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Cool Concept

I'm not a big fan of people who keep on taking self-portraits, I'm guess I'm not too narcissistic (cough, cough, from this blogger), as most of the time I can't really understand their motivation and purpose. Also, many times I find their presence in the picture somewhat artificial. But through a friend I found this photography blog and I really like the images. I think it's the playfulness of it that attracts me. Great pictures, yowayowacamerwoman!


Win One for Me, Guys!

Merci, mononc' Antoine.

Bath n' Stroll

Here are a couple shots from today. The first is bath time; the second is Kaz's first outing in his stroller; thanks, brother (and what happened to your 2010 resolution? ;o)!

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My wife paid me a nice compliment, although I'm not sure she intended it that way. She remarked that many of pictures look as if they were taken in the countryside, while actually there were taken in the city, sometimes downtown, in the suburbs or even in industrial settings. I like to hear that, as I like to find little gems in unlikely places; it is a guilty pleasure I often succumb to. Sometimes I shoot natural elements as with the following shots taken while commuting this week, other times it with more abstract and artificial objects. Enjoy.

Coral impersonators

The morning frost created the effect

The inner of my windbreaker as background

Alien oasis

Northern Highlights

Today I received the invitation to the Northern Highlights: The Portraits of Alaskan Backwoods photo exhibition held at several The North Face shops in Japan (Tokyo: 2/19 - 3/20; Shizuoka 3/26 - 4/24). From what I could see from the invitation to the opening party, the pictures look quite interesting and would love to go. If you're around the shops during the exhibition, drop by to see Yamada-san's pictures!


Walking with Kaz

Yesterday and today I took small walks with Kaz around my place. Well-dressed with the big Pooh-san suit Mamie-g√Ęteau sent him, we went out for about 30 minutes at a time. As soon as the shock of putting on the jacket is off and we're out the door, he quickly falls asleep with the rocking of the support he's in. Here are some shots I took with my cell phone; I look forward to going on real hikes with him.

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Around JR Takedao

During and after my morning class yesterday I literally shot thousands of shots for a timelapse video I'm slowly preparing. Part of the shots I took were from the 15th story of an office building on Nakanoshima and will give a nice bird view of the snow we had yesterday.

In the afternoon, I went to Takedao hoping to get some shots of snow-covered mountains. But as luck would have, even if it was in the countryside, the snow had already melted. Actually, I think it received less precipitation than the city. In any case, having made the trip, I decided to scout for future startrail attempts and have fun with my macro lens, which, in the end, did not get much use for its intended purpose.

My first discovery was an abandoned bag storage building. I shall definitely go back and be a bit more adventurous inside, but as I was rather unprepared, I basically stayed outside, although I did get a few shots. Here's my favorite, shot with my 24-70 at its hyperfocal distance (remember to click on them if you want larger versions).

After, I continued my exploration and found the way to the river on the other side. The last time I had  looked for it in vain, and should I go back for startrails, I think I've got a good composition dialed in. After, I went back my way and crossed the river. After going through two tunnels, I went down by the river and got these two shots. I got second one by climbing onto the the big rock at the bottom of the first picture.

Some post-production, but big thanks to Mr. Polarizer

River Spirit

As it was starting to get dark, I returned towards the station, once to get the tunnel shot below (different tunnel than where the Takedao Art Event takes place) and the other after the last tunnel to get the second shot. It may be a little too early to tell, but I think that my baby pictures aside, it might end up being one of favorite shots of 2011, even if it is quite early to say.

I look forward to making a large print.


Call Me Chicken...

but I'm not riding my bicycle to work this morning. Snow is fairly unusual in Osaka, and judging by the forecast, it might actually stay more than a day!


Midnight, is where the days begins

This year's Soho Gallery photo group exhibition's theme is midnight. This is not my final shot, far from it. But I thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy.


Late Night Fun

I remember a French kids song I used to like when growing up (yes, I know, I haven't finished) that said that when the cat (read parents) was away, the mice (kids) danced (misbehaved). Well, a new verse for me is when my son and wife are sleeping, I can play with my camera. In last night's case, my flashes as well. The second shoot, with my favorite inanimate subject, got interrupted by my favorite subject, period. All shots with my new macro lens.

Pickled plum and kimchee chips? Haven't
tried them yet, but had to buy them.

One strobe for Godzilla, one for
the background.


First Meetings

Kaz met Mr. Softbox tonight. As he's feeling pretty genki, I decided to get them acquainted. One strobe in a medium-sized softbox, usually placed within 75cm of the model. For the shot in which I appear, an anonymous pro photographer came in, with fantastic result. All shot with my 24-70mm lens, as the macro would have complicated matters. Let's start easy on the boy.

His 'Air Jordan' impression

One of the only 'smile' we squeezed out of him

Love the connection
Couldn't have framed it better.


First Impressions: Wow!

Whenever I shot macros before, I had to use extension tubes which are a very good alternative to a dedicated macro lens. The problem I encountered, though, is the lens, they would bend, making framing and focusing a burden. The Tokina 100mm lens I got, on the other hand, is a joy to use. For one, although recommended for most macro shots, it's very easy to use without a tripod, making it very convenient. Also, compared to my 70-300mm I usually took my shots with, it is VERY sharp. Well, here are some shots, all handheld, that I took today at home, on my way to work, and at work. Remember, I wasn't interested in reinventing the wheel with these, I was just testing the lens out and exploring its possibilities. These are more for camera geeks than artists.

I honestly bought the lens thinking about close-ups of my
son; of course my first real shot is of him. ISO 800 f/8

A greeting card from my friend Masayo. ISO 1600 f/16

Love the fuzz. ISO 1600, f/11

Fish. ISO 400, f/11

Curtains. ISO 200 f/3.2

Heart. ISO 400 f/8 More DOF would have been better,
but it was handheld.

Whole picture ISO 200 f/16
Cropped at the focus point.

Lamppost ISO 200 f/16

Tea bottle. ISO 200 f/16 0.6s (sort of stablilised on table)

New Toy

This time it's for me. I'd been eyeing a macro lens for some time now, and when I read the positive reviews about it, saw some samples, and won two photo contests, I thought I could treat myself. I ordered it yesterday from a local online store (always buy local; the shop is located in Osaka) and received it today! Why shop retail? It's more expensive and you lose time and money traveling (shipping was free).

The delivery box

The box, master!

We'll pass on my quick product shot.

And then, time for the first shot:

 AAARRRRGGGGHHHH! The lens fogged up in my apartment after spending the night in the shipping company's depot! Oh well, we'll all have to wait...


Baby Shots

Here are two shots of Kaz, for the family and friends. I shot the first one last night after calming his gas-induced cries with a bit of cycling. The other was shot tonight in similar conditions. I added the bib for my capoerista friends. Actually, the bib was a present from Yuma and Kamei. Axe!

The face of relief. Kaz has baby acne.

About to pass gas?