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!
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.
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.
Few months ago I took out a friend to dinner for her birthday. All that’s fine, but there’s got to be something in it for me as well, right? So, two birds with one stone and all, I picked Yokohama, close to the Minatomirai station which is without fail an excellent place for photography.
After a wonderful dinner we were walking around aimlessly and while my friend was admiring these colorful LEDs I managed to take 3 quick shots of her and she was kind enough to stay still…ish.
Processed these today, after about four or five months, which is something I like to do instead of processing them all at once. That way it helps me to take a different approach on someone similar themed photos and invariably that ends up in a better finished product. I merged the 3 images (EV0 +/- 3) in Photomatix and generated two outputs; one concentrating on lights and the other on the rest of the photo. Then after a lot of masking to clean up messy areas, imported them to LR and applied this cool filter. Finally, as always, Noiseware.
During my recent trip to the USA I was in Washington DC with a bunch of my friends. The daytime was spent catching up with the old buddies and going to a few museums around, and in any case I wanted to wait till the night fall to get a snap of few landmarks around. Which led to my friends’ jokes that when all the photographers want more light this guys wants less of it. But jokes aside, I was confident that night scenes like this with the advantage of long exposure at my disposal, could turn into far more exciting photos than day time ones. So we waited till the nightfall and it was nice of my friend Danushka to drive me around DC till then. Finally we arrived at the Lincoln Memorial and I was in for a surprise: the place was absolutely deserted! Only then did I realized that in that cold weather nobody was crazy as I was to wandering around freezing to the bone, but on the plus side, how many opportunities do you get to have one of the most famous landmarks in the whole world completely to yourself like this?