so I went to the nearby convenient store to get some popcorn and came back.
As expected they were still there, and happily started pecking on the popcorn as soon as I offered them. So I let them have their lunch and started shooting without guilt.
I was lucky enough to catch this moment in time, and as soon as I reviewed it on the display the title ‘One Can Tango Too’ just popped into my mind.
This was a photo almost a year in the making; when I took the first of the four photos back in August, it occurred to me that I could in fact not take one, but four, depicting each of the four seasons.
The fall went without a problem and a cool looking picture in the bag. Winter was what was tricky, for even though it does get cold in Tokyo it hardly snows and even if it does it would at most be a day or two. There are years without no snowfall at all, too. And a picture depicting the winter is never complete without snow in it. So I was eagerly waiting for some snowfall, even a bit, and then… I was greeted with the heaviest snowfall in Tokyo in years! Not bad at all. However, the plans might have almost gotten ruined, for I fell ill during the exact days where the cherry blossoms peaked. However as soon as I was a little better I headed out with the camera and grabbed a decent shot, although past the peak, and thus complete the picture of my dreams.
Seasons in the Sun
Chilling Me Softly
Yesterday was fun. Like, TOTALLY! It was one of the best photowalks I’ve ever been to here in Japan, and with good reason. To begin with, I prepared a tad too much and so messed it up completely, just like me; in the morning I plugged in the battery to charge it despite it having more than half the life remaining, and so in the evening I headed back home for a quick shower, change of clothes and a snack, then grabbed the camera and headed out. All good, only minor glitch in the whole plan is that I promptly forgot the battery and left it home. And didn’t realize it till I arrived at the Harajuku station which is where the meetup people were supposed to… meet.
But luckily my friend Aurora was there, to whom I promised I’d be her wingman for the day, but now without a camera I was only going to be able to just do that anyway, but she was cool to let me borrow her camera whenever we cornered an unsuspecting victim; because the theme of the photowalk for the day was portraits of strangers, as in we were supposed to talk to random strangers and get them to pose for us. It was a fun experience with us having varying degrees of success from some people just turning away coldly to some others being completely confused and let us take the photos anyway to few more actually finding it rather cool and wanting to take pictures with us with their mobile phone cameras too! Finally when we gathered together again, in front of the station, this lovely girl was chilling with the guitar without a care in the world. I approached her and asked her permission with a thumbs up and she was totally cool for it. I think the photo itself turned out rather okay, though I could have done better composition wise at least.
After the photowalk it was time for food and beer, and as always, that too was fun.
The Perfect Spring Day
Believe it or not, this is more or less right in front of my apartment; yes I’m that lucky. This small stream and the road alongside it runs for more than a kilometer long and there are Sakura trees (cherry blossoms ) just like this the whole length.
Unfortunately because of work I couldn’t take a day off during the weekdays, and then it rained to add to that so by yesterday they were past their peak which kind of ruins the photo. You can see small brown/green ish budding leaves at the end of twigs. Otherwise there would have been even more flowers, but no matter, it still is an awesome sight. Since I knew better I went there early, around 8.00 a.m., before people gathered so I could take a few decent shots without all the moving folk in them.