Osaka to Tokyo

Do These Glasses Make me look Gay?

Hehe…  My friend Scott Kublin took a photo of me and put it on Flickr.  Once a photo is on Flickr, it can be added by any user to a Gallery.  Today I found out that I’ve been added to what appears to be a rather gay-sounding gallery with an Italian name, which my browser translates as “Pretty Boys (or Fine Boys) with Glasses”.  Haha… I don’t know how I ended up in there…  I consider this quite an achievement, since I figure that gay Italians are even more picky than the average gay.  Although, this is pure speculation on my part…

You can see the Chicos lindos con Lentes Flickr Gallery Here.

That was a nice picture from Scott, eh?  I wasn’t posing… just deep in thought about something that I am sure was important at the time.  BTW, Scott was one of my students and really helped out a lot with the workshop we had down in Austin. Word has it that he will be joining us in London for the workshop there too…. so maybe he will work some of his portrait magic on some of our London peeps too! 🙂

Daily Photo – From Osaka to Tokyo

I’m not too far from popping over to Japan for a bit for the Tokyo Workshop. This time, I’m flying into Osaka, which is connected to their amazing bullet train network. Did you know that you can buy a bullet train pass from outside the country for a fraction of the price? And for that, you get unlimited bullet train usage all over the country… what a deal!

This was shot from atop one of Tokyo’s biggest towers. I’ve yet to have any trouble shooting in Tokyo with a tripod, and I hope writing that does not jinx me!

Tokyo from a Window

Two Slots Left for Tokyo

We had some cancellations, so there are two openings for the Tokyo Workshop available. Inquire therein. It’s just in a few weeks, so you still have time to make it to Japan before all the beautiful blossoms fall off the cherry trees!

Daily Photo – Tokyo from a Window

Tokyo is one of those cities that looks incredible from every angle and from every window!

If you are like me, whenever you see a window, you sometimes act a bit like a dork and move your body and head in strange ways to “frame a photo”. Do you do that? Maybe it’s just me. And it’s not just windows… it’s everything that forms some kind of a square or rectangular frame on the world.

This time, I happened to have my camera with me and I set up the shot so it was just exactly what I saw out the window.

Join me in Tokyo!

The Tokyo Workshop

Get all the information on the Tokyo Workshop page — it will take place over the weekend of April 10 and 11 and will be an HDR blast! Note that the workshop will be in English — I know this is disappointing to a few of our regulars who are not too strong in English, so sorry about that.

Helping me out in the class and in many other ways will be the great Alfie from Japanorama. If you all ever go to Tokyo and want some good one-on-one lessons, I certainly recommend Alfie!

The Spaceship of Tokyo

Maybe after the workshop Alfie will take us over to this place! The architecture inside is amazing and It’s a dream come true for hundreds of interesting compositions. Alfie took me here the first time because he thought I would like it — I think he regretted it later because I stayed so long to take too many photos!

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.

Shopping in Tokyo at Night

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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! 🙂

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

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!


Tokyo from the Air

Book Pre-Orders, About a Week Left

We are cutting off all book pre-orders for “A World in HDR” in about a week at 11:59 PM on December 6.  After that, of course you can still get the book, but all the signed Limited Edition Numbered prints will be taken off the market forever.  And yes… this is all exciting, because it means we are shipping soon!

Daily Photo – Tokyo from the Air

Wow this city is amazing.  I have to go back soon!

I found one of the tallest buildings and scooted my way around inside until I found an elevator to the top.  On the way up, I was lucky to be on a glass elevator.  I was as shocked as you when I saw that soccer field on top of a building!  How cool!  I’d love to get up there and play around with those guys.  If you’d like to see the details there, or anywhere else, be sure to see the original sized version.  You can find that by following the photo to the Flickr site, clicking on “All Sizes” and then “Original”.

Tokyo from the Air

A Bar with a View, and time running out to get limited edition print

Not Much Time Left to Secure a Limited Edition print with the Pre-Order

We are starting to count down the final days of the pre-order for “A World in HDR“.  One of the two packages comes with a Limited Edition Numbered print that I’ll be signing.  We are not going to offer this print after we turn off the pre-orders, so it will be a collector’s item.

The Austin book launch party and Photowalk should have over 300-400 people in attendance.  If you are coming to the party, we will have your pre-order there waiting for you (need your name and address).  I know many people are excited about the book, so I wanted to make sure you didn’t wait till the last minute to get all the bonus stuff!

Daily Photo – A Bar with a View

This is an incredible bar in that overlooks the amazing city of Tokyo.  The place was amazingly awesome, and I could see it becoming a major hangout if I lived in the city.  Then again, everywhere I went I could picture as a major hangout!  Can anyone figure out exactly where this was taken?  These little photo mysteries don’t last long around here!

A Bar with a View

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