In the Rain in Tokyo & Big Release on May 21

Big Video Event on May 21

I posted a new photo from the streets of Tokyo tonight in celebration of the completion of a new video work (which is Japan-centric).  The video will be released on May 21.  Stay tuned here and we’ll all have a good time together!

Daily Photo – In the Rain in Tokyo

Most of my walks around the city streets had me carrying two cameras.  I keep the D3X on my tripod, and have that ready to go for serious HDR work.  But over my right shoulder, I carry the D3S with a fast lens.  In this case, I was using the 50mm prime (see my Nikon 50mm Review) to capture quick scenes in the streets.

I carry two cameras because it takes much too long to change lenses.  Also, it’s a real pain to do that sort of thing in the rain.

There are often questions about how I go about taking photos of strangers.  I have a post coming up in the future with five great tips for this sort of thing… I’ll try to get everything into one spot for you, since I know we all want to be able to better capture interesting people here and there as they pass through our worlds.


Akihabara Street – Geek Heaven

Technical Problems

Some of you have mentioned on Twitter that the site is slow and is having some memory errors. I’ve got a few people looking at it and I hope to get it fixed up soon!

Daily Photo – Akihabara Street

It took me many days in Tokyo before I finally made it over to one of my favorite areas – Ahikabara. This district is famous for its pure technology insanity! If you are a geek, then this is geek heaven!

Every street is filled with huge towers, each one flowing over with all sorts of technology, gadgets, games, robotics, toys, and scantily-clad-women. The streets are filled with girls that dress in… hmmm… how do I explain it? Imagine a grown woman wearing little-girl clothes, with puffy-laced mini-skirts, giant bows, and comely dispositions. They stand around, handing out little flyers, trying to get you to come into a shop, a cafe, or something in between.

There is even a cafe there with monitors built into the table. When you order a drink, your waitress goes over to the soda fountain, where a camera lies in the floor pointing upward. Upon pressing a special button, an extra blast of air is strategically blasted to increase your viewing cone.

Ginza, Tokyo in the Rain & “The World Highest Resolution Tiled Display Wall” event!

See me Thursday Night!

There is a cool and unique event here in Austin that should be fun for all art-lovers! You are invited to stop by and say hello!

My work is being displayed on “The World Highest Resolution Tiled Display Wall” at a special event put on by the UT Department of Art & Art History Graduate School, and the Austin Museum of Digital Art (AMODA). It sounds fun!

Here are the details:

Facebook Event Click Here
Thursday April 29
5:30 to 7:30 PM
in the TACC Visualization Laboratory
— The ACES building is at 24th & Speedway.
— Parking is available in the San Jacinto garage, at 24th & San Jacinto.
at The University of Texas at Austin
ACE 2.404a

Featuring Lawrence McFarland, Trey Ratcliff, Robert Melton,
Ricardo Meleschi and Morgan Gaither

Gizmodo HDR Contest

I entered the photo below in the big Gizmodo HDR contest! I found out about it when I got back from Japan. What is strange (and a small world!) is that the photo featured at the top of that contest is from /\ltus, who is the friend I stayed with for three days while in Tokyo! And, even more small-worldish, the photo I submitted was also from Tokyo! It had to be a photo taken in the last week, so I thought it fit the bill in many ways.

Daily Photo – Ginza, Tokyo in the Rain

It had been raining all afternoon and it continued right through dusk. Luckily, the D3X seems impervious to rain, ice, sleet, and snow (deep experience in all four), so I just ignored all the elements in this case too.

Ginza is a really cool, upscale area of Tokyo. The buildings are huge and gleaming with every possible color. It comes alive right at dusk. I ran out into the middle of the street to do my best to capture all the action of the scene.

Parking in Tokyo

Tokyo HDR Workshop and upcoming HDR DVD

Thanks again to my new friends from the HDR Workshop here in Tokyo over the weekend.  I had a great time and enjoyed getting to know everyone!

I hope you all are enjoying your new secret access to the special part of the site!  Hmmm what could that be?

All of the inside scoop that I shared with them will be available on the upcoming HDR DVD.  Be sure to pop over to that link and sign up so you can get the latest info.  I’ll be sure to include special bonus info on this secret part of the website as well…

Daily Photo – Parking in Tokyo

During the workshop, Alfie found a cool spot for us all to visit. They had a bunch of beautiful cars parked under a bridge, and these were prime suspects for a bit of HDR treatment!

Look at the license plate on that car! Cool – Number 7. I wonder how you get car number 7 in all of Tokyo. There was some discussion that these beautiful low-number cars were often mafia vehicles. I don’t know if I believe that, but it certainly sounds cool!

Super Happy Hoppy Fun Beer

New Release – The Opera House

I’ve always loved this photo. It’s so strange and different. This was shot in Ukraine, and you can see that old Soviet-era car parked in front on the snowy driveway. That blue light is all real and wonderful.

This next print, The Opera House, is the latest to be added to our Limited Edition Numbered Series. It’s available on paper or canvas. Each one is unique. They start at around $99 and go up if you want something more grand for your home.

If you want to stay abreast of the latest releases, follow Really Big Canvas on Twitter.

Daily Post – Super Happy Hoppy Fun Beer

Tokyo is awesome! It’s like someone went and built the perfect Japanese place in Disneyworld and then made it real! I know that sounds kinda stupid — but maybe you know what I mean! 🙂

I love how they use cute animals to sell everything in Japan. If you don’t like cute animals and beer, then what kind of person are you, anyway? What kind of twisted, sick, aberrant member of a proper society doesn’t like fuzzy animals chugging beer? I wonder if there are an Japanese people that are into furries. I learned all I know about furries from CSI. That glowing-blue light was workin’ overtime that evening! 🙂

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

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!

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