I teach at an international high school in Japan. This term I’m in charge of an elective on contemporary events as seen through media studies and literary theory. I’ve opened the term by exploring stereotypes. I want to share with you what they’ve been teaching me, starting with the fact that it is natural and good to discriminate against women. A few weeks ago I assigned two readings, one on ultra orthodox Jews who have been refusing to sit next to women on International flights and another on women who are snubbed… Read More
Yesterday was the first day of spring and we took a drive down the eastern coast from Kanagawa to Shizuoka stopping along the way, near sunset, to take photos — I love sunsets. (Sunrises happen too early for me.) 😉 In Photoshop I recently learned how to use the custom filter (filter –> other –> custom), working out how to design my own filter to add grain into my images. It’s kinda like cooking: I know there’s a ready-made filter to add grain, but it just feels more satisfying to make your… Read More
I’ve been learning InDesign. If every anyone told you Photoshop had a learning curve, InDesign has been more of a sheer wall of rock in the rain. I’m not complaining. By using InDesign I can see just how much of our world is preplanned. Fonts are a great example. How many of you ever stop to notice what font you’re reading, it’s color, placement on a surface, its spacing? Do you want to gleam the forethought that goes into our modern world — InDesign is a great tool to show you. After… Read More
One of my favorite purchases has been my Sigma 4.5mm fisheye. I take it with me as part of my kit and try to shoot with it to see what I can do — and when it’s good, it’s very good. But what to do with all these round images? Here are a few different ways I’ve found to express my content with the fisheye. These are from a theme park in Noboribetsu, an Edo style village. In one location are mannequins set up to approximate the way people in the Edo… Read More
I have been learning exponentially. I can’t explain it, but I’ve hit a new groove which has given me confidence behind the camera. These photos will not appear on WordPress as they appear to me because WordPress flattens out the color space from the larger ProPhoto I use on my computer to sRGB. It’s heartbreaking because the colors as they should appear are richer and more weighted. So, I invite you to check out my Flicker page to see these, and other, as I intended them to be seen. … Read More
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve taken up drinking as a new hobby. Let me explain. For Christmas a friend sent me the book The 12 Bottle Bar. Christmas puts me in a shopping mood and I was looking for something new in 2015, so I got it into my head that I need those 12 bottles. Mission complete, I mixed a few drinks a night, tasting things along the way. One of the first surprises was Vermouth. I’ve been using it in my cooking since I was in high… Read More
I really did and do intend to blog — really, really, really I do — but I get distracted easily. (Squirrel!) I’ve been studying Photoshop through Lynda.com tutorials and when I found out about the Pen Tool, well, lets just say it opened up new possibilities. I can draw in Photoshop now and with my nifty new stylus and pressure pad I’m teaching myself how to paint. Consequently, I’ve been in the kitchen once since the new year to cook. It’s been all tofu, all the time in my kitchen. (Wanna a… Read More
Fist off, I started this blog a year ago today — time flies. I need to apologize for the unintended absence. For my birthday (on October 6th) ANA sent me a special promotion which I used to take an unscheduled, unplanned, always needed two-week vacation. When I came back I had essays up the kazoo to grade and, by chance, there was opening for a promotion. I wanted the promotion. I needed to prepare for the test (the first step in the application process), then for three successive interviews. I made it… Read More
Two views from up top and one from down below. One gives you something to aspire to, The others show your reach.
Early this year I walked into my bedroom showered, tired, and ready for bed. Flipped the light. Baby spider was on my pillow. We both looked at each other for a beat. I charged, it JUMPED behind the bed, and I slept in the other room. I am not an arachnophob. Not really. Unnerved. Unsettled. Proof that they live amongst us both fascinates me and puts me on edge and, yes, terrifies me. Walking through Dejima’s orchards and gardens in the rain — umbrella in one hand, camera in the other — I… Read More
A trip to Dejima to visit samurai and old western merchants.
Nagasaki is is one of the two southernmost places in the four islands which make up Japan. It’s blisteringly hot in the summer with unrelenting humidity, unless you went last month. Some of the perks to traveling in the rain are the mild temperature, no sunburn, and perspiration-free. I’ve been to Nagasaki in the summer and I was grateful for the overcast. Nagasaki was rebut after the war. The city is a mix of the remainders of the rushed post-war architecture, historical buildings which survived the bomb, and The New, all laid… Read More