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
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 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
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
I bought instant coffee. I remember that first hit off my Nikon bong. I thought I could handle it — I really did, but before long I was in for a major headtrip in Lightroom. Before these addictions started eating away my life I was just a normal man engaged in average things: Molecular gastronomy, Marvel Comics and the New 52, Japanese pop music, yoga and free weights. And dinner parties. I loved throwing weekend dinner parties. This year I got into blogging and got into the routine each morning of making… Read More
Odaiba, which I’ve posted on before, held an “American Festival”. I needed to know. If Japan is sushi, samurai, manga in the US, what is America in Japan? Oh, you don’t want to know. I was going to take photos but I knew I’d be taking them to jab and jeer. I will briefly outline the people and venue: Every worker was dressed in denim shirts AND jeans with HUGE cowboy hats. Over that women wore white homestead aprons and/or Aunt Jemima-esq headscarves. The shops were cooking up huge steaks on BBQ’s… Read More
I didn’t want it to rain during my vacation. I didn’t plan for it. I didn’t expect it, but it rained every single day. That first day, in my white linen shorts and black underpants (never again), I knew whether I enjoyed myself was entirely up to me. So when things don’t go the way you plan, the sky seems — or is — gray, do as I did with this series of photos: Lighten the mood; find the beauty; be grateful for what is, not unhappy about what isn’t. There’s nothing… Read More