The Wild Shibuya Crossing in a Small World

Daily Photo – The Wild Shibuya Crossing in a Small World

I've been using that Insta 360 camera more and more to get video footage for Passport Members. I don't really take many photos with it. It's a bit clumsy for that. You have to triple-click the button, then hold it over your head and wait for the 10-second countdown. So, there's a lot of luck involved when trying to time a certain kind of shot. Most are total rubbish, but I thought this one turned out kinda cool.

The Wild Shibuya Crossing in a Small World

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-17 10:56:58
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

The Mystery Ceiling

Today on Passport

Usually, I give photo tips, but for today’s Passport I give some travel tips. Mostly these are travel tips in Tokyo, but the idea of exploration will work almost anywhere. You’ll also see me use the Explore for Food options using Google Maps. I use that all the time now to find tasty places to eat!

Today are some travel tips from Tokyo! I take you to a few cool places around there, show you how I find good food, show you my favorite crazy store Don Quixote, and more! It’s all in 360, so feel free to spin the camera around to watch whatever you wanna watch! 🙂

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Daily Photo – The Mystery Ceiling

Here's a little trick for taking photos of ornate ceilings like this. It's not actually that difficult once you know the trick. The first thing is to find the very very middle of the room. If you're a little bit off, it's tough to fix. Then, take set up your camera for a longer exposure. If you have a mirrorless camera, you can just look up and see if the exposure looks right. If you have a DSLR, do a few handheld shots and look at the results. Sure, it will be blurry, but you're just making sure the brightness is good. Last, turn on the timer (I do 2 seconds), set it on the ground, take the photo, then jump away so you are not in the shot!

The Mystery Ceiling

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-01-19 18:28:26
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Another Rainy Night in Tokyo

Movie Night Presets

Today’s photo is a good example from my new Lightroom Presets! Every night I was there, it was very rainy, so that gave me a good excuse to go out and explore. I spent most of my time in Shinjuku, mostly because of all the ambient light and Blade-Runner like signs.

Daily Photo – Another Rainy Night in Tokyo

One thing, in particular, I've noticed about Tokyo is their penchant for opaque umbrellas. I think this actually makes a lot of sense because the umbrella holder can see where they are going. I, myself, would also use an umbrella of this sort if I was not so busy taking photos of people using these sorts of umbrellas.

Another Rainy Night in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-02 05:22:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Best Sushi Dinner In Tokyo And The World

I have a friend from Japan named Sony Suzuki. Yes, that’s his real name! And he has no association with either company. Well, I don’t think so. He’s so humble and awesome that he probably started both of them.

Anyway, he invited my son and I to his famous sushi restaurant in Tokyo called Kumagai Kuon. I’ve eaten a lot of amazing sushi in my life, but this was the best, by far! Even my son, Ethan (16), who has quite the hamburger-centric palette was overwhelmed and ate every single bite.

I realized, after I had sat down, that I had been here once before with two gentlemen from Google when I was here years ago to give a speech at their HQ. I didn’t think I’d ever come back to such a place, since I thought this was only frequented by Google executives and royalty. But I was back, and man o man, was I excited.

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The Master Craftsman and my son Ethan

There are no “menus” in these places, you see. It’s called Omakase or “trust the chef”.
Whenever there is a situation where you can trust the chef, I always trust the chef. I eat anything. Anything. I am happy I’ve reached Level 10 of 10 when eating where I can be happy and enthusiastic about any kind of food. I still have ADULT friends who are Level 3, Level 4, etc, and they just don’t eat certain things because of some reason this or that. My wife is vegan; she would not have trusted the chef. It’s fine, you vegans, do whatever you want. It doesn’t bother me. But wow, you are really missing out on indulging in the food chain at this place.

This kitchen and restaurant was built especially for this chef. It only sat eight people. There were six people dining at different times this evening along with me and Ethan. There was some famous television guy beside me with a really beautiful flight attendant and then two other women that were busy chatting to one another about work or something. I don’t know. My son knows some Japanese so he filled me in later on all their office politics. But everyone was nice. And the gentleman beside me bought me his favorite sake drink and presented his card in the most gracious possible manner.

Speaking of sake, Sony-san has this place filled up with some of the best dry sake from all over Japan. Much of it isn’t even sold publicly. They have to drive around and get it from small family distilleries and the like. I thought almost all sake tasted more or less the same until I came here. But I didn’t have too much sake, as I wanted to keep my wits about me to enjoy the 15+ courses of food!

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Dry Sake Tasting

The chef himself was very gracious and a true artist. Before the meal, I pulled Ethan aside and suggested that he might really enjoy watch the elegance with which a true chef moves. When guys go out together, they often don’t talk much. This is a strange thing for women to understand, but it’s true. Sometimes they talk a lot; sometimes almost nothing. But, this gives a great opportunity for guys like me and Ethan just to watch the chef hone his art. Even the way that he moves the knife across a vegetable is like a tiny Cirque de Soliel.

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Real Wasabi Root and Traditional Shark Skin Grater

Below are most of the things that were served to me. I forgot a few. I put a few captions below to explain what they are. Or, at least, in my very bad translation. I’m pretty close in most cases. Anyway, Sony did not ask me to take photos or anything; I just did this because I was so excited by the meal and experience! Some of these photos were taken with the A7r Mark 3 (See the Sony A7r Mark 3 Review here) and the others with the Pixel 2 (read the Google Pixel 2 Review here). I bet you can’t tell the difference!


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Round 1 – Flounder + Wasabi + Rock Salt

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Round 2 – Japanese Flyer Fish + Leeks + Liver

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Round 3 – Seared Yellowtail + Spicy Raddish

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Round 4 – Seared Seabass Nigiri

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Round 5 – Soy Marinated Tuna Nigiri

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Round 6 – Half Beak Nigiri

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Round 7 – Squid sashimi + Horseradish + White Onion

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Round 8 – Octopus Head + Seaweed + Fish Eggs

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Round 9 – Tiger Prawn Nigiri

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Round 10 – Tempura Hokkaido Ice Fish

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Round 11 – Sea Urchin Nigiri

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Round 12 – Gindara Fish

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Round 13 – Fatty Tuna Nigiri

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Round 14 – Seawater Eel Nigiri

Anyway, it’s the best sushi in Tokyo. If you’re there, treat yourself!

KumagaiKumagai

Getting Drinks in Tokyo

Passport 360 Special from Tokyo

Passport Members get back-to-back goodies… two 360 videos in two days!

Bonus Picture

This is related to the story before…

Tane’s Brother Nemo At F/.24 Alcohol Content

I made three cool 360 videos on my most recent trip to Tokyo. The first one of them is Very Passive! It’s just me and my son getting off the subway and walking around Shibuya. I tried not to talk during it just so you could see the sights and hear the sounds of Tokyo. The second you will see tomorrow!

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Daily Photo – Getting Drinks in Tokyo

This is one of those hundred tiny bars in Golden Gai. I think one reason we came in here is because the bartender was pretty cute. It's a shallow reason, I know, but it's as good as any. She didn't speak a lick of English, but she seemed to know the name of every cocktail, which was more than suitable for the evening. I went in here with my 17 year old son Ethan and our friend Nemo (pictured above).

Getting Drinks in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-02 02:46:30
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture4
  • ISO12800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Midnight in Tokyo

Check out the “Movie Night” Presets!

Today’s photo was edited with the new “Movie Night” Lightroom Presets, These were largely inspired by my time in Tokyo, taking street photos in evenings and throughout the night. Tokyo is one of the more Blade-Runnery cities on the planet, and I’m often inspired by movies… so this was a nice mixing of worlds for me.

Daily Photo – Midnight in Tokyo

Not only does Tokyo contain cities within cities, but also cities within cities within cities. This is the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku area of Tokyo. It's also known as a bit of the red-light district. But everything is so civilized in Tokyo that the “seedy” area is also perfectly safe and walkable. To me, it's one of the best areas to photograph because there are so many lights and a multitude of signage. I found a good spot right in the middle of the median that was a bit elevated by some shrubbery to take this photo. I stood here for about an hour waiting for a good situation.

Midnight in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-30 02:59:30
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length65.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Walking to Work in Tokyo

Tane in the News!

They interviewed my assistant Tane for The Flyer magazine about his new life after graduating college. It’s a good interview and a fun story. You can click and zoom in to read below.


Daily Photo – Walking to Work in Tokyo

This a very simple shot I took while walking through an office building in Roppongi. I had just come out of touring the Mori Art Museum and I was kind of in a colorful mood, I suppose. Maybe it got me in a nice little artsy mood to get some quick shots like this. It's a simple photo, but I really like it.

Walking to Work in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-30 17:01:24
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Catch the Baby!

Some cool LEDs for the Wall

Check out these triangle LEDs I found over at The Verge. I think we might get these for our Burning Man RV! That seems like a very appropriate use for them, I feel. Heck, I might get some for my studio too!

Great Japanese Commercial

Just when you thought you couldn’t make a love story out of chewing gum…

Daily Photo – Catch the Baby!

How fun is this little display? This was a piece of art in the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. After you look at it for a while, maybe you can figure out how it is done. These are all real people in these shots. It was great fun to park here for a little while and see fun stuff like this happening… chaos!

Catch the Baby!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-30 16:46:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length63.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Stairs in Golden Gai

Check out my “People and Portraits” Portfolio on SmugMug

The last time I updated my portfolio, I actually did somewhat of a split into more categories. I decided to make one JUST for People and Portraits. So have a click here and enjoy! 🙂



Now this one is just plain nerdy. Since I was hanging out with all these scientists, they all had different areas of expertise. This gal was an expert on ventifacts!

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Daily Photo – Stairs in Golden Gai

Wow, I've been posting a lot of photos from Tokyo lately! Sorry about that; I'm just excited by so many of them! This is that tiny area near Shinjuku where a hundred tiny bars are packed together. Half are up these narrow stairs (each stairway goes to a mysterious bar). I liked how these two stairwells were right by one another. I was just kind of enjoying looking at them when I heard footsteps coming down, so I took a quick photo!

Stairs in Golden Gai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-02 03:49:01
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4
  • ISO6400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

More Movie Pack Night Goodness

Blade Runner Look in the new Lightroom Presets

This is one of my favorite new presets from the Lightroom Movie Night Presets Pack. I hope you enjoy these as much as me! Some of them do great in the daytime as well!

Daily Photo – More Movie Pack Night Goodness

I think I was awake for over 20 hours this day while exploring the rainy and snowy streets of Tokyo. It turns out that I chose a great location in Shinjuku for my hotel. I had never stayed in that area before, and it's one of the most “electric” Blade-runner areas of the city. I go here every time anyway, but when your hotel is here, you have a reason to go each night!

More Movie Pack Night Goodness

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-02 05:20:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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