Little Girl in Tokyo

More about the Sony A7r and the move towards Mirrorless

Here’s a special video I made for Frederick Van Johnson that debuted at one of his live events at a conference. I talk a bit about my switch from the Nikon to the Sony Mirrorless system. I also say a bit about that Leica 50mm that I used to take the photo below.

Daily Photo – Little Girl in Tokyo

This was taken near that giant Gundam robot in Tokyo just a few weeks ago. It's not only a great spot to take photos of the robot, but also a great place to people watch. A lot of cute Japanese kids come here and I enjoy taking photos of them just as much! Some people ask me if it's weird to take photos of the kids or whatever. I don't think so, especially not in Japan. All the parents are totally cool with it, and there is nothing wrong with it. I think there is some kind of a Western fear-based hangup that there must be something inherently strange about it… but I certainly don't feel that way — cute kids are awesome and fun to photograph!

Little Girl in Tokyo

Little Girl in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Get The Bamboo Forest print for a great cause!

A special print offering

Get the print here.

100% of the money is going to a special charity set up for Eliza O’Neill. If you’re not familiar with the story about her, check out this link. It’s a great effort by the wonderful photographer Benjamin Von Wong.

Daily Photo – The Bamboo Forest

This is one my favorite photos, still, after all these years. I'm happy to offer this special print for the cause above! If you don't know the story of it, here it is. :)

While exploring Kyoto, I eventually found my way to this fanciful bamboo forest. There had been a light rain most of the morning and everything was quite lovely. The rain does strange things as it moves its way through these sorts of trees. I waited and waited, and that was nice too. In the early afternoon, the rain stopped while the sun peeked through the top. It shone down while the earlier rain misted down from the tops of the trees.

Bamboo Forest in Kyoto Japan

The Bamboo Forest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Two Traditional Japanese Women in the Rain

Umbrella Man

If you want to find out more about this photo below, and all the photos from this particular day, go read this blog entry from Matthias Lambrecht. He was my assistant for the day after winning a contest! :) We had great fun together.

Picking the Best

Typically, for a shot like this one below, I will shamelessly rattle off 5-10 photos in a row. I really enjoy the process of going back into Lightroom to pick out the best one. Only on a vary rare occasion will I just take one shot and have that one be a keeper! For this one below, there were many interesting versions, but I liked this one the best because of the expression of the woman on the right.

Daily Photo – Two Traditional Japanese Women in the Rain

It was just about the perfect kind of rain in Tokyo this day. It wasn't a total downpour, but there was just enough so that almost everyone had an umbrella. This is the kind of rain I prefer to shoot in because I'm not constantly getting soaked myself. But since I had a manual-focus lens on, I really needed both hands. I was thankful for Matthias to hold an umbrella over my while I did my thing! :)

Two Traditional Japanese Women in the Rain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Facemasks of Tokyo

Why the facemasks?

I think most people assume that the facemasks are because they are afraid of getting sick or SARS or something like this. But it is actually the opposite, I suppose! They wear the masks because they are being considerate and worried about getting their germs on other people. I’d guess that anywhere from 25-50% of the people in subways and public areas of Japan wear these facemasks. I think they are actually kind of cool. It makes people very mysterious and you can just look at the eyes.

By the way, all of these were taken last week with the Sony A7r and the Leica 50mm f/1.4. This is a manual focus lens, so I got a lot of practice with being fast with the manual focus with all these moving subjects! :)

Daily Photo – Girl with Facemask in Shibuya Station

I walked up to her and she could tell I was a photographer. I asked her in my best international-speak if I could take her picture and she said yes. Most people are super-cool with photos in Japan, which is awesome. Anyway, she smiled and was laughing while I took this photo. I thought her eyes had a really pretty color and luminance to them…

Girl with Facemask in Shibuya Station

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring Shibuya Station, from the Subway and Beyond

Goat Simulator on a Mac running Parallels

I spent about two hours with my son getting this Goat Simulator to work. This is not the normal thing I talk about around here, but we figured out some stuff, so some of this may help. First, if you are installing Parallels, be sure to also use the menu and go to “Virtual Machines” and “Install Parallel Tools”, which will get all the drivers running for the video card. I’m all Mac now, but I am reminded of the issues back in the day when I had to deal with drivers! After that, when you are in, make sure you shut everything else down. Also, and this doesn’t make any sense, but if you shut down Adobe Creative Cloud, it seems to make things way faster. Adobe, why do you hate Goat Simulator? Why oh why? Last, you may have to go into the video settings then “Advanced” and turn off things like Light Shafts and this sort of extra stuff. Now we get a decent frame rate. Okay, Goat Simulator update, out.

What is it like?

Warning: This video may be very boring!!

This is what it looks like (wearing Google Glass) when taking the subway to Shibuya, then getting off and exploring the busiest intersection in the world. There’s no commentary or anything… but you’ll actually see me make the photo below. And let me know if you like videos like this… I’m really afraid it’s a bit boring haha! :)

Daily Photo – Bike Crossing at Shibuya

Shibuya is an amazing place, and I go every time I am in Tokyo. The people are really incredible… the energy, the lights, the music, the everything! Maybe I'm even more drawn to it because I live in a small town now, you know? Anyway, maybe the video above will give you a sense of the place. One other thing — this is so safe that it is ridiculous! Maybe it makes you think of New York, which can be a little sketchy… but it is nothing like that. Unbelievable! :)

Shibuya

Bike Crossing at Shibuya

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture13
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring Roppongi in Tokyo

The Best kept Neighborhood Secret in Tokyo?

I have a feeling there are some secret areas of Tokyo I haven’t visited yet. If you have any ideas, please let me know! :)

Daily Photo – Exploring Roppongi in Tokyo

It's so interesting and fun to explore all parts of Tokyo, but this is the first area that I really got to know quite well. Almost every time I go to Tokyo, I stay here in the Roppongi area. It's one of the busier and more modern areas of the city with a bunch of cool architecture. You can basically walk around there all night and see places like this around every corner!

Exploring Roppongi in Tokyo

Exploring Roppongi in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Benjamin Von Wong for the Arcanum?

Should we fast-track him in? Leave a comment!

So we were looking through the applications for The Arcanum, and we saw Benjamin Von Wong signed up to be a Master. I thought, wait, this must be a mistake! That can’t be The Same BVW that is like that super-awesome-talented-crazy-photographer-dude, is it? It is! We’ve had hundreds of applications in there where people sign up to be Masters, and there is some really incredible talent in there. I hate to pull him out as an example, but with this new video below, I thought it was apropos.

If you want us to Fast-Track him into a special list as the next beta-list of Masters, let me know in the comments! If there is enough public outcry, well then I know a guy that can make it happen!

We’re currently in a beta phase with the first group of Masters, and it’s going well. We’re learning a lot, doing a few iterations, and having a lot of fun! Our plan is to launch with a very small group of Masters, each of whom will select 20 Apprentices to guide through their the first two spheres of Levels. I know it’s all enshrouded in a wonderful mystery, but all will be revealed as soon as a Master selects you. Even spinning up the next set of Masters will take a while, so don’t get too excited just yet!

And so here you can see this amazing video Benjamin Von Wong did with SmugMug. If you don’t know what that is, see my shiny SmugMug Review!

Daily Photo – Looking forward to more Tokyo photography

Last trip to Tokyo, I finally hit this neighborhood below. I'm looking forward to going back here and taking more photos! Mostly I think I am excited just because I have a new camera, and I know things are gonna be even crazier. This time, I'm gonna spend a bit more time doing street photography with the A7r and some Leica lenses. It's a great place to practice because most people there don't seem to mind when you take their photo!

Looking forward to more Tokyo photography

Looking forward to more Tokyo photography

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Heading back to Tokyo

Strange worlds!

This will be a strange turn-around for me. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the deserts of Morocco, away from civilization, and then I’ll be going straight into Tokyo here. I’m super-excited about the transition, actually. To me, Morocco and Japan are two true parallel universes that have not become generic in any way yet… so it will be a bit of a portal-between-worlds.

Daily Photo – Heading back to Tokyo

Here's a scene from the fun photowalk we did in Tokyo last time I was there. A bunch of girls in costume showed up and started playing with my Google Glass. They made the funniest faces of shock and surprise when they put them on. In this shot, you can see Vic Gundotra in the background taking his own photos of the festivities!

Heading back to Tokyo

Heading back to Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length56.0 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

From the Old to the New

Not having a commute

I really appreciate not having a commute to work (was thinking about this when processing today’s photo)! And I have YOU to thank for that. All of you who pop into the store to buy a little something… that all adds up, and I don’t take it for granted! I get to walk over to my little studio every day to try to make more pretty things and come up with artistic ideas. It’s nice not having to drive into the studio, I think! It’s also good to get a little bit out of the house… for whatever reason, you can go a little mad in there sometimes if you know what I mean! :)

Daily Photo – From the Old to the New

A little downtown action for you today… :)

From the Old to the New

From the Old to the New

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length170.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

The Great Tea Shoppe

Your Favorite Tea?

I ended up buying a few different kinds of teas from all over Japan at this rather exotic tea shoppe below. Do you have a favorite kind of a tea or a favorite way to have it prepared? I’m curious! I used to think I liked Earl Grey Tea a lot because Captain Picard liked it, but now I’ve decided I actually really don’t like it (but I still like Captain Picard.)

Daily Photo – The Great Tea Shoppe

This was a magical little find off on one of the side streets in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. From the road, I saw a bunch of patterned tea holders inside of a quaint shop, so I just went inside. For whatever reason, I am less shy about going into random stores in Japan. Even if I end up in a really strange store (which is mostly the case!), then people are so polite there that they never make me feel bad about it! Speaking of that, I should get some more photos of the rather strange stores into which I pop into!

The Great Tea Shoppe Japan

The Great Tea Shoppe

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x