The Red Castle in Okinawa

Robot Toilets

Every time I go to Japan I forget about how fun Robot Toilets are. You never know what you’re gonna get. Each robot is just a little bit different. My favorites are the ones with no English. You can just push buttons and see what happens. One thing is universal, though: They all have warm toilet seats, and you can’t go wrong with that.

Daily Photo – The Red Castle in Okinawa

Okinawa was quite hot in July! I don't know why this surprised me so much, but it did. It must have been over 95 degrees and extremely humid. Okinawa is a big island that is quite far south, a 2-hour flight from Tokyo. About an hour away from the Ritz-Carlton is the downtown area of Naha. There's a large hill there and on top is this impressive castle complex.

The Red Castle in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-13 06:09:39
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

1 AM in Golden Gai

Tough Shot!

Well this one took a while to make. I was able to do every thing in Aurora HDR (P.S. You know we announced it’s coming for Windows soon right?!? – stay tuned for pre-orders!). I basically made an HDR out of my three favorite photos, then I found some shots where these two were still, loaded it as a texture, then painted in the people. I’m working on a tutorial for this now! 🙂

Daily Photo – 1 AM in Golden Gai

I think this is my new favorite area of Tokyo! It's close to Shinjuku and it's composed of about 3 small streets (almost alleys), and each one has about 30 bars jammed into it. But most of the bars only seat like 7-9 people. It's so cool! Some disappear up into dark stairs and the great unknown. Some bars are quite old, and you can go there if you're a regular, and buy a big bottle of sake and they will just label it and leave it there for you, every time you come back. I've only visited two bars here, but I'm about to up those numbers when I go back.

1 AM in Golden Gai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-16 16:50:17
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Tokyo Skyline from the Ritz-Carlton

Visiting the Fish Market

No trip to Tokyo is complete without visiting the Tsujiki fish market. It’s getting harder and harder to get in there as a random photographer. We got a guide from our hotel at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s also definitely not a place for kids – not because of the fish-violence but because of the danger levels of these little trucks that whiz around right and left.

If you’re a Passport Member then you get a little extra special bonus video!

Here’s a bit of what I was dealing with there!

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Daily Photo – Beautiful Tokyo Skyline from the Ritz-Carlton

Speaking of this amazing hotel that set up our fish market visit, this is the view from the restaurant called Hinokizaka. We had a fabulous meal there while taking photos out the window all the time. Note that the hotel bar is on the same level and looks out in the same direction. It's the tallest building in Tokyo, so the views are pretty incredible!

Beautiful Tokyo Skyline from the Ritz-Carlton

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-14 11:31:26
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Two Women in Kyoto

Using a new Treybot

Well, not exactly a bot. It’s me… but I can kind of pre-seed some cool messages using FB Messenger. I used it not long ago to show all the “before” pictures of today’s photo. You can subscribe here if you wish! 🙂

Packing for Burning Man

Here’s a quick video I made that shows off the kit I’m taking to Burning Man! 🙂 Here are links to my Kits on Kit.com

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Daily Photo – Two Women in Kyoto

It was fun to return to the Bamboo Forest here in Kyoto once again. It was funny how much I remembered and how much I forgot. It's still just as beautiful as ever. One key thing I figured out this time was to get there early before the crowds arrive. It's always open, so that isn't an issue at all. Anyway, there were still a few people moving around, like these two gals that were in these beautiful red outfits.

Two Women in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-21 23:44:15
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture6.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Downtown Road in Osaka

3 Unexpected Things About Japan

Here’s some random videos I crammed together from Japan. If you like this sort of thing, let me know and I can do more. It really has nothing to do with photography… really.

Daily Photo – Downtown Road in Osaka

I was once again blown away by Osaka as soon as I started getting out and about more. There are a ton of these streets weaving all around and around the downtown area. It's just perfect for this style of photography, you know? I was also pleased to see that Kyoto was less than an hour away by train. You can take the bullet train or normal express train. They are so close together, it almost doesn't matter which one you take.

Downtown Road in Osaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-19 12:05:06
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time11
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Mount Fuji, Framed

Travel Tip in Japan

Did you know you can get great shots of Mount Fuji only about an hour outside of Tokyo? Yes! Sometimes even on crystal clear days you can even see Mt. Fuji from Tokyo. Anyway, I really recommend jumping in a car and getting out into the wild a little and find nice perspectives of Fuji. There are amazing spots all around!

Daily Photo – Mount Fuji, Framed

Even though I was at this location several years ago, I only just processed this photo recently. Seeing this again makes me reeeeeaaaalllly want to go back to Japan! How much longer must I wait! Maybe I'll just make it happen! 🙂

Mount Fuji, Framed

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-04-14 13:15:24
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length38.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Japanese Girl in the Rain

Win Aurora HDR Pro!

I recently did an interview on This Week in Photo with Frederick Van Johnson. Around the 11:50 mark we talked about a giveaway! Basically, just post one of your favorite photos in the comments of Fred’s blogpost here at (not on the Youtube video) — fun!

And here on the site, you can find out more about Aurora HDR Pro software!

Daily Photo – Japanese Girl in the Rain

It's been a while since I've been to Japan, but when I go back to edit photos like this, it makes me want to go back again very soon. I forget how relatively “easy” it is to take interesting photos of people there. I've never had a problem taking street photos (well except this one time with this samurai vampire guy at night… that is another story) — and, often, the photos just come out plain interesting!

Japanese Girl in the Rain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-20 21:07:42
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Awesome Buildings in Tokyo

Lightroom Presets

I thought about re-packaging some of my presets for different kind of categories. Maybe a black & white package… a sandstorm package… I can’t actually decide because I don’t want to make it too confusing. Okay, I just talked myself out of

Daily Photo – Awesome Buildings in Tokyo

I don’t do a lot of single-shots of buildings, but when I’m in Tokyo I make an exception. I know nothing about architecture or how to make a cool building, but I’d like to think that if I was an architect that I could make something like this. I don’t know how these guys come up with ideas like this!

Awesome Buildings in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-23 20:14:04
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

An Unexpected Scene in Tokyo

Thanks again for enjoying the Lightroom Presets

This photo below uses one of my favorite Lightroom Presets from the 2014 package. Here’s a little video that shows how I use them!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFyi5RrbIw

Daily Photo – An Unexpected Scene in Tokyo

I look at photos like this and then kick myself a little for not staying out longer to take more photos! The city has so many little sections… I have to find some time to get back there! It’s like the ultimate parallel universe where I’m always pleasantly and delightfully surprised around every corner.

An Unexpected Scene in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-03 08:49:10
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Google Glass in Traditional Tokyo

New Google Glass?

There’s been some rumors of the enterprise edition coming out… I’m really glad they’re keeping the program alive

Daily Photo – Google Glass in Traditional Tokyo

Sagoy! I was walking around during a photowalk and saw this traditionally-dressed girl. She was fascinated by the Glass, so I gave her a go… it was really fun to watch her, so took a few photos along the way!

Google Glass in Traditional Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-20 19:54:59
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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