Coolest Ride in Town

Epic Ride

Couple of weeks ago I visited San Diego for a brief vacation. On one day I went to the San Diego Zoo, which had rather impressive reviews everywhere but was a bit disappointed as it was nowhere near good as  they claimed to be.

The next day, we headed for the SeaWorld San Diego, and this time I had my reservations. But unlike the zoo this was totally worth it; they had all sorts of performances with seals, killer whales and dolphins and was simply amazing. This was the show with the dolphins, and I was able to catch this moment which thought was pretty cool!

Lost in Love

Lost in Love

This photo took about a month of planning, a few missed opportunities and a whole lot of tries, yet it was all worth it! Absolutely and totally!

Let me tell you the back story; I’ve been living in Japan for 7 years now, and for anyone who’s been here that long the Shibuya crossing is something special. It is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world and the atmosphere is simply wonderful. So I had this idea for a while, where I wanted to take a long exposure shot at night with only the subject motionless while all the people who are crossing just a blur. I hadn’t worked out the details yet and nowhere close to making it happen.

Then one day I pitched the idea to Aurora Simionescu who’s something of a creative genius so we came up with this idea where the subject should be a couple, and the photo should express a feeling something akin to being completely and utterly lost in love and time; you are stuck in that wonderful moment while the world around you is moving on.

Then there was the problem of finding people to pose for us; we couldn’t pose ourselves because we needed to see what we are shooting, but then our good friend Amer Kawar and his girlfriend Veronica bravely opted to be our models for the day, and kudos to them for a) being able to stand still for about 3 seconds and b) coming up with this particular pose. It was a brilliant job by them!

And the end result, well, among thousands of photo’s I’ve taken there’s only very few photos – if at all – I’m more satisfied about.

Ecstasy

Ecstasy

My friend Aurora has an obsession with pink. Then, if you’re a photographer and lived long enough in Japan, you develop this fascination with Mt. Fuji. So when we went to the Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri, near Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan, Aurora could hardly contain herself. As you can clearly see!

Yokohama: the Lights

Yokohama, Japan

I probably have mentioned this quite a few times, but let me say it again; Yokohama is one of my most favorite places in Japan to hangout. There’s a lively buzz around any time of the day and night lights are simply breathtaking. So I hardly ever miss an opportunity to go there, with or without a camera. This is a photo from sometime back, a day I braved the cold and spent a good few hours circling more or less the entire harbor area shooting to my heart’s content, and as you will probably agree, it was totally worth it!

PINK!

A Sea of Pink

When retouching photos, it is very rarely that you have to decrease color saturation to make it believable. This is one such instance!

Last weekend I went to a Shibazakura (芝桜/Phlox) garden in Hitsujiyama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Luckily the weather was excellent and the flowers were in full bloom. And when those two were combined, it was an endless sea of pink! I spent the whole day there, circling the whole garden first with the zoom lens, then with the wide angle, and then a third time with the zoom lens again but this time going all paparazzi on people taking selfies (that’s for a different post later) which turned out to be quite fun.

Processing this photo, I merged 3 bracketed shots in Photomatix to bring up the mountains and clouds in the background, then masked back one of the originals to get rid of ghosting caused by moving people. But even then, the pink in the foreground was still too much; so I actually decrease the saturation of the flowers a bit because it was a little too much to believe true.