237 Photos - Jan 1, 2012
Photo: August 11, 2012 - What's my fortune?Photo: August 10, 2012 - Lots of these little guys around this time (cicadas, otherwise known as "semi" in Japanese)Photo: August 9, 2012 - Is this a hipster?Photo: August 8, 2012 - ConvergingPhoto: August 7, 2012 - This was a crazy cloud.  I was home at the time, and my room literally turned pink from the light coming in by the windows.  I grabbed my camera and ran out; this pink cloud was so huge I had to shoot a panorama to get it all.Photo: August 6, 2012 - Another day of crazy clouds, though these were of normal (relatively) color.Photo: August 5, 2012 - The nationalists and their "muscle"?   :PPhoto: August 4, 2012 - Umbrella!Photo: August 3, 2012 - So creepy... yet fascinating in a way..Photo: August 2, 2012 - Neon lights of ShinjukuPhoto: August 1, 2012 - Another cloud!  :D :D :DPhoto: July 31, 2012 - Afternoon raysPhoto: July 30, 2012 - Philosopher's Tree (Hokkaido, Japan)Photo: July 29, 2012 - Fudou Falls (Hokkaido, Japan)Photo: July 28, 2012 - Works at the flower fields in HokkaidoPhoto: July 27, 2012 - What's this I feel on my head?Photo: July 26, 2012 - Taking a picture of a picturePhoto: July 25, 2012 - My weekend is going to work, this guy's weekend is going golfingPhoto: July 24, 2012 - Getting up closePhoto: July 23, 2012 - Volunteer bottlecap collection at the officePhoto: July 22, 2012 - Model WorkshopPhoto: July 21, 2012 - Pika?Photo: July 20, 2012 - the infinity hallway from the other sidePhoto: July 19, 2012 - my colleague trying (and failing) to explain baseball to mePhoto: July 18, 2012 - early morning lines and shadowsPhoto: July 17, 2012 - Tokyo Tower at blue hourPhoto: July 16, 2012 - multiple exposure at Roppongi HillsPhoto: July 15, 2012 - It's pretty!  :)Photo: July 14, 2012 - let's get symmetricalPhoto: July 13, 2012 - Solemn hyenaPhoto: July 12, 2012 - culture melangePhoto: July 11, 2012 - The faithfulPhoto: July 10, 2012 - probably the longest escalator I've been on!Photo: July 8, 2012 - Yes, it's a bridge!  Can you guess which one?Photo: July 9, 2012 - Nightly water/light display in SGPhoto: July 7, 2012 - More reflections!Photo: July 6, 2012 - OozePhoto: July 5, 2012 - Falling upPhoto: July 4, 2012 - Helix Bridge by the Marina Bay SandsPhoto: July 3, 2012 - Angles, Curves, and LinesPhoto: July 2, 2012 - Snoopy...Photo: July 1, 2012 - Building buildingsPhoto: June 30, 2012 - Coming to a pointPhoto: June 29, 2012 - Parallel world #2Photo: June 28, 2012 - TexturePhoto: June 27, 2012 - What are you thinking of?Photo: June 26, 2012 - Street hawkerPhoto: June 25, 2012 - Ready for plantingPhoto: June 24, 2012 - EnergyPhoto: June 23, 2012 - Mix with ginger ale, and enjoy ;)Photo: June 22, 2012 - WaitingPhoto: June 21, 2012 - Funny facesPhoto: June 20, 2012 - Catchin' the breezePhoto: June 19, 2012 - Sometimes, I think I'd rather be on their side of the glassPhoto: June 18, 2012 - the Matrix?Photo: June 17, 2012 - Hangin' loosePhoto: June 16, 2012 - It's a pretty flower :)Photo: June 15, 2012 - Finished school for the day!Photo: June 14, 2012 - Relaxation bearPhoto: June 13, 2012 - UntitledPhoto: June 12, 2012 - Rainy day vibesPhoto: June 11, 2012 - DisparitiesPhoto: June 10, 2012 - Ice TreePhoto: June 9, 2012 - Homemade Umeshu (3 year old version at left, and freshly prepared at right)Photo: June 8, 2012 - Waiting outside the supermarketPhoto: June 7, 2012 - It's off to work we goPhoto: June 6, 2012 - Downtime in Toronto airportPhoto: June 5, 2012 - Downtime at Philly airportPhoto: June 5, 2012 - The old and the newPhoto: June 3, 2012 - Wait for me!Photo: June 2, 2012 - Choo-choo!Photo: June 1, 2012 - It's my brothers, not mine (I can't play)Photo: May 31, 2012 - Mall of LouisianaPhoto: May 30, 2012 - Brother getting ready to work!Photo: May 29, 2012 - I WISH we had this much yard space in Japan!!Photo: May 28, 2012 - This is what a place looks like when you have 2 college age guys in a house with no mom (or older brother) to pester them into cleaning up!Photo: A "dash" of humor

I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of two very dear friends during my recent trip to the US.  On the day of the wedding, we all went out to take the wedding photographs (not by me, I was one of the groomsmen) at where I think was called Valley Forge park.

After the group photos, the bride and groom stayed behind with the wedding photographer while the groomsmen and bridesmaids went back to the car to stay cool (it was a pretty warm day!).

As we were watching them walk around, suddenly this jogger came out of nowhere.  I don't think he even noticed that there was a shoot happening until the last minute because he swerved aside onto the grass abruptly for a bit before returning to the path once he'd passed my friends.

Luckily I had camera in hand (of course!), and I grabbed a few frames.  This was my favorite of the bunch and I thought it a fun choice for my #creative366project  entry.  :)

Definitely a fun memory, and a wonderful day.  :)Photo: May 26, 2012 - LilyPhoto: May 25, 2012 - Amish carriagePhoto: May 24, 2012 - Hopefully the plane runs on more stable software...Photo: May 23, 2012 - Getting ready to fly out of NaritaPhoto: May 22, 2012 - Working alonePhoto: Solar Eclipse

I'm still going through my photos for the #creative366project  , and have finally reached the day of the eclipse.  It happened to be just a couple of days before I left on my trip, so I didn't have time to upload anything back then..

I was glad to have the chance to see (and photograph) this.  It was the first time I'd ever seen a solar eclipse, and I don't know if I'll ever get to see another one, so this was pretty special :)

More than anything, it really made me realize how much we depend on the sun for life because the air got noticeably colder at the moment of the maximum eclipse.  Though it was an exciting moment, it was also nice to see the sun come back out!Photo: May 20, 2012 - Who needs an eye mask?Photo: May 19, 2012 - Tokyo International ForumPhoto: May 18, 2012 - Mah Southern CuzinPhoto: May 17, 2012 - AkiPhoto: May 16, 2012 - BearPhoto: May 15, 2012 - JuicePhoto: May 14, 2012 - Under ConstructionPhoto: May 13, 2012 - A rare moment of isolation at Shibuya crossingPhoto: May 12, 2012 - Cleaning housePhoto: May 11, 2012 - Reflections in reflections, in..Photo: May 10, 2012 - I should probably get out of the wayPhoto: May 9, 2012 - Youthful burdensPhoto: May 8, 2012 - Senior strollPhoto: May 7, 2012 - On patrolPhoto: Meditative

The 6th was the last day of the "golden week" holiday, and I didn't do much - basically stayed home! Still, because of the #creative366project , I managed to get outside and walk around my neighborhood where I found this little guy. :)

Have a pleasant day/evening all!Photo: Wisteria

A super quick post since I need to rush off to work!

Taken May 5th, after an impromptu trip to the Ashikaga Flower Park. Apparently the flower park has different flowers blooming year-round, but during the latter week of April/first week of May, the wisteria trees are in full bloom.

I got a number of shots that I'll be uploading to a separate album when I get the chance, but for now, this is the #creative366project entry for May 5th. :)

Gotta run, have a good day all!Photo: Infinite stairway

Boy, I'm falling behind more and more with my posting... I may have to start uploading in batches again soon :(

This was a quick snapshot taken standing under the observation tower at Enoshima, a place I'd visited during the "golden week" holiday for the first time. It was jam-packed full of people, but still a fun and pleasant day trip - that is, until the skies opened up and a veritable downpour started. Still, I count it as a good day. :)

Can't believe the weekend's already over and it's back to work tomorrow. For those of you still starting your Sunday - enjoy it while it lasts!! ;)

Good night from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: Captured bubbles

Just a quick addition to the #creative366project album as I'm falling behind more and more in uploading...

Taken last week, right after I'd built my DIY light tent. The shot turned out ok, but not perfect for several reasons - one is that I can see the reflection of the top of the tent, and the other is that there is still some uneven lighting on the right. I hope to find another cheap strobe this weekend if I get the time.

Gotta run back to work, hope ya'll are having a good afternoon/evening wherever you are. :)Photo: May 2, 2012 - Mini Taj MahalPhoto: Framed

May 1st was a rainy day, and I didn't have much in the way of inspiration. :(
I ended up huddling under some trees for a short while after lunch, and waiting for people to walk by in the "frame" created by the branches. Why did I choose this particular one? No special reason, the guy just looked kinda cool. (^^)

G'night all!

#creative366projectPhoto: Takashimaya Reflections

A quick shot after a very delicious meal at Din Tai Fung, at the Takashimaya store in Nihombashi on April 30th.

I had taken rather mediocre shots throughout the day, and this was just a random, spur of the moment bracketed shot at the end of meal that turned out a bit better than I thought it would. So a good way to end the day - good meal, and a fun (for me) shot. :)

HDR, 3 bracket shot. I've also started using the normal "save as" option in Photoshop instead of "saving for web", so this should preserve EXIF info going forward.

P.S. For anyone interested in the restaurant, link is here: http://www.dintaifung.com.tw/en/area_a_detail.asp?AreaNO=130&AreaCountryNO=

(excellent dumplings and soup and fried rice and... oh just check it out) ;)

#creative366projectPhoto: Something new

Way, way behind on my #creative366project entries! I've just been out alot during the "golden week" holiday weekend (taking pictures, natch) and haven't been online. Must try to catch up!

This was taken the previous Sunday, which was when I learned something new about my camera - the ability to take multiple exposures in-camera! I'm sure this is old news for long-time camera users, but I'd never known of this feature and it was fun playing around with it.

This was 2-exposure shot of some lights at Roppongi Hills. I took one shot, flipped the camera upside down (I'm sure the people walking by thought I was a bit weird), and shot again. Took me a couple of tries to adjust for the lighting and get the framing right, but I was pleased with this result and aim to try more such shots in the future :)

Good night from Tokyo!Photo: Danbo like you've never seen him before

It's the attack of Evil Danbo! (^^)

This was taken during a lighting workshop I participated in last Saturday. I have a few more photos that I will be posting to a separate album, but just wanted to include this one as part of my #creative366project album.

Time to crash, hope everyone has a good weekend!Photo: Psst

Super tired as I was woken up rather early by a phone call from the office, so this is just a quick post as I attempt to catch up with my #creative366project entries.

Taken last Friday (another rainy day), this fellow was gamely braving the weather to sell his bento/lunch boxes. I couldn't see many/any customers, but that didn't stop him from trying.

Good night from Tokyo!Photo: The Yappers

I'm falling behind more and more on posting, and my backlog of photos is queuing up... however, I'll try to play catch-up in the coming couple of days.

This was taken last Thursday (almost a week ago...) as I was walking home. These 2 dogs are quite cute, but they have a tendency to yap loudly, and frequently, at any passersby. Given that they live right across the street from my apartment, it can be a little aggravating to wake up to the sound of their "yip, yip, yip" in the wee hours of the morning...

Thankfully, I think their owners have realized that they are bugging the neighbors, and they don't let the dogs out too early these days. So at least I can sleep in a bit longer before the yappers start up..

#creative366projectPhoto: Hidden shrine

A quick post for my #creative366project album (almost a week behind in posting again!) before I head out. This was last Wednesday's shot; a view of the tiny hidden shrine in Toranomon. I had taken a shot of this a couple of weeks before, but hadn't liked the angle so I went back and re-shot till I got something I liked.

It's the "golden week" period in Japan, where Monday, Thursday, and Friday are national holidays. Most people take off Tuesday and Wednesday so that they get the whole week off, but since I'm taking my annual leave later in the month, I'm content with the 2 long weekends :)

Hope you all are having a peaceful Monday morning/Sunday night!

(hmm, since it's still Sunday elsewhere in the world... #sacredsunday too!)Photo: That's some tight parking

I took the day off on Tuesday to attend a funeral reception in Nagano. Due to that, and the long drive to/from Tokyo that was required (spent about 7+ hours driving), I didn't get to shoot much.

This image was taken at a rest stop on the way back to Tokyo - apparently, the owners of the little truck either hadn't put up their side brakes (or it simply slipped), but at some point the truck rolled out of its space and came to rest against another person's car (the guy in the brown suit below).

I saw the expression on the face of the truck owner - he was completely dumbfounded when he came out the rest area to find his vehicle backed up as it was, with the highway cops calling out his truck license plate. At least no one was hurt.

#creative366projectPhoto: Split reflection

Don't have much of anything to say right now as I'm literally nodding off as I type this. Shot was taken this Monday, on my way back from lunch. I saw this man, noticed his reflection, and fired off a quick shot. The angle wasn't quite right though, but as he still hadn't noticed me I repositioned myself to accentuate the reflection and shot again before he moved a split second later.

Was happy enough :)

Good night / oyasumi from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: To post or not to post?

I pondered for a while about whether or not to include this image as part of my #creative366project album. On one hand, this is a serious situation, and personal as well (for the person on the ground). On the other hand, it was an unusual event, and something that I did not want to forget.

I was on the subway and this was the first thing I saw immediately upon stepping out at Ginza on Sunday. I already had my camera in hand at the time and instinctively fired off a shot, without even thinking. I then felt awkward, because it was obviously a serious situation.

As I walked past, additional train attendants dashed by with blankets to form a "screen" of sorts around the prone man, and then people wearing paramedic uniforms and carrying AED/defibrillators followed them moments later.

I chose not to hang around because it felt ghoulish, and simply not appropriate. However, I can't help but wonder what happened to the man. When one generally comes across people in this position on the subway, it's usually because they've had a tipple (or five) too many. Given the paramedics rushing to the scene, perhaps the man experienced a heart attack?

Either way, I don't think I'll ever know. But I do wonder.Photo: Thundering by under the gaze of the beer building

This shot was taken on Saturday, when I was so lazy I stayed home and did nothing but bake and eat pizza. The only exercise I got that day was to hop on my bicycle and head out to a location not far from the Tokyo Sky Tree for my daily photo. (see, the #creative366project is also good for promoting exercise!)

I played around with long exposures for a bit, and also shot the Sky Tree itself of course, but chose this particular image to go in the album because I thought it was a bit more interesting.

For those not familiar with the "beer building" reference in the title, I'm talking about the Asahi Beer Headquarters, that building in the back that is supposed to resemble a ginormous mug of beer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asahi_Beer_Hall

Edit to add image info:
- D90
- 16mm
- F16
- 30 sec exposure

Right, off to bed, g'night from Tokyo!Photo: What horrors lie within?

I am quite behind on uploading my #creative366project photos again - there's just been too much going on. Though I don't upload them, I'm still taking them every day - even when there's not much time or interesting subject matter (today was one of those days too).

This was last Friday's, in Kiba (I was working offsite that day) - I came across this very tightly sealed doorway. You can't see them, but I was also shooting through a chain-link fence.

I couldn't help but wonder what they were trying to keep locked away.

Going to bed now as I need to be up in a little over 5 hours - g'night from Tokyo!Photo: It's looking at me I tell you

I had intended to post this #creative366project shot last night, but I was so tired I fell asleep I think around 9PM...

Just a splash of color in my project album, another hint of spring. :)

Now.. I think I'll head back to bed :P

#floralfriday too!Photo: Pick a direction

Yesterday's #creative366project shot - was struck by the angles of the escalators (again!) at a nearby station, and tried to capture a sense of it.

Really tired, have to hit the sack for an early wake up, but at least it's Friday tomorrow. :)

Goodnight from Tokyo!Photo: Where do they all go?

This was yesterday's #creative366project photo, taken at Ginza after work. I liked the reflections (of course!) but I'm not fully satisfied with the composition, though I'm not sure what I could have done to improve on it. I'll have to go back and try again!

Good night from Tokyo all 8-)Photo: Bullet? Shell?

Today I came across a tiny shrine hidden away in the wall in Kamiyacho. I've passed this area many times in the past 5-6 years, but today was the first time I'd noticed it! Who knows how long it would have been before I'd finally discovered this place if I hadn't been looking for something for the #creative366project ! (^^)

Actually, none of the shots I took today really pleased me. However, I was able to identify what I didn't like about those photos and will attempt to revisit those locations to give them another try. In that sense, those "failures" were actually good. :)

Right, have to sleep, have to be up in about 6hrs, goodnight from Tokyo!Photo: Plus One!

My copies of the +Plus One Collection books arrived today! Took a while since I didn't pay for expedited shipping, but they finally got here and look really good.

There are some gorgeous photos in these books, and I love the variety of subjects as well. Many thanks to +Ivan Makarov for putting this all together. Did you know that he's also tossing around the idea for a PlusOne Magazine? Check out his posts if you have ideas/suggestions to contribute!

If anyone is interested in getting a copy of the books (or the e-book), check out: http://plusonecollection.com/ - all proceeds go to charity! :)

#creative366project 
#plusonecollection 
#plusonecollectionshippedPhoto: Exhibit

I had a more "creative" shot I'd taken yesterday, but I decided to put this one in my #creative366project album instead because I also want my album to contain reminders of interesting things I did or saw on a particular day.

This was at +David Ventura 's exhibition (which is still open for another... 2hrs today, so you can still make it there if you're in Tokyo!), and was a quick shot I grabbed of David standing in front of some of his photos.

It was a drizzly rainy day, but David's exhibition was worth seeing. :)Photo: April 13, 2012 - Sakura funPhoto: April 12, 2012 - Lunchtime!Photo: April 11, 2012 - Superman's a little shorter than I remember...Photo: April 10, 2012 - Cycling chefPhoto: April 9, 2012 - Eyes only for each otherPhoto: April 8, 2012 - Got it!Photo: April 7, 2012 - Taking a break from the #marktokyo2012 photowalkPhoto: April 6, 2012 - Quietly enjoying the sakuraPhoto: April 5, 2012 - Cherry blossoms, skywardsPhoto: April 4, 2012 - He's a really friendly guy (honestly)Photo: April 3, 2012 - The day of the typhoon-like windsPhoto: April 2, 2012 - CrossingPhoto: Throwing the bouquet

I was lucky enough to catch / photograph this wedding scene last Sunday - actually I got to photograph 2 wedding shoots at a garden in Mejiro, but I'm saving the other photos for a different album.
(just to clarify, I was not the wedding photographer, I just happened to come across wedding events at this garden on Sunday and surreptitiously sneaked in a few shots)

It was certainly a lovely day for a wedding, though I suspect that there was some disappointment as well due to the late blooming of the plum/cherry flowers. Nonetheless, judging from the smiles on the faces of the people in the photo, I don't think anyone minded too much :)

#creative366projectPhoto: Cycling in the Rain

Last Saturday was almost as windy and rainy as it has been today, but I braved the elements (for a whopping 40 minutes) to look for something around my neighborhood for my #creative366project photo.

As I was wrapping up my walk, I caught sight of these two young cyclists in the distance and positioned myself to start taking pictures when they passed in front of me.

I rather like how "genki" and cheerful they appear to be despite the rain and wind. It made me smile when I took the photo, and I returned to my apartment satisfied :)

Need to sleep, it's late and I have to be up in about 6 hours, so good night from Tokyo! :)Photo: What the doodle?

Last Friday I didn't have time to take any interesting photos, so brought home my notepad that I sometimes doodle on at work and figured I'd take a picture of what I had done that day.

Don't ask me to explain it... it's more stream of consciousness than anything coherent. But I found it satisfying enough for a #creative366project entry . :)

Good night from Tokyo!Photo: More signs of spring

It's quite busy at work today but I still have to catch up with my backlog, so a quick post.

It's still a bit nippy (mostly due to wind rather than temperature), but spring is definitely on the way. This was taken last Thursday, and today I see a lot more blossoms around, even in my work area.

All in all, it's looking promising for +Mark Esguerra 's photowalk this coming Saturday!

More details here for those who might be able to join a sakura/cherry blossom photowalk on Saturday: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100377493270775536948/posts/KtfnUbxxG78

#creative366projectPhoto: Waitaminnit....

Ok... so obviously this is not my usual type of photo :P

I thought a while about whether or not I should put this up, but given how few pictures I took last Thursday, it was either post a dull photo, or try to poke some fun at myself.

I took the main picture on the day, so it's not all fake - at the time, I'd been trying to replicate a photo that +Jeff Austin had taken some time ago that made me chuckle. https://plus.google.com/106696669059059026665/posts/1zoKrfYFbt4

Jeff's post was a great example of how the right caption can really add an extra "punch" to a photo.

When I got back home after taking this, I was rather disappointed... I didn't see the droids that I was looking for... so I decided to do a little extra tweaking ;)

Ah well, at least you get to see my crappy Photoshop skills - I'll try to avoid this kind of photo in the future! :P

#creative366projectPhoto: Bento vendor

This girl is almost always around the train exit with her pushcart, selling "bento" (lunchboxes) everyday around lunchtime.

Given the cheap price, I always wish I could get one and try, but unfortunately there's no place around my area where I could sit and eat. I could take it back to my office/desk, but then I'd always be bothered by the phone...

Lunchtime is my "relaxation" period when I grab my kindle, sit, eat and read for a while before heading back to the office. It's a very precious moment of the day, and means that I may never get a chance to try out these tasty-looking bentos unless some open-air eating spots open up around my area :(

#creative366projectPhoto: Law-abiding citizens

I gotta confess - I don't always wait for the pedestrian light to turn green before crossing. If there are no cars coming, I will generally go ahead and cross the street even if the light is still red.

It's actually not that uncommon nowadays (meaning I'm not the only one who does this now), but I remember when I first came to Tokyo some 10 years ago, crossing the road while the light was still shining red - I could literally feel the wide-eyed stares of the other pedestrians on both sides of the street and imagined their thoughts going somewhere along the line of "Gasp - who is this law-breaking oddity!?"

I'm by no means a "rebel" - people who know me would laugh at associating me with such a term, but I do sometimes get impatient. ;-)

Still, there are some very conscientious folk around that will still wait for the light to turn like these 2 young ladies whom I snapped - just before I crossed the road.

#creative366projectPhoto: Landmark, reflected

It's been a while since I've done #hdrphotography and it was fun to dip into it again. This is a familiar building for most people who've been around Yokohama (the Landmark Tower), and was taken last Sunday.

It was a lovely day, bright and sunny, and I was able to fire off 3 bracketed exposures handheld with my D90 with no problem. Again, being able to go around and take pictures of places other than my work area is great. :)

I actually have a B/W version of this shot that I like equally, but thought I'd brighten up my #creative366project album since I've been a bit heavy on the monochrome lately. (^^;

Have to be up a bit early tomorrow, so g'night from Tokyo!Photo: Parallel world

Aside from the usual "yay, no work" (well... usually... I'm actually working this Saturday) that weekends bring, I also look forward to weekends as opportunities to take photos somewhere other than my office area.

Seriously getting a little tired of trying to photograph the same area for almost... wow, 3 months now!

Last Saturday I was out and about in Ginza - there was supposed to be an open street "runway" featuring denim. I thought it would be cool to photograph, but when I got there, it was so crowded that I didn't even bother. Instead I walked around and got some other interesting shots (one good thing about a crowd is that it's much easier to take pictures).

It had drizzled earlier in the day, and I managed to get this cool reflection. You can tell what I did with it right? ;)

Gotta rush to work, have a good day/night ya'll!

#creative366projectPhoto: Stark reflections

Last Friday was rainy, meaning I was on the hunt for reflections again. I have to say that it's getting harder for me to "find" interesting things to take pictures of these days - I think my creative "mood/mindset" comes and goes in phases.

As such, I'll take all the help I can get, including rainy weather!

#creative366projectPhoto: In the concrete jungle

It's interesting how things look different when viewed through a camera lens. I walk past here every weekday (and sometimes weekend) and generally think of the area below as a pretty open space (for Japan). After taking this shot though, I feel like the buildings are looming, closing in upon everyone.

I like that the guy on the phone has an appropriately worried look! (maybe that's why his keitai/cellphone strap is so massive, full of good-luck charms?)

#creative366projectPhoto: Sleeping on the job

Didn't have much chance to take photos on Wednesday but this was a quick one I got on the way back from lunch. My first thought when I saw them was feeling a bit of envy, that they could sleep like that right in the middle of the day. Thinking a bit more about it though, I'm sure that their work is not necessarily as carefree as I imagine - I'm sure that they've got their own stresses (long hours, working/driving all night?) as well.

Looking at them is making me feel sleepy though... and it's way too late here in Tokyo. Goodnight!

#creative366projectPhoto: Spring Color

It's been long delayed, but spring seems to be slowly making its way to Japan. This shot was taken on Tuesday (it was a national holiday in Japan, so I wasn't stuck in the office!) at a garden in Mogusaen. Even here a lot of the plum blossoms were still no more than buds, but at a couple of spots (like this one) there was a nice splash of color.

I'm wondering how this will affect the cherry blossoms, and whether they will be delayed as well, or bloom simultaneously with the plums!

Either way, the approach of spring is lovely as usual - minus the allergies which are also starting to kick in something fierce.

#creative366projectPhoto: Candlelight performance

This was taken on Monday night at the Roppongi Hills "arena" area where a rapper/musician called "Gaku-MC" was performing in support of the disaster-affected areas of Japan. Despite the cold and wind, there was a pretty good turnout, and Gaku knew how to work with the crowd as they all seemed to appreciate and enjoy the show. Good times :)

#creative366projectPhoto: Training

Still catching up on my #creative366project submissions; this was taken on Sunday, at the park where I (infrequently) practice taichi.

Depending on the day, there are usually a number of other groups exercising at the park, ranging from runners and boxers, to kendo, and other martial arts practitioners. It's always interesting to look around and see what others are doing, and on Sunday after my practice, I walked around the park to see what was happening.

The older fellow below shows up every now and then with the two younger men, and they seem to do something similar to kendo, mixed with some form of wrestling. This was one rather painful-looking (for the students) moment that I caught that day; I like how matter-of-fact the teacher is, while his students are caught in the arm/wrist-locks under him.Photo: Splash!

This shot was taken last Saturday during #thetokyophotowalk organized by +andrew holian . It was a rainy day, not very conducive for picture taking, but we toughed it out! b(^_^)d

One of the side benefits of rain are the resulting puddles and at one point, nearly all of us (11-12 people) were gathered around this large puddle you see in the photo below trying to get reflections. (I really don't know what the "normal" people walking by thought of us)

One of our group (I don't think she's on G+, or I would link her) happened to be the only person in our group wearing boots, and she very sportingly obliged a request to stomp about in the water! :D

It's one of my favorite photos of that day and as such I'm including it in my #creative366project album :)

Goodnight from Tokyo!Photo: Tokyo Tower in color

Apologies that the quality of this shot isn't that great... I ended up staying a bit late in the office last Friday, and still hadn't taken a photo by the end of the day. As I stepped out of the office, I looked out the windows near the elevators and saw the Tokyo Tower decked out in color!

I'm not sure what the occasion was, but I headed back to the office (I have a better angle from the windows there) and took a couple of shots.

When I got home I realized that there was some blur :(
I've tried to fix it a bit in PS, but am not too thrilled - hopefully I'll have another chance to shoot the Tokyo Tower in color in the future.

#creative366projectPhoto: Abstract attempts

I don't usually try my hand at "abstract" type of shots, but the crisscrossing lines caused by the shadows against the lines of the building caught my eye and I couldn't help but try to capture them. The angle must be messing with me because though I can see that the 3 "hoods" on the bottom are in a line, the picture still looks slightly tilted..

#creative366projectPhoto: Ghostly

Another reflection :)

The woman is actually the reflection of a picture on the opposite wall, and she's orange because of the tungsten lights highlighting that image behind me. Unfortunately I don't know what the kanji says, but I assume that it's perhaps related to whoever owns the building? (I believe that the date beneath it is when the building was constructed)

#creative366projectPhoto: Reflective Surfaces

I've been a on a bit of a spree for reflective-type shots these past few days. Most of them aren't very good, but every now and then I get something I can live with.

This was in my office building, on my way out to lunch. At least this time the guard didn't notice me! (^^;

#creative366projectPhoto: City Sunset

I was a bit "photoed-out" on Monday, having taken (and processed) so many pictures the weekend before, so I resorted to a sunset shot from my office window. (^^;

We've had great weather all week, but I woke up this weekend to gray skies and steady drizzle, which is too bad. I'd have preferred it the other way around, particularly since there's a G+ photowalk today!

It starts in an hour and a half, but anyone can drop in at any time if they wish - more details at the link below!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104671353913129637903/posts/g4jHqfG14dA

#creative366projectPhoto: A moment of silence

Taken last Sunday as the bell tolled in Ginza at 14:46, as we shared a moment of silence remembering those lost in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

#creative366projectPhoto: Here's lookin' at you

I've fallen behind a bit on posting my #creative366project photos - I can't believe this week is already almost over. I've been taking my photos, but just haven't had time to go through them since I had lots of others to go through.

So catching up! This photo was from March 10th, taken when I was at a university friend's house (actually, her parent's house) for a housewarming party of sorts. Actually it was more of a "renovation" party, as they had just finished repairing and fixing up their home.

They had a really lovely place, with beautiful washi-decorated walls and ceilings. The image below is of the side of their "genkan" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genkan which featured this intricately designed wall that also served as a window into another room (the white background slides to close the window for privacy if needed).

Peeking through the frame is my friend's grandmother. She's 90(!), but is still incredibly active and full of vitality. Amazingly, she was working at the family's ramen shop until she was in her late 80's, after which she turned it over to her family members.

I can only hope that I'm as "genki" and spry as she is when I reach her age.Photo: Inbetween

I didn't realize it at first, but today's #creative366project photo was influenced by +Joanne Yu ! I was on my way to the doctor this afternoon (camera in hand of course) and was absentmindedly taking random photos. Right after I got on the train, I leaned out to take pictures of people coming in and getting off.

It was while I was going through the pictures that I realized that I had seen similar angles recently, and I suddenly realized that I'd been going through Joanne's stream last night before falling asleep - subliminal influence at work! ;)

Time for me to get some sleep and fight off this cold bug that I picked up somewhere... go go antibodies!

G'night!Photo: Hark! Who Goes There?

In addition to my allergies, I think I'm coming down with a bit of a cold, so I was wondering if I'd have the energy to go around and take photos of anything today. However, luck was with me. As I reached my office building this morning on my way to work, I saw dozens of people milling about outside the courtyard area - apparently a fire drill was taking place that day.

I joined the crowd, pulled out my camera, and got my #creative366project shot for the day. :)

Now it's off to bed I go - I'm taking the day off from work tomorrow to visit the doctor and grab some allergy medicine, so I can sleep in, yay!

Good night from Tokyo!Photo: Sideways Stairways

Another late post, was again just too tired last night. One way that I know spring is on the way is that my allergies start kicking in - my eyes start watering and itching like crazy, and I sneeze all day long. It's no fun :(

I wish I knew what exactly was triggering my allergies, but even a blood test yielded no results. Apparently I'm allergic to house dust but... wouldn't I be sneezing all year-round then?

Yesterday's shot was actually taken by pointing the camera straight up - I was looking for different ways to capture the angles of the fire escape stairs on the left, but ended up going for the reflection shot again (^^)

#creative366projectPhoto: Unity in isolation

Got too tired last night to post yesterday's photo, but I did take it yesterday, so that's what counts (^^)

I was originally focusing on the one fellow with the headphones and laid back pose, but afterwards noted how everyone around him was on their phones and how there's almost a sense of unity in their individual isolation.

Of course, this is purely in my mind - I'm certain each of them was fully focused on the matter at hand, and had no awareness of their inclusion in my imaginary "keitai power brigade" :p

#creative366projectPhoto: Pushing ahead

Today was not conducive to photography; chilly, windy, and pouring rain - so different from yesterday's pleasant weather. Given that they're forecasting a 50-60% chance of rain all week long, I have a feeling that it's not going to be easy taking my daily photos this week..

At least I work in a warm and dry office environment; watching this woman dashing back and forth in the rain delivering parcels in front of the building where I grabbed lunch, I felt that I actually have it pretty easy...

#creative366projectPhoto: A Hint of Spring

Despite having to work this Sunday morning, I managed to wrap things up and get out of the office in the early afternoon (yay!). I met up with M (today's his last day in Tokyo before his trip ends and he flies back home tomorrow morning) for an afternoon walk around the Nippori area.

Again, it never ceases to surprise me how much more others (meaning people who aren't living in Japan) seem to know about areas in Japan that I haven't been to. We walked around the nearby Yanaka Cemetary, a place I'd never visited before, as well as the many (and I mean many) temples in the area. It was surprisingly peaceful and we came across one single tree that was in full bloom.

Though I took several shots throughout the day, my favorite were of that tree (which I believe to be early sakura / cherry!). After a long chilly winter, it was very cheering to come across this early hint of spring. :)

Good night from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: The Ume Alternative

Yes, it's an odd title, but it aptly describes the circumstances during which I took the picture, so that's ok (^^)

I had gone with M to Ome yesterday - he's visiting Japan, and had a series of places he wanted to check out (I swear, even though he's just visiting, he knows more places to go than I do!), one of which was the plum (Ume) tree park in Ome.

It's a bit of a trip to get to Ome, almost 1.5hrs by train one way, so it was more than slightly disappointing to finally arrive there and find out that none of the trees were in bloom yet! There were a couple of trees here and there with some blossoms but nothing really alive yet.

Luckily S msg'd me with the suggestion to check out Mitake (御岳) which happened to be only 20 minutes away from Ome, so we headed there to see what was in the area. There were no trees/blossoms, but there was a cool river/stream that was fun to explore. I got the chance to try a few long exposures, we hiked a bit - overall a very pleasant day :)

With this, I've finally caught up on posting all the photos I took between my business trip till yesterday, phew! I'm also done with my office work for today, so I do get my Sunday afternoon off - I'm out of here! (^^)

#creative366projectPhoto: Best foot forward

While waiting at Tennozu Isle yesterday, I knelt down to try and shoot this row of reflective boxes. A lady walked by just as I pushed the shutter and I rather liked the effect (though I wish I could have caught the whole foot instead of missing the tip).

Time for me to get to bed - it's midnight, and I need to be at work tomorrow morning :(

Hopefully I can wrap things up in the office by noon and at least enjoy half of my Sunday! :)

Goodnight!

#creative366projectPhoto: Silly-houette Fun

A friend of mine (M) is visiting Japan and I met up with him on Thursday after work for dinner. As we were walking back to the train station, I stopped to take a photo of the pretty window grill, but just as I fired off my first shot, someone passed in front of me creating a blur of black.

M and I both thought "silhouette shot!" - which led to the goofy antics you see below.

It's not easy holding a camera steady when one is laughing so hard; I'd say that M has the possibility of an alternate career in ham acting if the need ever arises. (^^)

Have to rush - I'm meeting M again today for a trip to Ome, and hope to get some nice shots there today.

Have a good weekend all!Photo: Winter Garden

This was taken on Wednesday, which was not only a leap day, but also turned out to be a terrifically snowy day in Tokyo. It's quite unusual to have this much snow in Tokyo this year actually - but it does provide more photo opportunities!

This #creative366project shot was taken from my office window, looking across the street at the hotel Okura where they have a very well tended Japanese-style garden. As you can see, even snowed over, the elegant designs are still visible.

It is so late right now that I actually fell asleep at my desk, and just woke up... going to drag myself to bed for real now, good night!Photo: In the background

I took this shot shortly after visiting the Elliott Erwitt "Paris Sera Toujours Paris" display in Ginza on Tuesday. I generally don't find galleries interesting, as they often leave me wondering if I'm just too obtuse to "get it", to understand what the artists are trying to share.

However Mr. Erwitt's images didn't leave me feeling that way. I found his pictures fun, everyday slices of life that we don't always pay attention to, but most can instantly relate to.

I left the gallery with a bit more sparkle, and tried to look more openly at my surroundings, ending up with this #creative366project shot. It's not particularly special, but it's a reminder (to me at least) that it's all in the way you look at things; that there can be unexpected elements in the most random places.

It's hard for me to continuously be "open" to capturing the moments around me. I get tired after a long day at work, the rainy weather makes me want to rush back home and curl up in bed rather than going out and facing the elements. So it's good to be reminded every now and then that we actually need to step out and open eyes - and minds.

Hope ya'll are having a good Thursday night/Friday morning, wherever you are. :)Photo: You know you're back in Japan...

...when you see people bowing. This was taken the day after I got back from Sydney, during my lunch break.

I was headed back to the office and saw these two gentlemen bowing to each other repeatedly in the distance, so I quickly fired off a shot. I assume they're wrapping up some kind of business meeting, but while I know that goodbye's are typically concluded with a handshake in Western culture, here in Japan bowing is more the norm.

Judging from the cheerful expressions on their faces when I passed by, I'm guessing that their meeting was a productive one.

SO sleepy right now, good night from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: Home Security

This was taken the day I got back to Tokyo on Sunday night after my business trip to Sydney. It was a cold evening (which felt all the more cold after experiencing the warm summer weather down under) and going back at night to a frigid apartment wasn't much fun.

This little guy is always in the window of an office that takes up the first 2 floors of the building my apartment is in. I'm not sure who set him there (and I think I can see that he also has a canine friend?), but it was good to know that he was watching over my apartment complex while I was away. :)

#creative366projectPhoto: The littlest griffin

When planning my trip to Sydney, I was originally scheduled to only work until Friday and return on Saturday. However, I asked if I could stay an additional day just so that I could have 1 whole day to do a bit of sight-seeing before my return to Tokyo.

It was approved... but later turned out that I had to go in to work on Saturday anyway. Honestly, I wasn't too terribly surprised - it happens often enough if you work in IT. I started at 8AM Saturday morning, and managed to finish around 1PM, so I at least had the whole of the afternoon off.

Since I didn't want to stay out too late (I had to leave for the airport at 6AM and still hadn't packed), my friend suggested a quick trip to Taronga zoo. Normally I'm not too keen on zoos since the animals always tend to look rather depressed in their cages, but I have to say that Taronga zoo is pretty nicely designed. One of the highlights of the visit was a bird display, and I got a shot of this cool hawk(?). He demonstrated how his wild relatives would smash eggs to get at the contents inside.

I have more shots from the zoo, but those will be uploaded to another album when I have more time. For now, this will do for my #creative366project shot of that day. :)

Good night from Tokyo!Photo: Sunset Moonrise

Australia has some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. I remember as my plane was getting ready to touch down on Monday morning, looking across the aisle out the windows, and having my jaw literally drop as I took in the view of the sunrise. It was simply breath-taking, and I really wished I had reserved a window seat instead of the aisle.

On the 24th, I went with my friend to the Sydney Tower after work to get a birds-eye view of the city, and while it wasn't quite as stunning as the view from the plane, it was still pretty awesome. :)

#creative366projectPhoto: Caught in the moment

I went to see my first opera with my friend on the 23rd at the Sydney Opera House. It was a performance of the Magic Flute and actually quite fun. I'd always imagined operas to be rather boring, but it was quite humorous and I enjoyed it very much - though I admit I was glad for the subtitles during the singing portions!

After the show, as I was heading back to the hotel, I wanted to grab a shot of some of the pillars, but instead started shooting the people walking through. I'm glad I did as I rather liked the way this turned out.

It's far too late in Tokyo now, so I'm ending this and saying goodnight!

#creative366projectPhoto: Totaled

On Wednesday after work, I met up with a friend I hadn't seen in over 5 years. It was good to catch up, and thanks to her I was motivated enough to at least walk around the city a bit (otherwise, I feel sure I would have slept the evenings away at the hotel).
As we were walking around trying to figure out where we would eat, I saw this off in the distance and for a few moments was horrified that some terrible accident had taken place. As we drew closer though, I realized it was actually a sculpture/artwork.

I don't quite know what it's supposed to signify (boulders and cars make for an ill-fated pair?), but it certainly drew my eye and ended up being my #creative366project photo of the day :)Photo: Fireworks over the Sydney Opera House

After sleeping a solid 9 hours on Monday night, I felt recharged enough to assemble my tripod and head out for a walk after work on Tuesday. What I had intended to only be a short 1-2 hour walk ended up lasting for 5+ hours as I walked along the ferry piers, across the Harbour Bridge (and back again), before finally heading back to the hotel around 11PM.

Halfway across the Harbour Bridge, it suddenly started to sprinkle and while I was staying huddled under the lookout point with a few other strangers, fireworks started going off on the side of the bridge! Due to the wind and rain it was quite hard to grab good photos, and honestly most of them didn't turn out well at all.

This was one of the only decent firework shots of that night, and I figured it was good enough for the day's #creative366project entry.

Need to crash as I feel a bit of a tickle in my throat and hope to avoid coming down with anything serious.

Goodnight from Tokyo!Photo: Sydney GPO clock tower

This was the only shot I took on February 20th - in fact, I almost missed taking a shot altogether on that day...

My flight landed in Sydney a little before 8AM, I took a taxi to the hotel to check my luggage in and immediately after that I headed straight to the office. Since I don't sleep well (if at all) on flights, by the time afternoon came around, I was falling asleep at my office desk. I packed it in around 17:30, headed back to the hotel, and collapsed on my bed, falling asleep instantly.

I woke up around 9PM since I was sprawled out rather uncomfortably (I hadn't even gotten out of my work clothes!) and realized that I still had to take a photo!

Peeking out the window, I saw that it had started raining and honestly, I was still too tired to even contemplate going outside. I wasn't even hungry, all I wanted to do was sleep.

In the end, I just put my camera to the window, fired off a few shots (you can see the smears of water from the rain on the window), changed out of my work clothes, and went back to bed.

At least I got a shot for my #creative366project album, even if it isn't the most creative (^^;Photo: Travel

I just got back to Tokyo tonight after a week-long business trip to Sydney. Lots of catching up to do in terms of email and G+, but I did manage to take a daily photo.

I wasn't able to post anything during my trip though, simply because 1) after 12-hr workdays I wasn't keen on going back to the hotel simply to sit down in front of a computer again, and b) even if I had been inclined to try posting, wifi/lan access wasn't free at the hotel and I was definitely not about to pay 20 dollars a day for an hour or two of internet access.

I'll write more about the trip to Sydney as I catch up with my #creative366project photos, but for now I'm just putting up the photo I took on the 19th, as I was on my way to Narita airport.

As I'm quite wiped out, and I have to be up to go to work in about 6hrs, I'll say goodnight here.Photo: Running the light

Being home most of the day = not many attempts to take photos for #creative366project submissions today. However, I did step out briefly to pick up clothes from the cleaners and on the way back to my apartment, waited to catch some traffic shots.

Luckily I didn't have to stay very long since it's below zero celsius and not much fun to stay out, so I'm glad traffic cooperated. :)

It's after 1AM, and I'm almost done packing for an upcoming business trip, but I think I'd better get some sleep soon...

Good night!

#streetsaturdayPhoto: Splash of Color

Not much to say right now, I can barely stay awake to type this out. Today's #creative366project shot was taken outside after lunch; I was aiming for bokeh shots similar to what Takahiro is able to do so well However, though mine didn't turn out quite the same way, I still rather like it . The sunburst was natural - NOT added in photoshop :P

Now I desperately need sleep.. good night all!

#floralfridayPhoto: Art For Thought

Today's #creative366project submission is less of a "creative" shot and more of a "memory" photo. I met up for lovely dinner with a number of photography/art-minded folk and halfway through I stood up to grab a semi-panoramic shot of the restaurant.

There were a number of G+ people there too, of which +Jeff Austin, +andrew holian , +hikaru starr , and +Matthew Lamb were "old faces", and I got to meet +Ron Inman and +David Ventura for the first time - both really cool people. There were a lot more people there, but sadly I don't think they're on G+, and actually I didn't get to meet/talk with more than half of the people since I got so comfortable where I was seated (^^;

It was a very pleasant evening all round :)
(though it means that I'm going to have less than 5hrs of sleep before heading off to work again..

Good night!Photo: In Each Other's Sights

A quick snap of the train doors on the opposite side of the tracks. :)
I hadn't really noticed the girl on the right at first - she wasn't even fully in the frame to begin with, but was initially off more to the right/obscured by the door. However while I pointing the camera at the girl on the left (the one looking down at her phone), the girl on the right saw me and actually moved in so that she was completely visible.

Maybe she wanted to have her photo taken? She certainly didn't seem upset, and if anything, somewhat amused.

That is such an unusual reaction, so I rather like today's shot for that. :)

#creative366project 
#womenwednesday 
#windowwednesdayPhoto: A Heartful Conundrum

Happy Valentine's Day folks! Today Danbo-kun got to meet another inhabitant of my apartment and while Pikachu seemed quite taken with our little boxy friend, Danbo-kun didn't quite know what to make of the giant electrical mouse. ;)

Good night from Tokyo!

#creative366project 
#toytuesdayPhoto: Happy Cat

This will be brief since I'm so tired I'm falling asleep at my desk right now...
Though I took a number of shots today, most of them ended up blurry; this #creative366project entry was taken at a restaurant where I had dinner tonight.

Though it's hard to make out, the tail is actually waving left and right, metronome style, making for a very cheerful-looking cat. Too bad he's not real (^^;

Now... my bed calls, so good night from Tokyo :)Photo: It's Mine

Another shot of Hime, one of the Akita inu that I usually encounter at the park where I do taichi on Sundays. Today she came across this abandoned wicker ball and for some reason seemed absolutely fascinated with it. Though she's about 4 years old, she acted more like a puppy than the actual puppy (he totally ignored the ball)!

I have a feeling that a good number of my Sunday shots throughout the year will be of this Akita family. :)

Can't believe the weekend is already over and it's back to work tomorrow! Where did time go?

Good night from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: Something a little different

I attended the CP+ show today with fellow G+'ers +Agustin Rafael Reyes , +andrew holian , +Brian Kemper , +Hidehiko Sakashita , +Jeff Austin , and +Sameera Darshana , after which we went on a short photowalk around Yokohama. It made for a really pleasant day. :)

As you can imagine, I had an abundance of images to choose from for today's #creative366project submission, but ultimately went with this one because it's very different from the kind of photo that I would usually take.

There were many models on stage and around the booths showcasing the latest camera equipment, and just generally there to provide a lovely subject for the many photographers. I tried my hand at taking some of their photos as well, but a lot of my shots didn't turn out too well since my lens isn't quite suited for low light work :(

Though I wish I could have avoided the blueish cast on her face, this was one of the better shots. :)

Goodnight from Tokyo!Photo: After School

A quick snapshot taken on my way home from work. Not too much to say, my brain is a little fuzzy from lack of sleep (stayed up MUCH too late yesterday going through the Shirakawago photos), and my bed calls. At least I can sleep in a little today instead of my usual 0530 wakeup :)

G'night from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: Heading Home

I caught several reflections today, but I liked this one the best. I first noticed the reflections of a guy in front of me as I was heading out of the office. Thinking it would make a cool shot, I reversed my steps and skulked in the elevator space with camera in hand. (I hid there because I wanted to avoid attracting the attention of the guard - he once frowned suspiciously at me while I was taking pictures of steps )

It took a few tries as I tried to get the shutter speed right, but though I missed some people at first, I ended up with this in the end. :)

Good night from Tokyo!

#creative366projectPhoto: Mountains on the horizon

I've caught up with #creative366project entries! Now to figure out what today's shot will be...

I took this early yesterday morning; coming in to the office, my eye was caught by the view of the mountains on the horizon. Usually the sky isn't that clear in Tokyo, but for some reason, even though it was uber-cloudy in my general area, the sky off in the distance was wonderfully clear. I don't think I've ever noticed these mountain ranges from this direction before.

It's a pity I didn't have my D90 with me so I could have zoomed in a bit tighter, but the X10 still did a good job. :)Photo: Boxed In

Living in the city can sometimes be a bit claustrophobic when you find yourself surrounded on all sides by buildings. Not all areas of Tokyo are like that, but my office area is quite "business-like", as evidenced by this view of the buildings closing in.

It's my second to last image before I catch up with my #creative366project entries, and I will be caught up tomorrow.

Yesterday was a fairly long day, and I didn't leave work till late so I just snapped what I could see to/from the station. Not very creative, I know... but my brain just wasn't processing very well - it never does when I'm tired.

Good night from Tokyo~Photo: Altitude

Almost caught up with #creative366project entries, and I'll be brief because I'm still rather tired.

This shot was taken from the plane window (you can see the grain and streaks of the window pane if you look closely) as we were flying back to Tokyo from Toyama. I thought it was a beautiful, if somewhat stark, view.

The photos from the plane were the only pictures I took that day. After getting home and unpacking, I crashed and slept for about 5 hours before waking up before midnight - and crashing again for another 4 hours.

Still sleepy, so I'll end this here with the usual good night from Tokyo.Photo: Marshmallow House

Catching up with my #creative366project entries! This was taken on the 5th, as we were standing on the overlook at Shirakawa-go.

Most of the houses are clustered together, but this one little place is the outlier. In this weather, covered with and surrounded by snow as it is, it makes me think of the the witch's house in the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale (^^)

If you've got sharp eyes, you can also notice trail of footprints in the snow behind the house. The person who made those footprints must have had a very clear goal/destination in mind - I would have meandered all over the place, and perhaps rolled in the snow just for the heck of it ;)Photo: Happiness

I've just gotten back from a great trip to Shirakawa-go ( http://bit.ly/w8jOnT ) with fellow GPlussers (GPlussians?) +Agustin Rafael Reyes , +andrew holian , +Jason Arney , and +Jeff Austin .

It was the first time for me to experience so much snow, ever, but it was lots of fun, and there will be photos posted throughout the coming days.

For now though, I need to catch up on my #creative366project submissions! Obviously I had no problems taking photos while I was away - the tough part was choosing which one to put in this album (^^)

I rather liked this one, which was taken shortly after we arrived in Toyama. We did a bit of impromptu street photography amidst the snow flurries while waiting for Jason and I caught this young couple coming towards me. :)Photo: Pay attention! ....Please?

I took this photo after work while walking around Midtown, Roppongi tonight. They'd setup a small skating rink, and I just stood there for an hour, trying desperately to catch a good shot with my X10 (and really wishing I had my D90 + a good fast lens).

Still, I got a few keepers, including this one which I'm putting up for my #creative366project project because it just made me laugh. Couldn't really come up with a satisfactory caption though - what would you write? ;)

I'm going to be away from G+ this weekend, heading up north with some fellow G+'ers. It's supposed to be snowing like crazy there, which both excites and fills me with trepidation since I've never really experienced a true cold weather/snow environment. Hopefully I'll be prepared enough!

Good night all, and see you on Monday! :)Photo: A girl and her best friend

Walking home from work today, I met a friendly kid out walking her dog. The dog was a hyperactive (but very friendly) little scamp named Candy who kept coming up to me to get petted. I was absolutely charmed, and asked if I could take a photo.

The little girl enthusiastically obliged, even going so far as to hold Candy for me since she wouldn't hold still long enough to have her photo taken!

It was a really pleasant few minutes as the girl was very polite, and Candy well-behaved (if rather excitable). A good moment for the #creative366project :)

Definitely time for bed - will be good to get more than 4hrs of sleep tonight! :)Photo: Passing by in a blur of color

So what do you do if you have a photo where you like some elements in color, and other elements in black and white? Turns out that for me, I find that I spend a really daft amount of time masking. I had intended to be in bed 2 hours ago...

I'm off to bed, have to head to work in a little over 4 hours... woohoo...

G'night!

#creative366projectPhoto: Reflective Surfaces

One of the things I've been enjoying about the #creative366project is the stuff I notice after a shot has been taken. When I took this shot, I was just looking at the pillars receding into the background, and was waiting for the train to pass by to add another element of interest. However after I got home and looked at it on the big screen, I noticed that the reflections on the wall and ceiling also added yet another fun element which I tried to bring out in my conversion to B/W.

So - one month down! Hard to believe that January is already over... While 11 months seems like a long time to go, given how quickly this month has gone by, I have a feeling we'll be reaching the end of the year far more quickly than we'd like it to...

Good night from Tokyo!Photo: Shiny medium

Not particularly creative, but between recovering from my cold and how ridiculously cold it is outside, I wasn't much in the mood for walking around after work.

My taking this #creative366project shot probably exasperated my coworker, as we had started talking about methods of cleaning and repairing disks, when suddenly my eye was caught by all the colorful lights reflected on the CD.

I grabbed my camera and started spinning around in my seat, trying to find an angle that caught the most color before taking this shot; from expression on his face, I could see that my coworker was mentally giving himself a face-palm over my antics - he already thinks I'm borderline nutty for carrying my camera everywhere I go. (^^;

Well, it's a nice burst of color anyway ;)

http://youtu.be/_JoZS6LgqYI

G'night!Photo: January 29, 2012 - I see me...and me...and me!Photo: Anachronism

Spent all day in the office, with no opportunity to go out and shoot anything for my #creative366project . Luckily, the view outside my office window is pretty cool; it's even better on a weekend because then the office is almost deserted and I can turn off the lights to take photos with less window reflection! :D

This side of the office building looks down over the Hotel Okura, a fairly old but popular hotel due to its convenient location. I've never stayed there myself (kinda pricey!) but have been there frequently as the office makes use of the conference/seminar and dinner rooms.

It also holds the Okura Museum of Art (or Okura Shugokan), which is an old-style building that somehow manages not to look out of place amidst all the modern buildings around it.

http://www.shukokan.org/

I'm off to bed - sniffles and sneezing like crazy today, colds are so aggravating (though still better than a cough I suppose).

G'night from Tokyo!Photo: Readers

It's a sign of how digitized the times are when the sight of a few people reading actual paper books makes me do a double-take.

I've joined the digital revolution myself - I never ever go anywhere without my Kindle. In fact, given the choice between my camera or my Kindle... the Kindle would win. However, I still have a huge soft spot for real paper books. If I could, I'd live in a library! Also, real books never run out of battery. ;-)

So, I get unaccountably happy when I see people reading actual books, and want to go up and give them a big ol' high five :)

Off to bed to fight the onset of a cold, have a good weekend everyone!

#creative366projectPhoto: U Jelly?

I've never had the occasion to use that "phrase" before, but it just popped in my mind while looking at this photo (^^;

This was a completely unplanned shot - I had another interior image I'd taken earlier today, but this came about right after I got home, shortly before I was about to copy over the earlier shot from my camera to the computer.

Honestly, I'm a little embarrassed to explain where I got the idea for this photo, so I'll just leave it to your imagination, unless someone happens to guess correctly, in which case I'll say so. :p

Going to crash for now - trying to fight off possible early signs of a cold, so sleep is critical!

G'night from Tokyo :)

#creative366projectPhoto: Angles

Not sure why, but was severely lacking in energy today and didn't feel like walking around too much. In fact, I only took some photos during my lunch break which is where I got this shot for the #creative366project .

It's not much to look at, but I was attracted to the angles here, as well as that ray of light coming down from the right.

Definitely needing to get to sleep somewhat earlier tonight, so goodnight from Tokyo :)Photo: Psychic Takoyaki Seller (?)

Today's #creative366project submission is of a small place where I frequently buy takoyaki ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki ) if I'm heading home and in no particular mood to cook dinner.

The owner/seller has seen me often enough - I pass his place whenever I go running (in the warmer months) and he knows by now that I usually order 4 takoyaki, with mayo, no chopsticks, and sometimes no plastic bag. :)

Funny thing is - apparently he's also some kind of psychic!

I randomly came across this clip online (I think it was posted on Japanprobe) and couldn't believe it was the same place where I always go to! I was very amused (^^)

http://dai.ly/dJRHiT

Maybe one day I'll ask someone who can communicate in Japanese to go there with me and ask him to demonstrate in front of us as well. :PPhoto: Snow!

Snow in Tokyo is not common - at least not in Tokyo proper. Further up north there's plenty, but in the last 10+ years I've been here, I can only recall a couple of years where there's been any significant snowfall in the city. And today was one of them.

Actually, today has been a wonky one for weather overall - first there's been rain all day long, then a 5.1 quake late this evening, then this incredible amount of snow, combined with major thunder and lightening.

Given that today's the first day of the Chinese New Year, it would seem that the dragon indeed awakens.

Danbo-kun on the other hand, just wants to get home as soon as possible!

#creative366project 
#monochromemondayPhoto: The Approach

My apologies to those on a slow network - today's #creative366project submission is almost 4MB in size, so I'm not sure how it's going to display for some of you... (and you'll have to embiggen / view fullsize to get the effect)

I was out today for a bit of shopping and while getting ready to board the subway, I noticed that I had the opportunity to photograph an approaching train head-on. No, I didn't jump down on the tracks (I'm committed to this 366 project - but not that committed).

Rather, there was just this open area in front of the train bay that was only blocked off by some railing, so I stood there and waited for the next train to arrive. I took about 10 shots, simply because I wasn't sure which would look best. However, while flipping through them all on the X10 LCD, I realized that it looked like a mini-movie clip, which led me to thinking that I'd try to create an animated gif (^^;

This is just an experiment - I don't plan on doing this with any frequency whatsoever. But, as a "creative" endeavor, I'm pretty happy with it :)

G'night from Tokyo!Photo: Ice

I wonder if my current focus on B/W shots has to do with the weather. Today was not a pleasant day, raining on and off throughout - and it's COLD.

I actually stepped out of my apartment to try and take some photos on the streets around my area, but wind+rain=blurry images (holding an umbrella in one hand doesn't help either).

For my #creative366project submission, I resorted to taking a photo of some ice crystals taken from my freezer. At least it matches the day!

A chilly goodnight from Tokyo to you all :)Photo: The Window is the Eye into the Soul

The quote's backwards, but at least it seemed to be that way to me in this case.

Today I had a chance to visit +Takahiro Yamamoto , just to say hello and see how he was doing. He seems to be carrying on remarkably well, getting around on crutches as best he can.

Even though the hospital he is staying at is actually really nice (it even has a Tully's coffeeshop downstairs!), like most hospitals it's not someplace you want to be in for long periods of time. As things stand, he's been in there for just about a month!

Personally, I think I would be going crazy by now, especially since he's not even able to go outside the hospital. However, he seemed very calm about it though I think I can feel that he will be glad to get out.

As he was showing me around the floor he's staying on, we came to this window which to me seemed to be like eyes, staring sadly outside. It just seemed very apropos to the current location and mood.

Though the windows are fixed, hopefully Takahiro will soon be able to escape.

#creative366projectPhoto: Latticework maintenance

Today's #creative366project shot was quite random. I came across this scene when I stepped into the men's room on our office floor for a quick washing up before heading out for lunch. I saw these guys cleaning the windows at the building across from us and ran back to my desk to grab my camera from my bag.

After taking a few shots (hurriedly, because I soon realized that I probably didn't look very decent, taking photos from the window inside the men's restroom), I tucked the camera in my jacket pocket and went to the elevator, only to realize that I had a much better viewing angle from the window there! I spent another 5 minutes or so framing this just right, and was pretty happy with the result.

Good night from Tokyo! :)Photo: Mori Tower - Roppongi Hills

I got a new/old toy from a colleague at work today - he brought in a 50mm 1.8 and a 135mm 2.8 lens (as well as flash and wire trigger) that he'd had since high school! I was especially excited by the 135mm F2.8 as I feel that would make a great portrait lens. The tricky part is - it's fully manual.

I went over to Roppongi Hills after work today, thinking I'd try to shoot some of the people walking around but boy howdy - trying to focus manually on moving subjects is... I can't do it, at least not yet. I only got one shot (of a non-moving subject) that I'll post later, but I can tell this is going to require lots of practice.

Today's #creative366project entry was taken with my newly repaired D90 and lens (my first photo from my D90 in this album!), and is of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills converted to BW.

G'night all! :)Photo: Ash nazg durbatulûk...

Today's #creative366project shot was taken far away from my usual walking grounds. I had to work offsite for the greater part of the morning and the building I was working in has a number of very cool sculptures and displays both indoors and out.

When I first saw this last year, I immediately thought of the "One Ring" (albeit a massive version of it). I'd always intended to try and photograph it but never did - until today. :)

I suddenly have this strong urge to re-watch the entire Peter Jackson version of LOTR (extended version)... hmmm...

I'm so sleepy at the moment since I had to get up fairly early to get to this place (it's an hour and a half away from where I live), so I'll end this here for tonight.

G'night all! :)Photo: Rolling Lights

Today's shot was inspired by +Takahiro Yamamoto 's rolling shutter article on +Fuel Your Photography . It was actually written some time ago (back in September of last year actually), and it's been some time since I attempted this.

The original article can be found at: http://www.fuelyourphotography.com/lets-roll-it/

I was sitting at my desk in the office, holding my camera and wondering what I was going to take for today's #creative366project submission. As I was turning the camera over in my hands, I suddenly remembered the rolling shutter photography method, and decided to give it a go.

I tried several different areas in the office, but ultimately decided that the lights of the ceiling made for the most interesting (if somewhat abstract) image.

Taken with my X10 and converted to B/W.

I'm off for bed - tomorrow's going to be another of those super long days, with an early wake-up, so I'm going to crash.

G'night all :)Photo: Waka

I had planned for a bit more shooting than I actually did today, but it was just so ridiculously cold! Hence, not much experimenting/creativity for the #creative366project ...

I resumed taichi lessons again today, after a hiatus of over 2 months (I'm already sore... ouch). At the park where we do the lessons, there's almost always a trio of Akita inu being walked by their owner and a band of his friends/helpers.

This shot is of the oldest Akita - a male named Waka. I've never petted him because the owner always insists that Waka does not take kindly to strangers, unlike the other two dogs. I've never insisted on trying to pet him, but I've always thought he looks like a cuddly bear - and in fact have used his image for my profile photo (^^;

I'll try to get good shots of the other two Akita in the coming weeks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akita_Inu

Oh - and once again, used the X10. Really... once you get used to a fast lens, it's a bit hard to go back, particularly when you're trying to do portrait-type shots... (>_<;

Good night all!Photo: Ginza Speed

So... I have my camera back! I went to the Nikon Service Center in Ginza to pick both the D90 body and my lens up, and they're as good as new. It almost feels odd to have a big DSLR in hand now after walking around with the X10 for 3 weeks, but it's good. :)

Today's #creative366project submission was originally going to be a photo taken with my D90 but... I chose a photo taken by the X10. Yes, I know, shocking since I've been waiting so long for my D90 to come back, but I've found that the X10 actually seems to do better at evening/night shots than my D90 - largely because I don't have a wide-angle fast lens for it.

The lens I had today was the one that was repaired - my 16-85mm F3.5-5.6. The image below though, was taken using the F2.8 lens on the X10. To get a similar type of shot on my D90, I'd have had to crank up the ISO to levels that I wouldn't have been happy with.

Technical bits aside, I'm still really really happy to have my D90 back - but also really really happy that I got the X10 (^_^)

Hope you all are having a good weekend!


P.S. +Shereen Yeoh - I've found that the viewfinder on the X10 is actually useful when taking panning shots!Photo: City Reflections in Black and White - Tokyo Tower

Another very long day. Honestly, even though it's been a short week due to the Japanese national holiday on Monday, overall it feels like it's been a much longer week than normal, with 12 hours spent in the office today. So I'm sleepy!

I actually took more photos today than usual, but in the end I chose this one as the most interesting. It was basically taken on the opposite side of where I shot yesterday's photo. I don't usually look out this window area because I don't pass close to it as often as I do the other side, but today after work I walked over out of curiosity, and saw this cool reflection of the Tokyo Tower.

More B/W treatment - I also originally masked in the orange color of the Tokyo Tower, but felt the color was too jarring and got rid of it in the end.

That's today's submission for the #creative366project ! Now I can kick back and rest - though I have a little work in morning, at least I can sleep in, which is totally awesome.

Good night and happy Friday everyone! :)Photo: City Reflections in Black and White

It's been a very long day at work and honestly not easy to get in a "creative" mindframe for the #creative366project .

So I re-visited a view that I've shot once in the past. It's the view from outside my office, in the space between the elevators and the office reception. I'm always attracted by the reflections of the buildings, especially when it's a cloudy day; here, I also chose to convert it to B/W to further highlight the sky.

Not much to say - need to crash since I have to get in to the office early tomorrow for another very long day, but at least it's Friday, right? :)

G'night!Photo: Tokyo Tower

This is a view of the Tokyo Tower as seen from one of the conference rooms in my office. At night, the view can actually be quite pretty. I figured it's about time to show a few "nicer" shots of my office area, lest people think I work in a haunted house or something. :P

Did you know that the tip of the Tokyo Tower was bent during the quake? I didn't know until recently, but I believe it has been repaired by now.

I wanted the Tokyo Tower to stand out in this shot, so I converted the image to B/W first, and then masked the area containing the Tokyo Tower in the original image back in. I've seen this technique used in other shots before, but this is the first time I've given it a try myself, and I rather like how it turned out.

Good night from Tokyo! :)

#creative366projectPhoto: Lights and reflections

Today's been a long day at work but luckily I was able to get this shot when leaving my office building. I have definitely felt that I'm able to "see" more of the photographic opportunities around since I've started this project. It's not that I wasn't able to see them before, but rather my brain seems a little more receptive to recognizing something that might turn out to be an interesting photo. I know I still miss alot, but something is being stretched a bit creatively, little by little.

This obviously takes a leaf from my "infinite hallway" shot - I liked the angles of the light here, as well as the reflections of the pillars in the ceiling - processing once again converted it to B/W, with blue tones.

It will be another long day tomorrow, so I'm off too bed.

Good night everyone :)

#creative366projectPhoto: Moonrise

Today was a quiet day, spent at home. I had wanted to go out and join a photo walk around Meiji Jingu, but unfortunately had to wait for deliveries - which didn't arrive until later in the afternoon.

So opportunities for today's #creative366project were somewhat limited - I was about to submit a photo of more cooking (made a pizza today!), but looking outside my balcony door this evening I saw this amazing full moon. I really wish I could have zoomed in a bit more, but unfortunately it's just not possible with my X10.

Still, this shot was somewhat creative - it's the first time I've successfully blended 2 shots (1 exposure of the moon, and 1 exposure of the city) to get a decent moon+cityscape photo. I guess I'm getting a little better at masking :)

Hope the moon is bright in your part of the world!Photo: (^_^)v

Ok, so I know this is not "creative" in any sense, but I wanted to include it in my 366 album because it's something I felt good about.

Back in November, while I was on vacation at Miyakejima, I learned of a photo contest that the tourism center on the island was holding. I decided to submit some of the shots I had taken while I was there and though I didn't win first, second, or even third prize, I surprisingly got "honorable mention" for this image - plus a small cash prize!

The cash prize wasn't much (unfortunately wasn't even enough to cover 1/3 of the cost of the damage to my D90 that I incurred while there) but still - it's a nice feeling. I learned that they might be using another of the photos I submitted (I submitted a total of 3 images), but I won't know until February-ish for sure.

Still, I got a nice fuzzy feeling - and I wanted this memory to be part of my 366 records. :)

G'night everyone!Photo: I know you're not supposed to play with your food...

I had originally intended to upload a photo taken at Harajuku today, but when making nanakusa-gayu (7-herb rice porridge) this popped out. Do you see what I see? (hint: it's supposed to look like this year's creature of the chinese zodiac)

For more information about the Nanakusa-gayu, here's the wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanakusa-no-sekku

Good night!Photo: Dawn breaking over Tokyo

So for day 6 of my #creative366project (only 360 days left to go, woohoo!), I had intended to take a completely different picture; thinking to capture the light that came though the blinds in my office windows.

However, this sunrise immediately drew my eye when I got in and I started taking pictures of it first, wanting to catch the clouds before it got too bright. I took several shots, some wide-angle, and some zoomed in (this shot is the most my X10 will zoom in). When I was done, I turned back to what I had originally intended to shoot... only to find that the clouds had already covered the sun and the image I originally had in my mind was no longer there.

Still, no big deal. I was pretty pleased with this one, and I can always revisit what I had intended next week.

The colors here are straight out of the camera, no messing with saturation. I just applied some sharpness, a little brightening, and that's it :)Photo: The not-quite-infinite-hall

I wanted to go for something a little different from my usual #creative366project submission today, so when I got into the office this morning I immediately started trying to see things from a different perspective. Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait too long - I just needed to open my mind a bit.

One of the "advantages" to having early shift at work is that I have to wake up around 0530 in order to get to the office by 7AM. At this time of the day, things are still dark and much of the office lights are still off. With my mind in omgoshwhatamIgoingtotakeaphotoofTODAY mode, I immediately noticed the lighting pattern around the entrance of the office hallway.

I dropped my bag, pulled out my camera, and fired off a shot. I then converted it to B/W when I got home, played with contrast a bit, and was pretty satisfied with the results - not just the lighting, but the lines as well.

It's not my usual type of photo - that's probably why I'm pleased with it, and I think I'm going to try experimenting more with these kinds of images.

G'night everyone! :)

#X10Photo: January 4th, 2012 - First day back in the office.Photo: January 3, 2012 - Koto player at Roppongi HillsPhoto: January 2, 2012Photo: January 1, 2012Photo: Photo: August 12, 2012 - Hime having funPhoto: August 13, 2012 - Yeah... just a platter of fruit, definitely not one of my "creative" days :(Photo: August 14, 2012 - Moth, ain't s/he cute? :)Photo: August 15, 2012 - Lighting practicePhoto: August 16, 2012 - Shooting at a bill through 2 lensesPhoto: August 17, 2012 - Danbo's familiarPhoto: August 18, 2012 - Lines, angles, and reflectionsPhoto: August 19, 2012 - Liftoff in 3, 2, 1...Photo: August 20, 2012 - :(Photo: August 21, 2012 - Rilakuma and friendsPhoto: August 22, 2012 - Just some pretty cool cloudsPhoto: August 23, 2012 - :(