338 Photos - Jul 22, 2011
Photo: Cherry Blossoms with an idol from a local shrine in the background - this shrine is on the side of a mountain that was right behind my apartment.Photo: Reflections of Kintai

The Kintai Bridge is a very old bridge in Yamaguchi Prefecture, in the city of Iwakuni, Japan. When it was originally constructed, the bridge contained no metal parts - it was made entirely out of wood, laid on top of the stone pillars. However, due to many floods over the centuries, it has been washed away and rebuilt. It's a very beautiful area, and well worth the trip - particularly if you can go during Cherry Blossom season!

#japanPhoto: Tiny Hanami

Look at all the tiny people enjoying hanami in Okayama City! :)Photo: Bike tunnel in Chayamachi, Okayama Prefecture, Japan.Photo: Sometimes you have to get up early to get the shots you want, especially in Japan when the shot you want is facing east! Especially with no daylight savings time, the sun rises very early! But it's good, because at least for me, it makes me feel more productive. How about you? Do you feel more productive when you get up early? And do you find it hard to get up even when there's a shot you know you're going to want?Photo: My wife's best friend in Japan, along with her husband and children, took us across the Seto-Ohashi bridge one day by car so we could stop at some of the islands, and eventually took us to do some udon-shop hopping. I think we also went to a children's science center that day in Takamatsu. It was a long, but fun and delicious day!Photo: Big green rice field in Chayamachi, JapanPhoto: One day my wife and kids were out so I decided to take the train over to Chayamachi and explore the area. Chayamachi is a very flat place and not somewhere that one would generally anticipate too many interesting photos, but on this particular day I walked for about 2 hours looking for some anyway. I only came up with 2 that I really enjoyed, which I guess isn't too bad. Anyway, this is one of them! I kind of like the way the lines of the house go in various directions ... makes for an interesting composition!Photo: This a photo of Osaka from March, taken with my old D70. I have to say, as far as larger cities go, Osaka was one of my favorites. Had a really great time there!Photo: Waiting for the Shinkansen in Okayama City

I think waiting for a train to arrive or waiting to board a plane is my favorite part of traveling. To me, that time is the climax of anticipation for a trip, and as much as I love the actual travel, that climax of anticipation is about as good as it gets, only matched with those first few moments upon arrival to a new destination.

What is your favorite part of traveling?

Check out the full-res version here:
http://lestaylorphoto.com/?p=168Photo: I debated about sharing a photo of one of my daughters here ... but I really love this photo, both of her and as a photo in general. Watching the Cherry Blossoms, especially when the petals are beginning to fall, is very mesmerizing. Especially for a 2 year old. :)Photo: I'm in the town where I worked for several years visiting very close friends to my family. It has reminded me of just how important it is to stay connected. Even if the lines get soggy and a bit old, it's better to be connected in some way.

That's why I'm so thankful for social media like Google Plus. It makes staying connected with new and old friends so much easier.

Thanks to all my new friends on Google Plus for the follow! Hope you enjoy my photos - always feel free to comment and I'd love it if you share! Thanks again!Photo: This was taken under the Seto-Ohashi bridge, on the Honshu side in Okayama Prefecture. Pretty amazing to stand right under a structure as impressive as this. Even more amazing to ride over it via train or car!Photo: Buzzing Just Like Neon

I love when you come across colors in nature that are already so vibrant, you have no need of making them look more so. These flowers are a prime example. I did not touch up this photo at all - it's straight from the camera! Looking at these flowers in person almost hurt, they are so vibrant.

They were found along Kaze No Michi (which means Wind Road in Japanese) in Kojima, Japan. It's a wonderful little walking/biking path that extends from Chayamachi, through Kojima, and ends in Shimotsui. It used to be train tracks, but they removed it and turned it into the path. The people who live along the path plant all sorts of wonderful flowers, and take very good care of them, as you can see from photos like this!Photo: Light & Dark

These steps, as you might guess, are light and dark due to the water and tide. What you might not know however, are that the dark steps are extremely slippery! Always walk carefully around wet docks - especially on concrete! :)

Photo taken in Okayama Prefecture, JapanPhoto: The Bikan Bridge

The Bikan (pronounced bee-kahn) District is a very old district of Kurashiki City in Okayama Prefecture, Japan. It is famous for its old architecture, museums, and shopping. You can also pay to take an old style boat ride in the river. And of course, there are lots of local restaurants with delicious Japanese food to enjoy. If you're ever in Okayama Prefecture, make it a goal to visit this beautiful historic district!

This is one of my entries for the My Best Shot Photo Contest held by +Popular Photography. You can see the actual entry (and vote for it, though I'm unsure whether or not that matters) here:

https://www.popphoto.com/photo-contest/novmber2011ybs/photos/all/209578Photo: Bowl of Udon

If you haven't had udon, you don't know what you're missing! Udon is comprised of a thick noodle, udon sauce (which varies in taste from place to place), and any number of other add-ons. This particular dish has an egg, daikon (a type of radish), green onion and some crunchy toppings with it. It was purchased at 丸亀製麺 (Marugame Seimen) - perhaps my favorite chain udon restaurant - in Kojima, Japan. 美味しかった!

I've only had authentic udon at one restaurant in the U.S. so far - in Dallas/Ft.Worth Texas - but I highly recommend you try some if you ever see it on the menu! It is delicious!Photo: Seto-Ohashi Bridge & Shimotsui

The Seto-Ohashi Bridge is a massive bridge which links the main island of Honshu with the main island of Shikoku in Japan. The top level is used for cars and trucks, while the lower level is used for trains. Both means of crossing this bridge provide for beautiful scenery.

There are actually a series of these bridges which span the Inland Sea. This particular bridge exits Honshu at Shimotsui, though the neighboring (and much larger) city of Kojima is better known for the bridge.

Each Saturday night they turn on the lights on this bridge - so I had to take the opportunity to photograph it one evening!

This is actually my first serious attempt at a single photo HDR ... overall pretty pleased with the results. Hope you feel the same!

Thanks for viewing!Photo: Under Kintai

The Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, Japan is one of the most famous bridges in Japan. Originally built in the 1600s, this bridge has been rebuilt on several occasions due to floods of the Nishiki River (which it spans) destroying previous versions. The original version of the Kintai Bridge was especially interesting, because it was built without a single metal part - it only used stones and wood.

The bridge is overlooked by the Kintai Castle which sits atop the mountain adjacent to it. The whole park is a very beautiful area, especially during Cherry Blossom season. If you ever get a chance to see this place, definitely do so! It's worth the trip!Photo: Higashiyama Alley

I found this little alley way - it's one of many in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto. There was almost no one on this street at the time, because a major parade was going on related to Gion Matsuri.

This is my first attempt at a square format photo ... let me know what you think!Photo: Bikan In Blue

This is another photo I took in the Bikan District this spring. I don't like it as much as I do my other one (which you can see here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112664698474339089009/albums/5632158210784470017/5677943666500767746) but it's still pleasant.

This is my submission for #tonemapHDRtuesday ... I usually try not to make my HDRs too weird looking or whatever, as I hope you can tell!Photo: Tokyo Night

I loved visiting the Tokyo Tower, but not half as much as my daughter did. Later this year my family will be moving back to Japan, and my daughter (who is 3) frequently requests a visit to the tower upon our return. I think I know what our first daddy date back in Japan will be! :)Photo: The Togetsukyo Bridge | 渡月橋

The Togetsukyo Bridge ("Moon Crossing Bridge") is a famous bridge in the Arashiyama area, just outside of Kyoto, Japan. It was originally built around 1000 years ago, but it has been reconstructed and is now even used for car traffic, as well as a pedestrian crossing.

On this particular day it was rainy (as you can see), and there were people nearby, so I really thought I wouldn't get a shot I enjoyed. But after working with it a little, I have to say I'm pretty pleased. Hope you enjoy it as well!Photo: Fushimi Inari Taisha Torii

Fushimi Inari Taisha is a really unique and interesting place. It's one of those things that makes Japan so awesome. Despite being in the Kyoto area - a major, modernized city and once the capital of Japan - you can find this shrine with thousands of torii gates lining the path around the area. Each is inscribed with the name of the person who purchased the torii and donated it to the shrine. Definitely worth the visit!Photo: Softbank

Softbank is a big mobile phone company in Japan. As far as I know they are the only company in Japan that provides iPhone service. Anyway, apparently they have lanterns on display at Gion Matsuri in Kyoto. There are lanterns like these all over the place at Gion Matsuri.

What is Gion Matsuri? It's a huge festival that happens each year in Kyoto. They close off entire streets and people fill these streets in droves. The earliest nights of the week may have several hundred thousand, and by the main day of the festival there can be as many as 6 million people packing in (or more)! Definitely worth the trip if you're in Kyoto during the summer.Photo: A path shaded with shrubs in Okayama, JapanPhoto: A path shaded with shrubs in OkayamaPhoto: Sunset Explosion

I took this from a friend's balcony in Kojima, Japan. That tall thing that looks like the top of a bridge on the left actually is the top of a bridge ... sort of. The Seto-Ohashi bridge begins in Kojima, so they have a small replica which acts as a pedestrian overpass in town. With beautiful scenery, some great restaurants, and just a 20 minute train ride to Okayama City, Kojima is a wonderful little town to live in or visit!Photo: Buddhist Temple

This beautiful temple was in the town where I lived in Japan last year in Okayama Prefecture. The traditional lanterns leading up to the area always caught my eye, but I also always had a difficult time capturing a picture. In fact, I didn't think I had a good photo - until I looked through some photos I took with my old Nikon D70. When I took this photo, the D70 was about 5-6 years old, and had a kit level lens on it that was even dirty! With my much more advanced D7000, I still couldn't get a shot I liked. It's not the camera's fault, but that's just my point - a better camera doesn't necessarily mean better photos!

日本、岡山、児島Photo: Photo: A small but very beautifully constructed Buddhist shrine in Kojima, Japan.Photo: Taxi cabs and drivers wait beneath the Sakura for visitors to Okayama CastlePhoto: People enjoy hanami parties along a small section of the Asahi River in Okayama City, Okayama PrefecturePhoto: An idol at a small mountain side shrine overlooks Cherry Blossoms and the town of Kojima in Okayama Prefecture, Japan.Photo: Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) blooming in the Spring in Okayama Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Cherry Blossoms along a mountain side path in Okayama Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Sunrise in Okayama Prefecture Japan ||  岡山の日の入りPhoto: Lanterns along a path up to a local shrine in Okayama prefecture, Japan.Photo: A rice field in the town of Chayamachi, Okayama PrefecturePhoto: An old Japanese house in Chayamachi, Okayama Prefecture, JapanPhoto: The Kintai Bridge crossing the Nishiki River in Iwakuni, JapanPhoto: The Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, Japan, crossing the Nishiki RiverPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Boats docked at a marina in Kojima, JapanPhoto: Boats docked at a marina in Kojima, JapanPhoto: Photo: A bridge crossing the river in the historic Bikan District in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan.Photo: Lanterns on the side of a float at Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, JapanPhoto: One of the many torii gates at Fushimi Inari.Photo: One of the many torii gates at Fushimi Inari.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: 2 men waiting for the train to comePhoto: Photo: Wishes written on wooden plaques at the Zojoji Temple in TokyoPhoto: Photo: Tuna sushi roll at Kappa ZushiPhoto: A bike sits, rusting away against a fencePhoto: A four tiered pagoda at Sensoji TemplePhoto: A couple walks down the famous Nakamise street in Asakusa, Japan.Photo: The Kaminorimon Gate - the entrance to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, JapanPhoto: Photo: Photo: Wooden Ema at a shrine in OchanomizuPhoto: Photo: Photo: Skyscrapers in Shinjuku, Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Photo: A bridge for trains crossing the Edo River from Matsudo.Photo: Mt Fuji on a September evening, as seen from a bridge in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: The Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park - Tokyo, JapanPhoto: A calm evening along the boat pond in Ueno ParkPhoto: A small ramen shop in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: Lots of green in the back of Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo, Japan. This is one of the most beautiful and well known gardens in the city.Photo: The path up to the tsutenkyo bridge at the Koishikawa Garden in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: The path up to the tsutenkyo bridge at the Koishikawa Garden in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Ticket gates in a Japanese train stationPhoto: Akihbara on a busy Friday nightPhoto: A moonlit evening overlooking the Kanda River, facing AkihabaraPhoto: A bridge crossing the Kanda River from Ochanomizu to Akihabara in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Everyone looking up in the newly renovated Tokyo StationPhoto: Delicious looking sushi passing by my table at Kappa ZushiPhoto: Large support poles at the Tokyo International ForumPhoto: Walks crisscross around the Tokyo International Forum in Central Tokyo.Photo: The massive Gundam statue in Odaiba, JapanPhoto: The Rainbow Bridge as viewed from Odaiba, JapanPhoto: A small parking area along a side street in Kagurazaka.  This was taken during the 2012 Worldwide PhotowalkPhoto: No time to stop for a snack...Photo: The Tokyo Skytree as viewed from the stream walk at its basePhoto: A sunset in Matsudo over a passing trainPhoto: A sunset in Matsudo over a passing trainPhoto: A sunset in Matsudo over a passing trainPhoto: The Ghost Train of MatsudoPhoto: A taxi cab zooms through Shibuya CrossingPhoto: Photo: Mt Fuji at Twilight on the shores of Lake KawaguchikoPhoto: Mt Fuji from the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko during the dusk hours of an early November evening.Photo: Mt Fuji showing its splendor on an early November morningPhoto: Mt Fuji from the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko as the sun rises on the Land of the Rising Sun.Photo: Ginko trees along with other trees turning the shades of Autumn along Lake Kawaguchiko at the base of Mt FujiPhoto: Mt Fuji towers over Kawaguchiko Station in JapanPhoto: Japanese maples around Lake Kawaguchiko at the base of Mt FujiPhoto: A man fishes in Lake Kawaguchiko at the base of Mt Fuji, JapanPhoto: An old Autumn tree at lake Kawaguchiko, at the base of Mt FujiPhoto: Photo: A Japanese construction worker in Central TokyoPhoto: A couple sits on a bench amongst the plane trees of Shinjuku Gyoen on a cool late November afternoonPhoto: A man catches some Z's in Shinjuku Gyoen, TokyoPhoto: A row of plane trees at Shinjuku Park in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: A row of Plane trees in Shinjuku GyoenPhoto: Autumn leaves at a small shrine in Chiba prefecturePhoto: A shisa (guardian dog) at a local shrine with Autumn colors in the backgroundPhoto: Folks waiting on the light to change at a small intersection in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Fields ready for harvest in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: The Tokyo Sky Tree towers above Tokyo at duskPhoto: The sun sets over Tokyo and Mt FujiPhoto: A row of Ginko Trees at Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa, TokyoPhoto: A purple flowers stands out in a sea of orange at Showa Kinen Koen in Tachikawa, TokyoPhoto: Photo: Colors burst in the Autumn around a small shrine in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: A stone torii gate at a small shrine in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: A stone torii gate at a small shrine in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: You might not think much about the many apartment buildings you see throughout Japan, but sometimes they have amazing views...Photo: A large plane tree leaf sits among others on a mid November dayPhoto: Shibuya Crossing on a cold November DayPhoto: The Christmas Tree at the main entrance to Tokyo DisneylandPhoto: The Information booth at the Tokyo International ForumPhoto: Information at the main level of the Tokyo International ForumPhoto: The Tokyo Sky Tree and shops in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Photo: The elevator down into the shops and restaurants at Roppongi HillsPhoto: The Mori Tower in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: The Christmas lights around Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Christmas lights on a path pointing toward the Tokyo Tower near Roppongi HillsPhoto: A thick fog rolls over the mountains around Hakone, JapanPhoto: A torii gate at the edge of Lake Ashinoko in Hakone, JapanPhoto: Photo: The Christmas tree and lights at Tokyo Opera City in Shinjuku.Photo: The Metropolitan Expressway crossing over Shinjuku in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Two people walk toward each other in front of Christmas Lights in Shinjuku, TokyoPhoto: The renovated ceiling at Tokyo StationPhoto: Prada Building in TokyoPhoto: A busy evening at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Cars pass beneath a pedestrian overpass outside Shibuya Station, TokyoPhoto: Rows of sake barrells stacked up at Sensoji Temple, during the Hagoita Market time in December.Photo: A woman takes pictures of the crowds at Asakusa's Hagoita MarketPhoto: Crowds at Nakamise Dori - a path of shops leading the way to Sensoji Temple in AsakusaPhoto: People wave ritual smoke onto themselves at Sensoji Temple in AsakusaPhoto: My wife made gyoza from scratch - yum!Photo: Does grumpy cat like Japan?Photo: A giant ferris wheel at Kasai Rinkai Park in TokyoPhoto: A warm orange sunset behind the power lines and trees at Lake Teganuma in Kashiwa, Chiba PrefecturePhoto: A late December sunset along Lake Teganuma in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: A magical sunset on Lake Teganuma in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Boats sit idle in the waters of Lake Teganuma in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Dusk reflections on Lake Teganuma in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.Photo: A beautiful sunset along Lake Teganuma in Kashiwa, JapanPhoto: Photo: Waiting for the sun to rise at Sogokoen ParkPhoto: The sun rises over Tokyo Bay for the first time in 2013.Photo: The sun rises over Tokyo Bay for the first time in 2013, as seen from Sogokoen ParkPhoto: A man walks along the sea wall of Tokyo Bay at Sogokoen Park on January 1st, 2013Photo: One of the last photographers taking shots of the first sunrise of 2013 at Sogokoen ParkPhoto: Photo: A path lined with lanterns in the woods of HakonePhoto: A bridge crossing the Sumida River, leading to the Tokyo SkytreePhoto: The Tokyo Skytree and other buildings along the Sumida RiverPhoto: The Tokyo Skytree towers above a passing train on a cold Winter's nightPhoto: The Tokyo Tower in January of 2013Photo: A church that sits adjacent to the Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: A path leading past Zojoji Temple towards the Tokyo TowerPhoto: Travelers stuck from the snow at Mito Station in Ibaraki Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Travelers wait at Mito Station for the trains to begin moving through the snow.Photo: Photo: A woman walks down a snowy road in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: Folks driving through the snow in January 2013Photo: A Chinese restaurant in Japan ready for customers after a snow storm.Photo: The entrance to a shrine along a side street in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: Trains speed to and from Matsudo Station in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Photo: The setting sun, Mt Fuji, and the Tokyo Tower make an appearance on a January EveningPhoto: The Skytree towers over the buildings of TokyoPhoto: The skyline of Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Photo: Love Sculpture in Shinjuku, TokyoPhoto: Looking up at the skyscrapers of Shinjuku in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: The Skytreet towers over other Tokyo buildings, as seen from the Sun Tower in IkebukuroPhoto: People look out over Tokyo from the Sunshine Tower in IkebukuroPhoto: People look out over Tokyo from the Sunshine Tower in Ikebukuro.Photo: The area around Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo lights up as the night beginsPhoto: A sea of lights and concrete span into the night sky in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Looking up at the many skyscrapers of Shinbashi, TokyoPhoto: A Japanese fisherman fishing in the Seto Inland SeaPhoto: People admiring a plum blossom treet in Shinjuku Park, TokyoPhoto: Plum trees blossoming in Spring at Shinjuku ParkPhoto: A path through a small bamboo grove in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Photo: A beautiful evening in Shinagawa, TokyoPhoto: The Tokyo Monorail passes over the waters of Tokyo Bay in Tokyo's Minato WardPhoto: Cherry Blossoms blooming in March 2013 at Ueno Park, TokyoPhoto: Small statues placed around a shrine in Chiba PrefecturePhoto: Cherry Blossoms in full bloom in Nakameguro, TokyoPhoto: A lady passes by on bike beneath a row of Cherry Blossoms in Chiba Prefecure, JapanPhoto: People enjoy Hanami (flower viewing) parties at Ueno Park in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Cherry Blossoms at full bloom at Ueno Koen in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: A beautiful morning at Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Photo: Cherry Blossoms approaching full bloom around Matsumoto Castle, JapanPhoto: Photo: Photo: Trey Ratcliff's tech talk in April 2013 at Google Japan HQ in TokyoPhoto: Wooden ema (votive plaques) encircling a large oak tree at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: A beautiful sunset over Tokyo, Japan as seen from Tsukishima in Tokyo BayPhoto: The Chuo Ohashi Bridge crossing from Tsukishima on Tokyo BayPhoto: A view of Tokyo Station and the surrounding area from the Kitte BuildingPhoto: From Tokyo Station at the heart of Tokyo, you can go all over Japan!Photo: Decorations for "kodomo no hi," aka children's day near Takadanobaba Station in Tokyo.

#iphoneographyPhoto: Koinobori swim around in the wind in TokyoPhoto: Carp shaped streamers called koinobori sail in the wind in preparation for kid's day in JapanPhoto: An orange flowers stands out in a sea of blue nemophilia at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, JapanPhoto: A tree planted in the midst of thousands of blue nemophiliaPhoto: A sea of nemophilia cover a hillside at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Koinobori at Hitachi Seaside ParkPhoto: People enjoying a May sunset at the Tokyo SkytreePhoto: An iPhone shot of Mt Fuji this afternoon. Great weather today!Photo: A country road near Mt Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture, JapanPhoto: A view of Mt Fuji from a Japanese style room at the Guesthouse Sakuya in Kawaguchiko, JapanPhoto: Seeing Half The World

Took this with my iPhone this morning at a nice hotel near Mt Fuji. Quite a lovely view, I think!Photo: A late May sunset casts its beams over rice fields in Chiba Prefecture, JapanPhoto: Moments after the lights of the Skytree turn on, the cameras come out at Tokyo's Sumida Hotaru FestivalPhoto: Fake hotaru (fireflies) float by in the Sumida River at the 2013 Tokyo Hotaru FestivalPhoto: A man watches tuna swim by at an aquarium in Kasairinkai Park in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: Cars zoom past beneath a pedestrian overpass in Matsudo, JapanPhoto: A soft drink machine sits in front of an old building in Odawara, JapanPhoto: The colors of dusk near Shimotakaido Station in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: The Tokyo Skytree reaches into the light of another dimension...Photo: A sea of umbrealls cross the street in Shibuya, TokyoPhoto: Cars zoom by on a July evening in the heart of Tokyo

Blog: http://lestaylorphoto.comPhoto: Cars pass by Harajuku Station in Tokyo, JapanPhoto: A snowy evening in Yurakucho, Tokyo, JapanPhoto: People, Not Ants

Here's another from the Hitachi Seaside Park that I took last May. Maybe it's all the snow we've had, but the last couple of days I've been going back over these photos and longing for Spring...

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-day-at-hitachi-seaside-park/

#traveltuesday #japanPhoto: Ueno Burning Bright

Took this back in October at Ueno Station, but just now got around to processing it. I really enjoy the area around this station - lots of different scenery to enjoy as a photographer, and it's nice to have several good spots to shoot the station from as well.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/ueno-burning-bright/Photo: Salaryman's Winter || サラリーマンの冬

This is a shot took near Yurakucho Station in Tokyo during the first snow of the Winter. Although Spring is just around the corner (tomorrow actually!) today has felt a lot like Winter, so this shot seemed appropriate. It also seemed appropriate to offer for the new #cooljapan campaign going on. I know that's a dumb joke, but there you have it. :)

冬の初めての雪に有楽町駅と近くに撮りました。明日春になりますが、今日は東京でまだ冬みたいだから、たぶんこの写真は当たり前でしょうね。。。

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/salarymans-winter/

#100tokyoPhoto: Blanketed In Blossoms

This is another recently edited shot from last year's trip to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. The area around the castle grounds is especially beautiful, with several different types of Sakura on the premises. Definitely worth checking out if you're in Japan at the time! Actually, I'm thinking of going somewhere near Tokyo during Cherry Blossom season this year. Anyone have any suggestions of places to visit close to Tokyo for the Sakura season?

Speaking of which, +Elia Locardi & +Trey Ratcliff definitely recommend this area for exploration if you can fit it in your schedule while you're in the country. :)

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/cherry-blossoms-in-matsumoto/

#cooljapan #cherryblossoms #travelPhoto: Blue Night on the Rainbow Bridge

Went out to Odaiba last night with a local friend who is getting into photography. The weather was lovely and it wasn't too crowded which is always nice. Thankfully the air is still clear (i.e. not humid) so there was good visibility for this photo. In the background you can see the Tokyo Tower, which is currently lit up pink for Sakura season.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/blue-night-rainbow-bridge/

#cooljapan #100tokyoPhoto: Skytree Karaoke

Karaoke at the Skytree anyone? I was doing some scouting around Asakusa today for a photo shoot I'm hoping to do in the near future when I ran across this scene in a small alley. Quite a change of pace from all the cherry blossoms I've been shooting this week!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/skytree-karaoke/Photo: Mist of Enoshima

Last week I was able to take a trip to Enoshima with fellow photographer +Anthony Wood. This is a perfect place for long exposure shots using an ND (neutral density) filter, and thankfully Anthony let me borrow his. Unfortunately I forgot my shutter release so I could only go for 30 seconds, but for a first try I'm pretty happy. Only problem is, can't figure out if I like the color or monochrome version better. Check out today's post to see both and let me know!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/mist-of-enoshima/

#japan #travelPhoto: Ferns of Kamakura

Last week when exploring one of the many interesting parts of Kamakura with +Anthony Wood, I came across some ferns growing on the side of a path. Normally I'd probably pass by without much thought but the fresh green of the leaves mixed with the lighting of the morning caught my eye. Details like these can be easy to overlook, but paying attention as a photographer can be rewarding!

More photos at the blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/ferns-of-kamakura/Photo: Man Eating Plant

Well, maybe just another fern. But still seems like you wouldn't want to put your hand in there.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/ferns-of-kamakura/Photo: Shimotsui Sunset || 下津井の夕焼け

This last week my family got to spend some time in Okayama Prefecture. We lived here three years ago, so it was nice to visit some friends. Of course, I was excited to spend some time photographing this area which I came to love during our time there. This particular photo comes from the fishing village of Shimotsui; this town holds a very special place in my heart. You can read more about it at today's blog.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/shimotsui-sunset/

#travel #japan #hdrPhoto: Dusk On The Canal

During my family's trip to Okayama Prefecture last week, one place I made sure to visit was the historical Bikan District of Kurashiki City. I've been here before actually, but I didn't take many photos then. While exploring online before our trip, I was surprised to find that there weren't many photos on the internet in general. So I made it my goal to capture some nice shots and share the beauty of this gorgeous section of Kurashiki. This was one of my favorite shots from the evening, but there are many more at the blog so make sure to check it out!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/kurashiki-bikan-historical-district/

#travel #japanPhoto: Evening Delivery

I love the feel of the Bikan Quarter in Kurashiki City. Aside from the lovely architecture from hundreds of years ago, they even made sure to avoid above ground power lines in order to preserve that atmosphere. And although this is a modern delivery man with a modern company, being as it is a merchant's district, I suppose delivery service is something the area is quite accustomed to.

More at the blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/kurashiki-bikan-historical-district/

#travel #japanPhoto: Stroll Through The Bikan

If you're looking for a good place to go for a stroll in Kurashiki City, the Bikan District is a good place for it. After a long day at work, I think it would be quite relaxing.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/kurashiki-bikan-historical-district/

#japan #travelPhoto: Canal Blues

Hundreds of years ago, this canal was used to deliver various items through this merchant district of Kurashiki City. Now, during the day boats travel through it carrying passengers who want a unique view of the area using a traditional method. But at night, the district falls quiet and reflections of blue evening skies light up the waters.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/kurashiki-bikan-historical-district/

#japan #travelPhoto: Lead Me Through the Storm

This is a shot I grabbed just as we were about to leave Takamatsu station for the airport. In fact, we just about missed our bus, but I really wanted to grab one last photo of the Inland Sea from the Shikoku side. You can read more about it at the blog today, but it's enough to say that I'm glad I pushed my luck and got this shot.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/lead-me-through-the-storm/

#japan #monochrome #blackandwhitePhoto: Fuji From The Air

Seeing Fuji from the ground is spectacular enough, but a view from the air is something extra special! During my family's flight down to Okayama Prefecture, we were lucky enough to catch a great view of Japan's famous mountain as we flew by. Also, in today's post I talk about some tips for shooting from an airplane, which I hope will benefit you if you're ever trying to capture a scene from your seat.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/fuji-from-the-air/

#japan #travelPhoto: The Giant of Shimotsui

People know Japan for famous locations like Kyoto and Tokyo, and while both are great, I believe you best experience Japanese culture in the small places that are off the grid. The fishing village of Shimotsui in Okayama Prefecture is such a place. I worked in this town for a year in 2010-2011, and had a chance to return last month. This was one of my favorites I took while exploring the town again.

More here: http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-morning-walk-around-shimotsui/

#japan #travel  Photo: Anyone else watch TMNT as a kid?

This photo reminds me of the opening to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I used to watch that show all the time when I was a kid. I had all the toys, too. Maybe that's why I like this shot so much.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/city-in-the-sky/

#japan #travel #teenagemutantninjaturtles  Photo: Sunset at Kegon Falls

My brother has been in town this week, so we took a short trip to the town of Nikko. It's a famous place here in Japan, and although filled with ancient temples and the like, we went to enjoy nature, of which there is also plenty! This particular shot comes from Kegon Falls, one of Japan's most famous. Although we weren't able to visit the lower observation deck, we did get to enjoy quite a sunset from the upper level. :)

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/sunset-at-kegon-waterfall/

#japan #travel  Photo: Alone on Chuzenji

Today's photo goes to show you how much can go on behind the scenes of a photo that you may never see! All was calm on the lake, but on the shore not far away,  something much less relaxing was going on. You can read more about it at the blog, but I'll say it involved a wild monkey and a little girl. Never been a big fan of monkeys....

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/alone-on-chuzenji/

#monochromemonday #japan #travel  Photo: Ride Through The Bikan

Sometimes getting low in a shot allows you to get a unique vantage point and thus a unique photo. However, getting low can be tough on occasion. Thankfully along the canal of the Bikan District in Kurashiki, there's a little place you can stand that's lower than the main walkway, which is where I took this from. Always nice when you can get the shot without being in someone's way (or having to lay across the ground)!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/ride-through-the-bikan/Photo: Rock of Ages

This photo comes from the lovely island of Enoshima. I went back in April with fellow photographer +Anthony Wood and he let me borrow his neutral density filter. It was my first time trying one, but I've since bought one for myself and used it on several different occasions already. Enoshima is a great place for this kind of photography though - amazing rock formations with some fantastic textures as well.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/rock-of-ages/

#japan #travel #landscapephotography  Photo: Ueno Lotus Flower

I stopped by Ueno Park the other night on my way home to take a few photos. I haven't really been out to shoot in several weeks, so I wanted to get out and stretch my photo muscles a little bit. Although the flowers haven't fully bloomed yet by any means, they are starting to. I think the mix of pink and green is a pleasant sight.

Blog Post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-lotus-flower-in-ueno-park/

#japan #travel  Photo: Shiraito Falls & New Video Tutorial

Several weeks ago I had a meeting down in Shizuoka that went into the afternoon, but left just enough time to visit the nearby Shiraito Falls. I had finally purchased an ND filter and was ready to give it a try. The falls did not disappoint! This was one of my favorites from my trip, but there are several more at my blog. There's also a new video tutorial I did showing how I edit my photos using Lightroom, so hope you'll check it out!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/shiraito-falls/

#japan #travel #waterfalls  Photo: Tokyo Blade

One of the reasons I enjoy photographing out in nature is you don't have to worry about a security guard telling you that you aren't allowed to take photos. I feel like it happens too often in the city. In fact, it happened just a minute or two after grabbing this shot! I'm sure the people who don't like you taking photos of various things or from various places have their reasons. But it sure is a pain when you've traveled a good bit and only been shooting for maybe 10 minutes! Thankfully, those minutes were enough to get a shot I could work with - this was the last one I took before the security guy told me I had to stop. :)

More thoughts at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/tokyo-blade/

#monochromemonday #japan #architecture  Photo: Life Flow

This photo comes from the beautiful Shiraito Falls in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Because these falls are so far from my home (and also out of general photographic discipline) I wanted to really work the scene and gather as many shots from the falls as I could. I really liked this photo because to me it shows how much life there really is at this waterfall. It's not all just rocks and flowing water - there's all sorts of lovely natural growth around the basin. The harmony of life in creation is quite a wonder to me.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/shiraito-falls/

#japan #waterfallwednesday #wetwednesday  Photo: Dancing On The Rooftops

This past weekend I visited the Narita Gion Matsuri with fellow photographer +Anthony Wood. I haven't really been to many festivals since coming back to Japan in 2012, so I was excited to have the opportunity to check this one out. It was a really fun festival - the perfect mixture of the traditional and playful aspects of Japanese culture. I share a bunch more photos over at the blog, so be sure to check more out there as well.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/narita-gion-matsuri/

#japan #travel #culture #festivalPhoto: Light The Way

The crowds at the Narita Gion Matsuri can get pretty heavy. Since the floats need to use the same road most of the visitors are using, it's important to let people know when they're about to come by. This lady holding the lantern is attempting to do just that, though I'm not sure how effective it is. Looks neat though! :)

More photos at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/narita-gion-matsuri/

#japan #travel  Photo: Waterfall In The Woods

When I went to Kegon Falls in June with my brother, we went kind of late in the day, which meant we weren't able to visit the lower level of the observation deck. Knowing we wouldn't return the next day, this left me with only a few options for shooting the waterfall. But seeing as I always like to get as many photos as I can from different angles, this presented a bit of a challenge! Thankfully, this spot through the woods helped me out. Though I'm not sure it's a typical waterfall shot, I still like it. :)

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/waterfall-in-the-woods/Photo: Pay The Piper

I don't know if these guys actually get paid. My guess is no. But one could make the case that they should considering how much they do at these festivals. Although, I suppose I'd much prefer this to having to put the floats up and down the streets!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/narita-gion-matsuri/

#japan #travel #traveltuesday #festival  Photo: Bamboo Forest of Hokokuji

I suppose Kyoto's bamboo forest is likely Japan's most famous, and for good reason, but there are many lovely bamboo groves around the country. This one is part of Hokokuji Temple in Kamakura. Lovely place to enjoy this unique sight, as well as some great maccha.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/hokokuji-bamboo-forest/

#japan #travel #hdr  Photo: Light Up My Skies

We had our local summer fireworks festival here in my town this weekend. Shooting fireworks is always fun, and actually pretty easy if you know what you're doing. If you'd like to know some tips on shooting fireworks, or just want to see more photos from the festival, check out today's blog post here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/photographing-summer-fireworks/

#japan #travel #fireworksPhoto: Summer Celebration

If there's one thing Japan knows how to do, it's fireworks. Went to our town's fireworks festival his past weekend and really enjoyed it! This was one of my favorite shots from the evening.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/photographing-summer-fireworks/

#japan #fireworks #summer #cooljapan  Photo: Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Went to my first Japanese baseball game this weekend with my oldest daughter and some friends, and we had a blast! As someone who loves baseball anyway, it was really interesting to see the differences between a game in the U.S. and a game here in Japan.  This is a 4 photo panorama taken w/ my D7000 and a Tokina 11-16mm, stitched together in Photoshop CC.

Some thoughts on the game and more photos at my blog:
http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-yomiuri-giants-game-at-tokyo-dome/

#japan #travel #panorama #yomiurigiants #baseball   #cooljapan  Photo: Moonlit Fireworks

Another from our local fireworks show. Pretty nice to have fireworks and a backdrop of a lovely crescent moon. :) I also share several tips on shooting fireworks at my blog, so be sure to check that out too!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/photographing-summer-fireworks/

#japan #travel #fireworks #photography  Photo: Evening Begins In Tokyo

The area around Ueno Station is one of my favorites for shooting in the city. It's so diverse! This comes from one of the many pedestrian overpasses surrounding the station.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/evening-begins-in-tokyo/

#japan #travel #hdr #cooljapan  Photo: Movement of Shiraito

For me, this photo is a lesson in not trashing mistakes immediately. This photo of the lovely Shiraito Falls in Shizuoka Prefecture is made up of 3 different exposures. Unfortunately for me, all three were badly underexposed. But thanks to the power of RAW, Lightroom, and Photoshop, I was able to work those images into this final one. Of course, it's always better to get the shot right in camera, but I'm glad I was able to make the mistakes work for this. You can see the underexposed images I worked with at my blog post here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/movement-of-shiraito-falls/

#japan #travel #waterfall  Photo: Skytree Nightfall

I'll always prefer the colors of dusk with a lovely beach scene or mountainous landscape, but the view of the Tokyo Skytree from the Arakawa River offers a great combo as well.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/skytree-nightfall/

#japan #travel #cooljapan #tokyoskytree  Photo: Chiba City Blues

While not as exciting perhaps as the skylines of Tokyo, the view of Chiba City from the Chiba Port Tower is still pretty impressive in my book. The tower itself is actually quite unique as well, and especially  nice since you can use a tripod. You can read more about the tower here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/blue-evening-over-chiba-city/

#japan #travel  Photo: Rain Chain

This week is a big one for me as a photographer. After quite some time of saving and an equal amount of anticipation, I finally made the switch to full frame and purchased the Nikon D610. Unfortunately it's been a bit rainy this week, so I haven't had the chance to really test it out, but I have taken it around my town grabbing shots wherever I can. Looking forward to really testing it out with the great colors and textures of Autumn, which are just around the corner.

Read some of my first impressions on the switch at my blog:
http://lestaylorphoto.com/first-impressions-making-the-switch-to-full-frame/

#japan #D610 #nikonPhoto: Dreams of Autumn

It's not quite Autumn yet, but it is September, and thus begins my favorite months of the year. And those great fall colors are just around the bend. This comes from Shinjuku Park a couple of years back.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/autumn-lane-in-shinjuku-park/

#japan #travel  Photo: That Feeling When We Cross Paths

I like a good light trail photo as much as the next guy, but there are certain situations where I think a little less movement works better. This was a half second exposure - enough to capture the movement of the cars, but not enough for any long trails. I think that small amount of movement worked well in this case, as it gives a better sense of the busy flow of traffic at this intersection.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/crossing-paths-in-tokyo/

#japan #cooljapan #travel #tokyo  Photo: Vibrance In The Dreariness

Lots of rain here lately, or if it's not raining, my schedule hasn't worked out, so I haven't really been able to fully test my new D610 yet. Be that as it may, I did take it out earlier this week. A rainy day with my camera in Tokyo inevitably means a trip to the International Forum. I love the huge glass windows. They offer a lot of great opportunities no matter what the weather.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/rainy-day-at-the-tokyo-international-forum/

#japan #travel #rainyday #nikon #d610  Photo: Early Fallen

In a quiet corner of a small shrine, evidence that summer is on its way out. Autumn is almost here.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/autumn-is-on-the-way/

#japan #autumn #fall #nikond610  Photo: Warmth Of A Narita Autumn

As I look forward to the coming autumn, I’ve been going through some of my old fall photos to practice and prepare my processing techniques. I’ve learned some different things since last season, so it’s interesting to go back to some old photos with a newer set of processing skills with which to approach each photo. It’s also nice to remember what places are worth going back to visit during the season this year, and Narita-san temple is one spot I definitely plan to visit again.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/warmth-of-a-narita-autumn/

#japan #travel #autumn #fall #foliage  Photo: Autumn On The Rocks

As I've been pursuing photography more, I've realized how much I love nature and landscapes, so I've been looking for opportunities to focus more on that. Unfortunately, Tokyo is not exactly the best place for those kinds of images. However, there are some good locations if you know where to look. I took this on a hike around the Mt. Mitake area on Tuesday, which is technically in the Tokyo prefectural limits. This specific location is known as the Rock Garden - a large grouping of moss covered stones with a lovely, quiet stream flowing through them. Although the forest surrounding the stones was still mostly green, this fallen orange leaf heralds the season that is just around the bend.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/autumn-on-the-rocks/

#japan #nature #travel #landscape #autumn  Photo: Living Water of Mitake

This is probably my favorite shots from my recent hike around Mt. Mitake, taken in the Rock Garden area of the hike. By the time I got to this location, I had waded barefoot in water, dropped my hat in a stream, straddled slippery rocks and logs, and various other photographic acrobatics. To be able to rest along this quiet running water, and sit down easily to shoot it, was a real relief. I was also captivated by how green everything around it was. It's amazing how just a little bit of water can give life to everything around it, even the rocks through which it flows.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/mt-mitake-rock-garden/

#japan #water #longexposure #nature  Photo: Nanayo Falls

One of the main spots I visited during my Mt. Mitake hike was Nanayo Falls. At 50 meters tall, it's not a major waterfall, but still worth the visit and a photo, even if it involves taking your shoes off and wading in barefoot (which it did)! You can see the proof at my recent blog post. :)

Today's post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/nanayo-falls-at-mt-mitake/

#japan #waterfall #nature #landscapephotography  Photo: Sensoji's 5 Story Pagoda

Earlier this week I took a trip down to Asakusa in Tokyo with my oldest daughter. She's been getting into photography, and about to turn 6 (which means she'll cost half price on the trains instead of being free), so it seemed like as good a time as any to take a little trip together. It was also nice for me, as it was a chance to really test out my new 16-35mm lens on my also new D610. This was one of my favorite shots, and solidified how good a combo these will be. Incidentally, this photo has an HDR feel to me, but it's actually not. This was edited primarily in lightroom from a single RAW file shot handheld. Pretty amazing how much detail can be gathered from these files.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/the-five-story-pagoda-of-sensoji/

#japan #travel #tokyo #photography #nikon #cooljapan  Photo: The Meat Shop

I've been trying this year to take more photos that share the everyday kinds of scenes one might see around Japan. While epic landscapes and cityscapes may pull a person to travel somewhere, I think these kinds of images are the ones that draw up nostalgia after a visit. I took this one just last week here in my town in Chiba Prefecture.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-meat-shop-in-chiba/

#japan #photography #nikond610 #travel  Photo: Sunset Fit For A King

This was the sunset tonight in Tokyo. I was out with my daughter taking photos, not really expecting to get anything good, just happy to spend time with her. Then we were greeted with this insanely beautiful sunset. We happened to be next to the Emperor's palace, so we headed and over and shot from the moat. A very nice experience. :)

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/emperors-palace-at-sunset/

#japan #travel #sunset #nikond610   #cooljapanPhoto: Hung By The Scooter With Care

Took this just this evening, testing out my new 50mm f/1.8G on the Nikon D610. Liking the combination. This scene is a pretty typical one when exploring small areas of Japan.Photo: Autumn Preview

Yesterday I had a meeting in Gunma prefecture, and was able to eat lunch with several people on Lake Haruna, which is a volcanic lake atop Mt. Haruna. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great for enjoying the mountains that surround the lake, but the autumn colors at this elevation were great, and the clouds offered wonderful lighting to enjoy them. A little preview of the colors that are soon to make their way down the mountains here for the rest of us. :)

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/autumn-on-lake-haruna/

#japan #autumn #nikon  Photo: Follow The Red Bush Road

Been pretty busy lately and haven't had a good chance to go out and shoot, although thankfully that's going to change this week with a visit to Fuji and Karuizawa. However, I did get a chance this past week to visit Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture. Unfortunately I arrived a bit late, but it was still great to see in person.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/kochia-at-hitachi-seaside-park/

#japan #cooljapan #travel #autumn #nikon  Photo: Fisherman's Shack

It feels like a long time since I’ve really put up a new photo. The last few months have been relatively quiet in terms of photography, but this last week I was able to make up for that. I took a trip with fellow photographer Anthony Wood to Kawaguchiko and Karuizawa to photograph the autumn colors which are popping around Japan right now. I took over 1000 photos (around 32GB worth) and although many of these are destined for the trash bin, that’s still a lot of photos to go through! And that’s just the beginning of the photos I’ll be taking during the next couple of months. It will take me a while to process my favorites and get them finished up, but this is a pretty simple shot that I enjoyed, so I thought I'd share it now. Found this old, decaying fishing shack next to the lake while wandering around.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/fishermans-shack-of-kawaguchiko/

#japan #autumn #travel #decay  Photo: Where The Light Is

Shooting a lovely chapel like this is nice enough. Doing it with beautiful autumn colors around and the sound of Christmas bells resounding in the air is pretty fantastic. A little more about this little church in Karuizawa at my blog:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/chapel-at-karuizawa-kogen-church/

#japan #travel #churches #autumn  Photo: Sunset on Usui Lake

This was the final stop +Anthony Wood and I took during a recent 3 day trip across several prefectures, and what a great way to end the trip! The colors of autumn and the sunset put on a nice display for us, and the lake was calm, with hardly anyone else around. These are the kinds of photographic moments I live for! :)

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/sunset-on-usui-lake/

#japan #sunset #travel #hdr #nikon #夕焼け #群馬県  Photo: Colorful Curves of Autumn

Nothing like a nice drive along a mountain road during autumn! This photo comes from such a drive in Gunma Prefecture. Also, I have a new video tutorial up today giving a rundown on how I processed this image, so be sure to check it out on today's blog post!

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/colorful-autumn-road-in-japan/

#japan #cooljapan #travel #autumn #群馬県 #秋  Photo: Autumn Vibrations

Been a busy week. Currently in the process of trying to get my Japanese driver's license, which will be a huge blessing for a lot of reasons. Kind of nice to work on a simple, calm image like this right now.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/autumn-vibrations/

#japan #autumn #minimal #nikon #fall  Photo: Atami Castle at Blue Hour

If you've ever watched Godzilla vs. King Kong, you might recognize the castle in this image. This is the Atami Castle in Shizuoka Prefecture. I got to shoot it yesterday on my way back from a church event down there. Glad to say despite the devastation caused by monsters, it was looking beautiful as ever. :)

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/atami-castle-shizuoka-prefecture/

#japan #cooljapan #nikon #travel #castles  Photo: Where Earth Meets Sky

Took this the other day at Hokokuji in Kamakura. Was doing some family photos for friends before they return to the US, but couldn't resist grabbing some shots of the bamboo before we left. Lots of info on how I processed this image at my blog, so check it out!

http://lestaylorphoto.com/where-earth-meets-sky/

#japan #cooljapan #nikon #kamkura #travel  Photo: Autumn At Rest

Found this spot with +Anthony Wood while exploring some woods in Gunma Prefecture in November. Reminds me a lot of where I used to live in North Carolina. Not many places in Japan can do that. :)

More thoughts and processing details at my blog:
http://lestaylorphoto.com/an-autumn-creek-in-japan/

#japan #autumn #nature #群馬県  Photo: Love! Loud! Xmas!

I don't know that I love loud xmas, but apparently Shibuya does. I suppose it's fitting for this intriguing part of the city. Took this earlier this week while down in the area. More thoughts and some info on how I processed the image at my blog here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/christmas-in-shibuya-tokyo/

#japan #cooljapan #travel #tokyo #christmas #hdr  Photo: Yellow On Red

I always enjoy when colors naturally contrast well in nature. Found this yellow leaf resting atop a red bush along the shore of Lake Kawaguchiko at the base of Mt. Fuji in early November.

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
Shot Info: f/1.8 | 1/1250 | ISO100 | 50mm

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/yellow-on-red/

#japan #autumn #nikon  Photo: Water From The Rock

This photo comes from Shiraito Falls in Nagano Prefecture. Unlike normal waterfalls where the water flows from a river, at this location, the water literally bursts forth from the ground! Pretty neat sight!

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/shiraito-waterfall-in-nagano-japan/

#japan #waterfall #nikon #longexposure  Photo: First Sunrise of 2015

Took this on January 1st from Kyujyukyuri beach on Japan's Pacific coast. Having recently received our Japanese driver's licenses, my family decided to rent a car and head there to see the first light of the new year. Although clouds blocked the sun itself until later in the day, the colors of the morning were still spectacular. More on the trip and my post processing technique for this photo at today's blog post:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/first-sunrise-at-chibas-pacific-coast/

#japan #newyear2015 #sunrise #千葉県 #pacificocean  Photo: Through Clear Glasses

This is the Meganebashi Bridge in Gunma Prefecture. "Meganebashi" literally means "glasses bridge," a name it received due to its glasses like shape. I was happy to be able to get this shot because I think the bridge has a lot of character to it. I love the rich colors of the brick as well as the great texture that comes along with it. Mixed together with the colors of autumn, it becomes a great scene you can only find in the mountains of Japan.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/autumn-beneath-the-meganebashi-bridge/

#japan #travel #photography #nikon #bridges #群馬県  Photo: || Stone At Rest ||

I don't do much editing these days that takes the image far beyond the scope of how the original scene looked, but I believe creative flexibility is important. That's what I used in this image, and I also have a video up at my blog showing how I got the nice milky smooth effect in the sky. Check it out here: http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-stone-at-rest/

#japan #travel #monochromemonday #nikon #longexposure  Photo: Haneda Sunset

This is a photo I took out at Haneda a couple of weeks ago for +JapanTravel. I was there primarily to take photos and write an article for them on a new restaurant called Hitoshinaya. It's not just the assignment talking when I say it was delicious! You can read the full article and see other photos here:

http://en.japantravel.com/view/hitoshinaya-restaurant-tokyo-haneda-airport

#japan #travel #mtfuji #sunset #tokyo  Photo: Stones of Choshi

A couple of weeks back I took a trip out to Choshi in Chiba Prefecture with +Anthony Wood for a day of shooting. I intended to get out for the sunrise, but due to navigation error on my part, I missed it. I hoped I'd at least catch a nice sunset, but then it clouded over. Sometimes, you just gotta work with what you have! I really liked the red moss (I guess it's moss?) growing on the rocks here, so I tried to emphasize that in my editing process. One major tool I used for that is color range selection. You can see more about it in quick tip video I made, which is in today's blog post. Check it out here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/stones-of-choshi-color-range-selection-tutorial/

#japan #travel #landscapephotography #nikon #phototips  Photo: Free E-Book! 10 Tips For Shooting The Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossom season in Japan is one of my favorite times of year, and this year I'm releasing my first ever ebook just in time for the coming seasons. It's totally free when you sign up for my photography newsletter. Sign up & get your copy here: eepurl.com/baLQNT

Here's one one of the images included in the book, and a favorite from last season.

#japan #photography #travel #ebook  Photo: Shoot For The Moon

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." - Norman Vincent Peale

http://lestaylorphoto.com/shoot-for-the-moon/

#japan #lighthouse #nightphotography #travel  Photo: Sakura Sunburst

Been hard at work recently trying to prep for my first newsletter! I've got a ton of pictures from cherry blossom season to share, and this is a little sneak peak of one I took in the Yanaka Cemetery. I'll also be sharing some free Lightroom presets, as well as a huge discount code for buying prints, so be sure to sign up soon. It'll be out later this week! Here's the link to sign up: http://eepurl.com/baLQNT

#japan #sakura2015 #cooljapan #lightroom #travel  Photo: A glowing sunset casts its warmth across cherry blossoms in Itabashi, Tokyo. http://lestaylorphoto.comPhoto: Sakura By Lamp Light

Finally got up a post with a bunch of my cherry blossom photos from around Tokyo this year. This was a favorite. You can see them all here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/cherry-blossom-season-in-tokyo/

#japan #cooljapan #travel #sakura2015 #nikon #tokyo  Photo: Asleep Beneath The Stars

I've been fortunate enough to visit Mt Fuji many times during my time living in Japan, and I hope to do it many more times. Most recently, while on a camping trip with family, I got to see it from Lake Motosoku. I got very little sleep, but the shots I got made it worth it! Of course, I'm often reminded that Fuji will one day erupt again, likely forever changing its form once again as it has throughout the past. I wonder what form that will take. I'm glad I get to shoot it during this stage anyway.

More at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/mt-fuji-beneath-the-stars/

#japan #mtfuji #astrophotography #travel  Photo: Magic of Motosuko || 本栖湖の魔法

After a long night of shooting the stars and milky way around Lake Motosuko at the base of Mt. Fuji, I was greeted with a spectacular sunrise. Yet, the glass like appearance of the lake wouldn't last for long - within about 15 minutes of taking this photo, a slight breeze was blowing along the surface of the water, leaving enough ripples to disturb the perfect reflection. Even such a small amount of time can make a huge difference in the final image! More about that at today's blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/mt-fuji-on-lake-motosuko/

#japan #mtfuji #landscapephotography #travel #nikon  Photo: Blue Hour at Higashiyama Gion in Kyoto

Last week I spent several days in Kyoto shooting for a digital workshop I'm planning to release later this year. While my filming went on at one location, I obviously had to use the opportunity to explore around this amazing city. One place that wasn't far from where I stayed was the Gion District of Higashiyama. This area is famous for the Geisha who do business there, but even if you don't run across any, it's still worth the time to stroll through and take some photos. Perfect location to enjoy the atmosphere of old Japan. Incidentally, I used Lightroom's new HDR feature to edit this photo, and you can read about my impressions at today's blog post.

http://lestaylorphoto.com/highashiyama-gion-in-kyoto/

#japan #cooljapan #nikon #hdr #lightroomcc #travel  Photo: Alone, At Last

On the first morning of my recent trip to Kyoto, I had planned to start filming for an upcoming project, but the weather had different ideas. But, where one door closes another opens, so I headed over to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. Here, thousands of torii gates line paths through the woods. It's a place you can spend plenty of time exploring, though it can get crowded. Thankfully, the rain, light though it was, held the flow of visitors at bay, and let me take photos to my heart's content.

More photos at my blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/fushimi-inari-shrine-in-kyoto/

#japan #kyoto #travel #photography #nikon  Photo: *Accenting Colors || アクセントカラー *

I'm not entirely sure why there were yellow leaves along this path in the middle of May, but nevertheless they were there. Everything outside of this path was as green as it gets! This is another shot from my recent post from Fushimi Inari in Kyoto. See the link below for more.

五月なのに、伏見稲荷大社で紅葉のような葉っぱを見つけたんです。この道いがいにはすべては緑でした。変だと思ったけど、よい機会でしょうね!最近のブログで余分の写真が見える。

http://lestaylorphoto.com/fushimi-inari-shrine-in-kyoto/

#japan #travel #fushimiinari #kyoto #nikon #cooljapan  Photo: Motosuko Milky Way || 本栖湖と天の川

During my camping trip with my family to Lake Motosuko a couple of months back, I decided to try my hand at some astrophotography. I certainly have a lot to learn moving forward, but I really enjoyed it and will definitely be giving it a try again in the near future. In the meantime, here's a favorite of mine from the trip.

家族といっしょに本栖湖でキャンプした時に、天体写真術をやろうと思っていました。確かに分からないところはいっぱいでしたが、本当に楽しかったですし、すぐ続きたいと思います。そうしているうちに、これは本栖湖で取った写真の一つです。

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/lake-motosuko-and-the-milkyway/

#japan #astrophotography #nikon #mtfuji  Photo: Scenic Serendipity || 風光明媚なセレンディピティ

During my trip to Kyoto last month, I had intended to shoot Kiyomizu Temple at sunset, only to find it closed at 6, much too early to shoot what I had planned. A bit disappointed, I headed back down the long path home, watching as the sunset become more colorful by the minute. Thankfully, the path back took me right down this road by the Yasaka Pagoda just as the mixture of colors, clouds and crowds (or lack thereof) was perfect for the shot. I suppose I'll take it if I must!
I also have a new Photography Quick Tip up on my blog showing how I used split toning in creating this image, so be sure to check that out!

京都に行った時に清水寺から夕焼けの撮影をやるつもりだったけど、6時に閉まったんです。早すぎと思ったが、何もできないから残念な気持ちで帰り始めた。ありがたいに、ジャストなタイミングに帰り道が八坂神社を通りました。誰もいなかったし色と雲が合わせて、この写真を撮ることできました。清水寺から撮りたかったけど、これもいいでしょうね!

Blog: http://lestaylorphoto.com/sunset-at-the-yasaka-pagoda-in-kyoto/

#japan #travel #cooljapan #nikon #kyoto  Photo: Sunrise Through The Pines || 松原の日の出

After a long, sleepless night of photography, this was a good way to start the day! Took this during a camping trip in April. More at my blog, so check it out!

徹夜してから、新しい日をこのように始まるのはかなり良かったと思ったんです!数ヶ月前キャンプした時にこの写真を撮りました。ブログでもう少し読めるのです。英語ですが。。。

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/sunrise-through-the-pines/

#japan #sunrise #hdr #landscapephotography #nature  Photo: Behind Closed Doors

A Lightroom only edit from my trip to Kyoto last month.

Blog post: http://lestaylorphoto.com/behind-closed-doors-kyoto-japan/

#japan #travel #lightroom #kyoto #nikon  Photo: When We Come To It

I've been working on my photographic discipline this year, trying to plan my photos out a bit better and be more purposeful in what I shoot (or don't shoot). But sometimes you see a scene that captures your attention even though it wasn't planned. This was one of those. I took this near Ryugaeshi Falls in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. More about the shot and editing process at my recent blog post:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/a-bridge-in-the-woods-of-nagano/

#japan #landscapephotography #nature #nikon  Photo: Day's End At Ninenzaka

Learn more about this quaint area of Kyoto, as well as how I captured the scene with no one in it, at my recent blog post:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/days-end-at-ninenzaka-kyoto/

#japan #travel #nikon #kyoto  Photo: Old Kyoto Shop In Autumn || 秋の京都の古い店

Just another scene in Kyoto, but with an autumn feel it's quite lovely.

ただの京都の光景ですが、秋の感じで素敵だと思います。

#japan #kyoto #travel #autumn #fall #nikon #京都  Photo: Of Leaves and Light || 葉と光

Took this just about a year ago in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Love when the light hits a pile of leaves just right!

ちょうど一年前ぐらい、長野県でこの写真を撮りました。葉と光が会わせるといい感じだね!

http://lestaylorphoto.com

#japan #autumn #nature #nikon #紅葉 #foliage  Photo: Mt Fuji Reflected In Rice Paddies

Earlier this month I took a trip to the Mt Fuji area, and before I left was able to meet up with +Yuga Kurita, who introduced me to this beautiful spot. With the rice just beginning to sprout from the water and a lightly snow-capped Fuji in the distance, to me it was quintessential Japan!

I also edited this photo only with Lightroom, and you can see the before and after comparison at my blog here:

http://lestaylorphoto.com/mt-fuji-reflected-rice-paddies/

#mountainmonday #japan #travel #landscapephotography