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!

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The Four Seasons

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

Placid

Placid

A few weeks ago I was in a photowalk with my favorite meetup group, the Night Photography bunch. It was a park near Shinjuku, Japan and some of the maple trees were lit up quite brilliantly there.

We walked around for more than an hour when we finally came upon this lake, where we were greeted with this gorgeous sight. It goes without saying I set to work there, and I especially loved this as there was a lot of water to work with; water always makes for interesting and breathtaking HDRs.

This is 3 bracketed shots (EV0 +/- 2) merged in Photomatix 5, but other than that I didn’t do much processing except for removing the top of a building visible in the background and cleaning up noise in Noiseware.

Nature’s Palette

Brilliant Colors

Yesterday was a pretty awesome day.

First of all, at work, we were able to meet the deadlines which is always an immense relief. Which also meant I didn’t have to stay till late, so I confirmed my availability for the meetup I was thinking of going, went home, grabbed the camera and headed straight back out.

This autumn I didn’t have even a single chance yet so this photowalk was a God given. We gathered near the gates of Rikugien Garden, which is not far away from Shinjuku, and headed inside in a while. It was a pretty nice place and while the pathways were a tad narrow we didn’t have any problem using tripods and was able to shoot a bunch of good photos.

As an added bonus I met a bunch of interesting and fun people again, which is always the case with these photowalks, made some friends, and ended the day with a much needed beer afterwards. It was past midnight when I finally got home, and it was pretty great day overall.

Japanese Halloween

Japan is a truly amazing place. There’s a little bit of everything there; ancient heritage sits side-by-side with the high tech lives, there’s culture, there’s fashion, there excellent food, people are super nice and so damn reserved at the same time, and lots more. And even though these western festivities are recent imports they celebrate them all from the heart. There are Christmas parties and Octoberfests starting from May, they celebrate the Valentine’s Day (where girls are supposed to treat guys – imagine that!) and sort of a return Valentine’s Day on March 14th where you’re expected to out-do the girls (cunning, aren’t they) and of course, Halloween! And Halloween in particular is a time for all of them to let their hair down a bit and have fun.

Roppongi area is particularly famous for night life here, and during Halloween it really, and I mean really, comes to life. There are lots of bars and pubs around and people gather in numbers with all sorts of costumes and you can’t literally walk the streets without bumping into few people every few feet. And for a change, if you’re with a camera, they want you to take their pictures. I headed there with a bunch of friends yesterday – most of them photographers – and we had a really great time. Here’s some highlights from the nights.

Dying Happily

Scooby Gang. Without Scooby.

Superwomen

Caged

Navajo

A Fox and a Cat

Wolvarine

The Batwoman

Zombie Attack

Walking Cupcake

Sandra Bullock Lookalike