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

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

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

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

A Rainy Scene in Tokyo

Non-Pro Bodies Shooting in the rain

I’m scared to death to take my NEX-7 in the rain. I know pro bodies like the Nikon D4 can take it with no problem, but I am very worried. I never had a problem with my D800 (which one can say is NOT a pro body), but I did have a problem when I dropped my D800 one time. It wasn’t really a pro-body either, although I never had trouble with it in low-light conditions.

This is something I always hear about mid-tier cameras that are not “pro” with proper weather sealing. Have you ever had trouble with it, or is it just an empty threat?

Daily Photo – A Rainy Scene in Tokyo

I stayed here one afternoon for a short bit in the shade. I really liked how everything was wet and the background was a clean white with complex lines all over the place. It’s hard to explain why I liked the feel of this place — I just did. Part of it was that I like the wet, reflective ground without actually needing to stay in the rain. I love a good rain shot, but I hate standing in the rain! I feel like my mom is always telling me to get out of the rain or I will catch a cold!

Tokyo Japan

A Rainy Scene in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.7
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Lava in the streets of Tokyo

The original Photoshop

I saw this great article on Petapixel about the super-duper-orignal Photoshop!

Daily Photo – Lava in the streets of Tokyo

I had a few people look at this photo and tell me that it looks like lava is flowing down the streets. I never thought of that, but now that I see it, I can’t un-see it! If only we could see Mt. Fuji in the distance, then I could photoshop in a little bit of a volcanic eruption to make the whole effect complete!

Lava in the streets of Tokyo

Lava in the streets of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture4.2
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

Tripods in Tokyo

I’ve never had a problem using a tripod anywhere in Tokyo (or Japan for that matter)! I think that the Japanese people are so polite that they would never even think about asking me to stop doing something that I was doing. Also, as a foreigner, maybe I have this sense about me of, “Oh he must know what he is doing. Surely he’s supposed to be doing that!” I’m reading a lot into their blank stares, mind you.

Daily Photo – The Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

Thank you very much to Takahiro-san for taking us to this place!

He took Tom and I here one evening and helped us to find some really interesting angles of this awesome loopty-loop thing. The only way I was able to get the whole thing in was to use the fisheye — see my Nikon 16mm Fisheye review here.

One thing that surprised me about this shot was the pattern the lights made on the water very close to me. It was like laser-light painting!

The Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

The Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Did you get your monthly HardWare Magazine?

No? Well, me neither. I’m not sure who subscribes. I think it is an Asian magazine. Singapore? Anyway, they interviewed me, and they now have the (honor?) of having the article with the BIGGEST PHOTO OF ME EVER! haha it’s so crazy… I was shocked when someone sent me a PDF!

Actually, when I saw this giant spread, I thought that “Hardware Magazine” might be some kind of a Singaporean gay magazine.

skitch

Daily Photo – Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Someone gave me a hot tip to go see this cool robot area of Tokyo! There’s a place called the Robot Restaurant, and it’s one of the craziest places I have ever been!

It’s basically like Medieval Times, but with robots and girls in bikinis.

Outside the Robot Restaurant, they have all these awesome-looking robots with iPads on their chests. There are people inside, which is kind of a disappointment, but also kind of a relief. Either way, they are pretty awesome!

Robot Restaurant Tokyo

Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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