Join me at the Google HQ in Tokyo! Comment to win!

UPDATE – WINNER SELECTED

Google has contacted the winner – in the event the winner cannot make it, we will choose an alternate. I’ll be sure to get a picture with the winner after the event and post it. Thanks again everyone!

Random Giveaway – Join me at the Google HQ in Tokyo

On October 2nd at 5 PM, I’ll be giving an all-new talk and full tutorial session at Google. Unfortunately, it is a closed session just for Googlers, but I can bring ONE LUCKY WINNER. To enter, just drop a comment that says “I want to come!” or something to that effect. I’ll have the team randomly select a winner and then Google Tokyo will be in touch with you. Good luck! :)

The talk is about the merging of Beauty and Technology into Art. We’ll get into this through telling a wide variety of stories that helped me figure out several circuitous truths about these matters. Not that I have all the answers, but I do see the shape of the truth in a few areas. :)

Daily Photo – A new favorite area of Tokyo

I only discovered this area on my most recent trip. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to get back here or not this time (it’s a quick trip), but I’ll try my best. It’s an amazing place to stay up late into the night and see all the crazy lights in all the tight little streets… so fun and full of interesting life!

A new favorite area of Tokyo

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

So I decided to fight this robot

In Tokyo Again Soon!

I’ll be there for a few days next week — really looking forward to it! :)

Great New eBooks!

 

Mark Johnson
In his 109-page eBook, Luminescent World, Mark S. Johnson shares a delightful medley of creative camera and Photoshop techniques that can’t be found anywhere else. You’ll learn how to craft compelling soft-glow montages, high dynamic range composites, multi-image montages, long-exposure tilts, in-camera multiple-exposure rotate and zoom montages, walks through a forest with an open shutter, mirror montages, long-exposure slap zooms, and many more.

 

 

Justin Balog

The Dawn of America’s Race takes you from the press conference to the finish line of America’s greatest bike race. Photographer Justin Balog and professional cyclist and author Ted King joined forces to share a glimpse into the first two years of USA Pro Challenge. Experience the race with over 100 never seen before images captioned and curated by Ted King himself.

 

 

Ralph Velasco

In Essence of a Place: A Photographer’s Guide to Using a Shot List for Capturing Any Destination travel photographer, author, international photo tour guide and app creator Ralph Velasco outlines the importance of maintaining a shot list in order to create a more complete cultural portrait of a place. You’ll learn to go beyond the more obvious categories of Architecture, People and Landscapes by capturing Color, Details, Night Scenes, Interiors, the Underbelly and so many more.

 

 

Charlie Borland

Charlie Borland’s Outdoor Flash Photography eBook is a practical guide to utilizing flash creatively. Whether you need flash in combination with the natural light or need to create light where there isn’t any, this book covers it all. You will learn how to apply flash for specific results in both intensity and quality. But even more valuable is how to create light that tells stories. Something that is important to outdoor and adventure photographers.

 

 

Wade Simmonds

 

At more and more events, fire performers are popping up at concerts, street fairs, and holiday events. You may have seen photos in other photographer’s portfolios and wondered how they got that shot. Catching the Fire explains the techniques for getting the best photographs out of a fire performance. No matter your skill level, this book will teach you to see the performance in a new way and capture it.

 

Daily Photo – So I decided to fight this robot

I was trying to get out of Tokyo without fighting a robot, but, somehow, I knew that I would never be that lucky.

That would be a good start to a story, eh? I’ll tell you the rest of the story some time… btw, who can tell us which robot this is?

Robot Tokyo

So I decided to fight this robot

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Fishing at Fuji

Happy Birthday to the #1 Commenter: Mom!

Hi Mom! :)

Fuji Question

I have a dumb Mount Fuji question! Does it ALWAYS have snow on the top bit, or are there times when it melts off. I can’t think of a time I’ve ever seen it without snow… but I am not a Fuji-san expert… thus the question! :)

Daily Photo – Fishing at Fuji

What’s more scenic than fishing with that amazing mountain in the background? It’s so cinematic and dramatic all the time. I can just picture these guys pulling fish out of the water and everything is in slow motion and majestic.

Fishing at Fuji

Fishing at Fuji

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length56.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Eyes of Tokyo

Traffic Photos

So, how are these kinds of photos made? Well people that have the tutorials above have seen me do it many times, but I can give you a brief high-level description here. Basically, I use the default technique to create the HDR version (assuming you’ve seen the free HDR Tutorial here on the site!). Of course I use Photomatix and all that stuff. But, while I am on the scene I take a bunch more shots to get the traffic streaks. I usually keep it in Aperture priority and I keep adjusting the aperture until I get a good 8 to 15 second exposure, which seems to be just about right for getting good traffic streaks. I then mask that into the final version…

Daily Photo – The Eyes of Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the coolest cities to get traffic photos. I must have taken over a thousand, and I look forward to doing a lot more. Of all the thousand I’ve taken, I think I’ve only processed and published about 8 of them, and this is one of my new favorites. I walked up and down this street to try to find lights against the dark in a configuration that felt like a menacing face over the city…

The Eyes of Tokyo

The Eyes of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture9
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sandals of the Monks

An Old Video

Here’s the very first video I released… many years ago… on an early trip to Japan. You can see a few scenes from the same monastery below from today’s image.

Daily Photo – Sandals of the Monks

I walked around the monastery complex for ages, taking photos here and there. When I came around a corner on one of the more remote areas, I saw all these sandals lined up like a swirling cloud outside of one of the meditation rooms.

Sandals

Sandals of the Monks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture11
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Upcoming Speaking Engagements, Fujisan, and the spaceship

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I’ll be in Auckland on Sunday to speak at the big NZIPP Event. I’m afraid that one is not open to the public, but maybe you can sneak in! I’ll also be at the event below, the huge Problogger event in Australia by Darren Rowse. I believe that event is Sold Out! But you should check their website and see if any more become available.

HDR Photo

Half of Photography is just showing up

Here is a behind-the-scenes video I made while I was taking the photo below (well the 2nd half of the video!)…

Daily Photo – Fujisan and the spaceship

This was a fun evening exploring some temples around the outskirts of Mount Fuji. I have a feeling there are hundreds more places like this… I want to explore them all! :)

Fujisan

Fujisan and the spaceship

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Lamp in Hakone

Lemons into Lemonade

Down below I have a story of how things looked rotten then turned right as rain. Do you have a photo-story like that – where things looked horrible then turned out okay?

Daily Photo – The Lamp in Hakone

The entire time I was in Hakone, it would not stop raining. This is not a great thing, when you finally make it to a place you are very excited about and there is a torrential downpour. So what to do? Well I didn’t want to walk away empty-carded (new word I just made up – feel free to use it!), so I lugged out the umbrella and took a stroll to see what I could find. And now, I’m happy I did.

Lighthouse in Japan

The Lamp in Hakone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Umbrella in the Sun

Upcoming Show

We have a very fun upcoming show (Monday, 7 PM PT, 10 PM ET) where we talk to a bunch of different authors on Flatbooks.com. I’ve asked them all to come prepared with a bunch of different tips and tricks from their respective eBooks, so it should be quite educational! :)

Daily Photo – Umbrella in the Sun

Tokyo has so many neighborhoods! There are dozens and dozens, each one like its own mini-city with its own culture and memes. This one (I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the name) is filled with an older, traditional feel. It’s not uncommon to see women come out and walk the street in traditional dress.

Walking in Japan

Umbrella in the Sun

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length112.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wild Tokyo Streets and Project Loon from Google

On This Week in Tech talking about Google X Loon Balloons, Sony NEX-7, etc

I joined from Christchurch a few days ago to talk with Leo and the gang about what happened behind the scenes at the Google launch of Project Loon in New Zealand. Here’s the full article on StuckInCustoms.com about the Google Internet Balloon launch.

Daily Photo – Wild Tokyo Streets

Here’s the wild Tokyo streets not far from Roppongi. It turns out this tiny little spot is safe to stand in. I think. Well, it probably wasn’t, but those little lines gave me some sense of safety. Either way, I took all the shots and got out of here quickly!

You can see Don Quixote there on the left. It’s a very popular store in Tokyo and they have everything! They have t-shirts, shaving cream, kid toys, and adult toys. Those last two categories are quite different.

Tokyo Streets

Wild Tokyo Streets

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Seedy Part of Tokyo

Correcting the Fisheye Lens

I took this photo with the fisheye (see my Nikon 16mm Fisheye Review) and then did the lens correction in post. What do you think? I’m pretty happy with it. I can see it’s a little wobbly in a few places, but not too bad. One problem I do notice at 100% is there is some chromatic aberration (purple and green outlines) in the corners, but that goes away as you get more to the middle. A little CA does not bother me too much, but I know it drives some people absolutely batty.

Speaking of CA…

I noticed lately that I have a lot of chromatic aberration in my glasses! When I look at bright areas in the corners of my glasses, I can definitely see it. I found this kind of mesmerizing for a while… I do it a lot now… I think it is just scientifically interesting how it prisms out the purple and green. Maybe this is why I don’t mind a little CA in the final shot… since I actually SEE it in real life with my glasses! Or maybe I am just making a lazy excuse… I can’t decide… both probably!

Daily Photo – The Seedy Part of Tokyo

Well, it’s not that seedy. I mean, it’s not dangerous. Maybe if you stay till the wee hours of the morning things might get crazy, but I don’t think so. Despite all the houses of ill-repute, there were still a ton of people walking around… all types, all ages, and everything in between.

Tokyo Downtown Crazy

The Seedy Part of Tokyo

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

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