Fisheyes

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

Whisky for breakfast — the Yoichi Distillery

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

Happy New Year — I’ve missed you all!

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

Self-Possession in a Garden of Delight

From the orchards in Dejima, Nagasaki.

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

Self portrait: The Distance Between Us

self portrait

    I invite you to think on the title. By distance I mean to draw your attention to that space between the camera and the subject, the subject and the entrance. I hope that if you notice those gaps you’ll think on the space between where you are siting and where I am posting this. I took several shots but chose this one because the flair and the doors were in alignment along the axis. I cut the flair in half to show two halves of the same thing. The emblem… Read More

matsuri

Yasukuni Shrine summer festival

The Fox, part one

(The first in a series.) This is the first act of an outdoor play. This character is the fox god Inari. The audience was filled with small children. The progression shows the character as he transformed into the awesome god he represents before he reaches down to those brave young people to be blessed. (You can click on them for full size versions.)

Kids with guns

Guns are illegal here in Japan. As an island nation, they’re difficult to smuggle in. Gun death is nothing you hear about in the news. Though I’ve seen toy guns in hobby stores before this was the first time to ever see children playing with them. Oh, Japan, you have no idea what you’re doing, do you?

My home, my office, my personal space

I loved this. Parked in lush area of the city an hour before dusk this man is taking a break from work to read the evening edition of the newspaper. Where he puts his shoes tells you his attitude about his work and this time he’s spending.

Within the blossom, enjoying sakura

From the large tree to the pollen covered stamen, which seem to me like people enjoying themselves within the blossoms.  

Hanami

I’ve been on spring holiday. The cherry blossoms, sakura, have been blooming. People gather wherever they are. They mediate on their meaning, have picnics under them, takes trips to see them. Sakura remind us to pay attention to the temporal nature of life. Their season is, at longest, a week. Because their bloom is short, Japanese people celebrate them, drink under them with family or with friends because our lives, too, are short and, like the sakura, we each grow and change. First, the petals fall — a soft pink snow — the… Read More