Japanese Badass Schoolgirl in Harajuku

Topaz Detail vs. Topaz Adjust?

The photo below was made using Topaz Detail. I get the question a lot what is better – Topaz Detail or Topaz Adjust? It’s a good question. I’m honestly not sure I have an answer. I use both a lot – they are similar, but different enough to stay two different products.

If you want to investigate more, I have a Topaz Adjust Review and a Topaz Detail Review here on the site.

Daily Photo – Japanese Badass Schoolgirl in Harajuku

Harajuku is one of the most interesting areas of Tokyo! It’s filled with some of the most interesting-looking people you’ll ever see. They get dressed up in all kinds of get-ups and parade through the streets (which also means they don’t mind being in a photograph). The stores in the area cater to everything from goth to glam-rock to 100 other variations that I can’t even describe.

I spied this one below, gliding through the streets and zoomed in for a quick one.

A Parting Shot of the Temple

Links in Comments

I know a lot of y’all post links to your own work, your websites, articles of note, and the like.  I encourage it!  Don’t be shy about doing that.  Watch out — however if you put more than 3 links into a comment – the filter will think that it is spam and it will get held up for moderation.

New Newsletter went out!

If you are on the free newsletter list,  you recently received it!  You can sign up now on the Newsletter page, and you’ll be good-to-go!  There is some fun stuff in this latest edition!

Daily Photo – A Parting Shot of the Temple

Sometimes while on a little afternoon / evening / night photo adventure, I literally run out of energy at the end.  This is bad news!  I put so much effort into running around, getting all the shots, carrying around all my equipment, fully concentrating, and the like…  at the end, it’s all I can do to get back to home base.  However, this night, as I was leaving this beautiful complex of temples in Kyoto, I stopped to take one look behind me.

I had first passed this place in the afternoon when there was no rain.  During my shoot, rain fell and changed everything.  Of course, the lights were totally different, so I just had to muster up a little more energy for a final shot.  For these sorts, I usually put my tripod on its lowest-leg setting and fire away for maximum reflectivity.

Shopping in Tokyo at Night

Newsletter Soon!

The Stuck in Customs Newsletter

I have a new Newsletter coming out any time now. Be sure to sign up. It’s free and pretty, and it will make your inbox much prettier. The newsletter growth has been amazing, and it’s thanks to you guys. You have been forwarding along like crazy and these long email chains bring even more subscribers!

In the last newsletter, I asked if anyone in my network knew Hans Zimmer, and a few days later, I was able to shoot in his studio! Well, this is a rare thing that I ask YOU for help… most of the time, I give out a bunch of information and pretty pictures to make your week go easier…

Daily Photo – Shopping in Tokyo at Night

My first night in Tokyo, I was so revved up that I went out to do a lot of night shooting! The streets were wet, and that is perfect for colorful cities at night. I found this unique gem not far from Rappongi.

The only bad thing is the occasional drizzle. I love my 14-24 lens — but it seems to get wet so easily with that gnarly bulbous lens. I just wipe it down with my shirt…. that doesn’t seem like the best thing to do, but it works well enough!

The Tunnel to the Singularity

How Long Until the Singularity?

About halfway through my HDR talk at Google (Youtube link), I asked this to the crowd there. I figured they would know! I was thinking about all that a bit recently while working on this photo for the day….

Don’t forget to come discover new artists!

We started this Smugmug Portfolio Contest just recently. Be sure to come over and see some of the new entrants… some beautiful work out there!

Daily Photo – The Tunnel to the Singularity

While getting lost on purpose in the streets of Tokyo, I decided to head up into one of the buildings to wander about. It led to one hallway, which led to another, another, and then to this amazing place. I’m not sure I could ever find it again, so I was sure to take way a photo as a keepsake. Sometimes special things like that happen, and I am sure to appreciate it at the time. One part of me thinks, “Oh, no worries, you’ll be back here again some day.” The other half worries, “Okay, maybe not, you better fully appreciate it!” And I did! 🙂

The Harmony Garden

Thanks again Kiwis!

I had a great time on our photowalk down here and met some very nice people. I think my kids were a little drained! At the end, during the talk, both of them fell asleep in a back room… We hoisted them into the campervan after that, drove to the beach, and then they were surprised to find where they woke up! Fell asleep during dad’s boring talk — wake up at the beach! Woo!

It was great to meet so many nice people from all over Auckland. There were even a few Aussies at the event! I haven’t had time to process any photos yet, but I will soon.

Daily Photo – The Harmony Garden

Kyoto was filled with thousands of these tiny gardens with ponds and little rivers. Which one to take photos of first?!?

None of them seemed to have artificial pumps that moved the water around. I always think of that whenever I see little gardens with water features in the states, or like they sell at Sam’s. Somehow, it seems, Japanese garden-masters are able to constantly refill their ponds by keeping the appropriate amount of dew forming on surrounding leaves, which then drips into the pond, which then goes down a perfect little waterfall, and ends up at another perfect pond about 50 paces away.

Salaryman waiting for the Bullet Train

Join my mate Vanelli for a Workshop in North Carolina

I met a heck of a nice guy when I was in Florida named Vanelli. I was introduced to him by RC Concepcion, who is normally a good judge of character — I remember him saying, “Trey, you gotta meet this guy named Vanelli!”

So, I did, and he made a good impression on me. He happens to be quite the Photoshop guru, and he absolutely loves photography. He’s a great communicator, and I’m sure he’ll put together a unique workshop. I think he’s only inviting about 10 people or so… and if you want to find out more, go to the “Vacation with Vanelli” website.

New Limited Edition Numbered Print – Hong Kong from the Peak

This week we are releasing a new print (see the print page) called “Hong Kong from the Peak“. It is a pretty one that many of you may remember, and it’s featured right towards the beginning of the book. There are smaller prints available on fine art paper all the way up to huge canvases to adorn your walls.

Hong Kong from the peak on a summer's night

Daily Photo – Salaryman waiting for the Bullet Train

I’ve always loved the Japanese word “salaryman”. It means exactly what you think it means. And whenever I say this word to Japanese people while there, they get so surprised what I know that word! Possibly, this is because I know only a few dozen words — and they consider this one to be somewhat obscure, I suppose. It’s hard to say. There is something wonderfully inscrutable about my conversations with Japanese people.

This was shot in Kyoto (to the best of my memory), on the way to Tokyo. These bullet trains are just great. I bought a week-pass on the bullet train for only a few hundred dollars — it’s a special deal for foreigners traveling to Japan. The only confusing bit was figuring out how to trade in my voucher at Narita airport. Well, there were a variety of confusing things at that airport, but that has never stopped me…

Salaryman waiting on the Bullet Train

1,000 Red Gates – and Photo Mystery of the Week

Great Photowalk in San Clemente!

Thanks to everyone that came out for a beautiful sunset in San Clemente! I was happy to meet you all and hope you had a good time. Victor from Typical Shutterbug put up a post with a link to a Flickr group where you can share your photos.

Photo Mystery of the Week

What is the mysterious blue light in the photo below?  Who can guess

Daily Photo – 1,000 Red Gates

What a wonderful and unique place on earth this is! In Kyoto, Japan, there resides the unique shrine of Fushimi Inari. It consists of thousands of red gates that wind up and down the mountain. I walked through it deep into the night…. I was the only one around and it was downright eerie. Every now and then, the gates would stop and there would be a mini-shrine off to one side or a graveyard to another. Both of these added to the creep factor.

I had a serious worry about an hour into the hike through these gates — what if they turn off the lights? I had no flashlight! I considered my two options — I could strobe my SB-800 to find my way out, which would be a totally surreal experience through these gates. Or, I could do what one of my Israeli hiker friends did in Argentina, use the back of my camera display for light (he actually used his to set up his tent)!

1,000 Red Gates

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-09 08:20:09
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length20mm (20mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Lonely Boats Near Hakone

New eBook Coming

I think you all will enjoy this eBook!

This Week in Photography Interview

It’s finally here!  The nice team from This Week in Photography has put up my interview – TWIP Episode Jan 13, 2010 (you can also get it on iTunes).  I hope you enjoy it.  We talk about everything from Creative Commons to Wide Blogs to HDR Photography to Mentally Unstable People Who Dislike HDR.

Amazing Review over at Abduzeedo

Giselle over at Abduzeedo wrote a fantastic review of “A World in HDR” and I am glad she enjoyed it so much!  Head on over there for a looksee.  Also, visit the top level of their blog because they always have great design inspiration.

Daily Photo – Lonely Boats Near Hakone

There is a spiritual and peaceful place on the edge of Japan.  I had to get off the bullet train and make a series of extremely confusing train changes to get to this place, but it was worth it.

The nice thing about photography is there is no such thing as bad weather.  Every scene has its mood, and whatever the scene is, that is the mood.  You learn to roll with the situation, and whatever is happening can be beautiful if you look at it for what it is.  It was a foggy and wet afternoon, so I walked peacefully up and down the shoreline for interesting things here and there…

Lonely Boats in Hakone

Tokyo Way

A Fun Game for you to Try

I’ve been playing this casual game for the past few weeks and having a good time! It is called “The Adventures of Mary Ann: Lucky Pirates“.

Actually, my wife really enjoys it too. Maybe it’s kind of a girl’s game. But, I’m man enough to say I like it too! It’s a casual game in the style of “Bejeweled’, but only sorta. There is some fun strategy to it (like Puzzle Quest), and the graphics, sound, and presentation are super-impressive. I’m working on a little “Games” list like my “Books” list, and this will be one of the ones on there!

Thanks again to all the HDR Workshop participants

I think you all will be QUITE impressed at some of the images that came out of the HDR workshop. They all did incredible work and I truly am proud of them all. I’m still putting together a list of many of them, and I will link in the next few days. Besides all the art going on, it was also great to get to know all the participants. Thanks again y’all – I had a very good time and I hope you did too!

Late on Saturday night, the whole crew came back to the Driskill with me to watch me edit photos just like in my nightly routine. It was kind of strange having an audience there to share the experience with! But I quite enjoyed talking to them, answering questions, and thinking out loud, instead if in my head! The photo below is one we processed together.

Daily Photo – Tokyo Way

The architecture in Tokyo is beautiful and made for photography! My friend Alfie took me all over this building, and, since he is a photographer too, didn’t mind that I stopped every few feet to take another shot! It’s nice when you don’t have to feel bad about taking way too many photos!

Tokyoway

Red Temple Under in the Moon Forest

New Weekly Print Now Available

There is a new Limited Edition Numbered Print available. As always, prices start at $99 for the smaller paper numbered print and then go up if you want a giant canvas on your wall at home. We just got done showing a bunch of these amazing canvases at the book party in Chicago – they always look so impressive in person!

The print today is a summer reflection of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming across a high-running stream. While I was shooting this, a buffalo snuck up on me from behind. Those things are so big and quiet, it is a little unnerving! There is more info about the process on the Prints page as well.

The Grand Tetons

Daily Photo – Red Temple in the Moon Forest

Most people don’t know this, but I wrote a novel about 15 years ago. The reason no one knows about it is because it was so awful that no one would publish it. I printed out the first few chapters of the book, sent them to countless publishers, and then received countless rejections. I should have saved of them. It was quite depressing at the time, and it only took me 14 years to get over it.

Anyway, I bring this up because part of the story was based in Kyoto, Japan, where this temple is located. I had never been there before, but this is exactly how I always pictured it: peaceful, still, natural, ancient, with the soft sounds of the woods echoing around the old wood. It’s a wonderful place. I’ve done my best to capture the feeling of the place. I only hope I’ve come close to succeeding.

Red Temple in the Moon Forest

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