This blog features my Japan related photography, photography tips and publically shareable highlights from my photography and visual media business. (www.genkiartmedia.com)
Summer Treat : Field of sunflowers in Yamanashi prefecture Japan.
50mm lens and neutral density filter
Having a good time recording and rendering light. Hope you are too.
Spent May 15 doing photography for the Wall Street Journal’s prestigious CEO Council at Tokyo’s Palace Hotel. Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank on one of several high level headliners. Great event! (Pic as featured on WSJ webpage)
No matter what camera you use be deliberate.I teach photography privately and aside from teaching technical things like the photographic exposure equation, techniques, best practices, etc., I find helping clients to be more deliberate makes the greatest change. Meaning, helping them become more aware of their own unique creative vision and to elicit their active role as an image maker rather than a passive scene taker. When a subject or scene captures our eye, we should consciously ask ourselves, (1) why is this subject or scene interesting to me and (2) how can I visually deliver that experience to others using my photography know-how and tools. In this scene, for example, I saw the following interest points, the beautiful canopy of the cherry blossoms, the contrast between the limbs and the blossoms, the perspective of the path, the reoccurring pattern of the fence and the contrast between the asphalt and the fallen pedals. To enhance perspective and put the path and railing into play I decided to shoot from a worms eye view (low to the ground). With the lighting flat (meaning flexible in this case) and understanding I only had my phone I determined my best option for enhancing the visual points of interest would be best achieved by using the HDR function. I focused on the rail ¼ the way in and by moving the light slider up I matched the exposure in my mind’s eye, which was lighter than the actual scene at that time of the day. It is more important to be faithful to the image in your head than the scene as it is. You are the artist and not simply an observer. My point here is ––if I just thought “oh pretty” and snapped, my chances of getting an image I liked would have been slim. Be deliberate and get more images that you like. Interested in lessons? Contact me.
Behind the scenes at a recent bio photo shoot.
Photography with inexpensive LED panels.
Last week I mentioned I was going to experiment with relatively inexpensive LED panels to see if they could be used for portraits. (See last post to see the lights.) I’m happy to report they can. This photo was taken on-location in a small dark room against a more or less white wall. I noticed the LED panels I have do not throw the light very far and the light is not particularly diffused, which means you need to pay particular attention to how the light falls and work with the lights until you get ample fill. In other words they are convenient (especially good in tight spaces), can give you good maybe great results, but they are not particularly forgiving. If you want to be creative, your subjects will need to be patient.
Can multiple small and realitively inexpensive LED panels add flexibility and value to your portrait lighting?
I’ll let you know when my study is done, at this moment they look promising.
Digitally oriented teen with analog camera with plum blossom backdrop.
A glimpse of the Blood Moon Eclipse from an overcast Tokyo sky.I went out side a couple times to see it, and was able to get a couple shots during openings in the overcast sky. 400mm lens hand held, cropped and arranged in edit.
Nature in The CityLast bit of Fall folliage at Tokyo Midtown this year.
Is technology freeing more serious photographers from the mundane? Are the shackles to documentation being removed?
The lower-end of perfunctory documenting of happenings can now largely be done by anyone with a phone leaving more serious photographers room to move from simply “taking” photos to “making” making images, giving amateurs and professionals alike the opportunity to enhance experiences and create additional value. I’m not talking about photo manipulation in the edit, but rather increased freedom in our selection of content, equipment, techniques and output throughout the entire process. What do you think?
Keeping it cool and quiet in Aomori, Japan.
Artisan preparing a casting mold at Iwachu Casting Works in Morioka, Iwate.
Kimono clad lady playing the tsuzumi (a Japanese hand drum) at a festival in Kagurazaka Tokyo.
“Walk in the park” Captured at Shinjuku Gyoen (Garden).
View from today’s photo-walk at Shinjuku Gyoen (Garden), Tokyo.
Leaves are starting to change in the neighborhood. Looking forward to outdoor photography over the next couple of weeks.
A power spot if I ever did see one. A small shrine off the road leading to the tip of Manazuru peninsula
A picj from last week’s assignment at the SingularityU Japan Summit. See and read more at http://japan-forward.com/singularity-university-silicon-valley-think-tank-arrives-in-japan/
Singularity University Japan Summit pre-event interview with Shin Yamagami of Tokyo Gas. One great thing about being a photographer is the exposure you get to industry leaders who have interesting things to say. Read interview.
Enjoying doing the photography for the interviews with Singularity University’s Japan Summit partners. NTT Data above. Also see Deloitte and Otsuka Holdings .
Genki Art Media’s Shibuya scramble crossing image now featued as HealthyTokyo.com’s banner on their refreshed website. HealthyTokyo is a great English centric service for those in Japan and interested in a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes mishaps are also fun. The polarising filter I had on the lens created the funky coloring. At one of the enterence gates “Tori” of the Media Jungu Shrine.
On a Yakatabune (Japanese party boat) in Tokyo Bay with a great view of the Rainbow Bridge. This is the sort of view we will see a lot of at the 2020 Olympics. Odaiba is directly behind.
Lake Motsuko Campground with Mt. Fuji backdrop.
A section of Shiraito Falls, in Shizuoka. Taken at a show shutter speed and hand held.
White Balance Can Make A DifferenceMy intro to photography was pre-digital and while color firm was everywhere most intructory photography classes featured black and white film and included some Darkroom time. White balance simply wasn’t a thing. Now it’s key for some types of photography. While I often use Auto White Balance (AWB) for many things, photographing people on stage or in commerial venues often works better if you pay attention to white balence, try the presets or dialing in your own preference. Today’s lights can be tricky, be sure to experiment.(Photo taken for the WSJ CEO FORUM in Tokyo)
Kimono clad Swedish Princess lost in a bamboo forest.
Fishing on a spring day.
Lake Shinsei in Kanagawa was formed by the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1923. Enjoying Golden Week.
Photo-tours & workshops
One of the more interesting cherry blossom pics I’ve taken this year despite being captured with my phone using a touch of HDR.
Shinjuku Gyoen with cherry trees blooming and reflections.
Sakura at 50% at Sengawa, next to Toho Studios, Seijo, Statgaya, Tokyo.
Took my first Sakura photos of 2017 today. As with every year the challenge is to make the photos unique to the millions others and even from my own from previous years, even if the difference is subtle.#PhotoTourTokyo #GenkiArtMedia #CherryBlossomsJapan #JapanPhotography
Craftsman sharpening an old style Japanese board ripping saw, popular in the Edo period, at Jidayubori Minkaen in Setagaya, Japan.
PhotoTour.Tokyo in Yokosuka, Kanagawa. Smiling shopkeeper at the Japanese traditional sweets shop. In the photo you can see Ichigo Daifuku, Ohagi and Dango Yaki.
Sometimes it is fun to take a different look at what the subject might be. Is it the blossoms in focus or the design element? And what is proper exposure anyway?
Cousins doing on-location photography in Tokyo with PhotoTour.Tokyo. Photobombed by seagulls and rainbow bridge in background.
Keep your firmware up to date. Firmware is the camera software which runs the internal system, just like your other devices updates are made to improve features and fix bugs. If you want the best results keep it up to date. Check the firmware version on your camera’s menu, look up what the latest version of firmware for your camera is on the manufacturers website and download the firmware per instructions. You may also have the option to bring it to the manufacture’s repair shops. I ask for it to be done when I get my cameras cleaned.
Big Tree, Strong Lighting and Colorful Foliage
Captured at Kyu-Furukawa Koen (Garden) between portraits on November 23, 2016.
Yesterday this, today snow
Taken at Kyu-Furukawa Garden, Tokyo.
Sunset over Tama RiverI find it’s a good idea to look over old pics from time to time, sometimes there are some good ones which were overlooked. This was from summer 2015.
Japanese-English bilingual Yoga instructor Eriko T is demonstrating a pose. If you’re in Tokyo and want to study Yoga contact her here.
Miki sporting Tokyo fall fashion in Omotesando. Taken with natural light only.
Water Color Extreme.
Taken on a photo-walk in Shinjuku Gyoen (Gardens) in 2015.
Low available light can be moody light.
Splash of fall color
Violet windows in Ginza
Store clerk in blue and pink in Harajuku, Tokyo.
Hard reflective geometric surfaces consumed by soft puffy sky – another type of balance.
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