Apr 252007

As I mentioned in the last post, I just recently purchased my first ever Digital SLR camera: A Nikon D40. And I love it. Although there are a few things I miss about my S2 IS (i.e. the mega-zoom), shooting with a real SLR just feels so much more…satisfying. Or “real.” Or something.

In any case, it’s done exactly what I was hoping it would: revitalized my interest in exploring and photographing Japan. It’s also shown me just how much I’ve got to learn about taking photos, so in addition to real-life practice I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading whatever I can get my hands on (eg KenRockwell.com) for tips on everything from actual shooting to the post-processing workflow. I’ve since picked up countless new Photoshop techniques, as well as adapted IrfanView as my new viewer-of-choice. Highly recommended.

The influx of new pictures has motivated me to get rid of the site’s Gallery (unmaintained for well over a year now) and replace it with a Photo of the Day section (idea stolen from Sushicam.com). My hope is that this’ll have the added benefit of keeping the site interesting even when I don’t have time for regular blogging. Although I’ll probably end up extracting some of the photos from previous posts (occasionally, until I’ve built up a better archive) the ability to queue up pictures in advance should help keep them fresh every single day.

…And what better a time to start with a new camera than the arrival of Springtime in Kyoto. The icicles in my apartment have melted, the brown tree-skeletons have been covered with bright green leaves, and the grey overcast weather has been replaced by blue skies as far as the eye can see. Although I immensely enjoyed my first winter in Japan (mainly because I’d never lived anywhere with snow), the more time passes the more I realize that deep down I’m still a California boy. I just can’t live without sunshine. This Winter I started to find myself feeling very, very affected by the weather – going to bed hungry because it was too cold to go to the store, skipping the gym before work because the morning air was below zero, etc. I know, I’m spoiled…but what can I say? Winters just don’t exist where I grew up. And let’s not forget how much building insulation sucks in Japan 😉

But now that the days are long and it’s T-Shirt weather again, the feeling is fantastic. I’ve finally started to take advantage of my company’s “afternoon flexi” system, extending my lunch to 3.5 hours (12:30-4:00, and working until 9:00) so I can get some quality time in the great outdoors. After spending all winter locked up in a sealed-off, sweaty programming lab, I just can’t seem to get enough fresh air.

And aside from some “issues” (work) which I can’t yet discuss, things have been pretty good. I spent the last few weeks photographing Cherry Blossoms, watching Geisha dances, traveling in Hiroshima, hanging out with my dad, and riding a bike through the Japanese Alps towards Takayama.

And now that I’m back in Kyoto and things have calmed down a bit, more interesting posts shall follow.**

  7 Responses to “Photography”

  1. That picture of the deer is completely awesome. It reminds me of some of my neighbors.

  2. He’s back!!
    I think you need to make it really obvious to us non nerds to check out the POTD.

    Kiyomizu Light-Up – 2007/04/25 Incredible! Is that a light saber?

  3. S$ – Thanks a lot man…freaky neighbors though! 😯

    Mom – Good idea, how’s this? (*New* added to the menubar)

  4. THAT DEER IS AWESOME. I name it “Dan Alter.” Because it has that annoying “holier-than-thou” smirk that Dan always had.

  5. Cool stuff!! Have fun getting creative with your new camera. Really learn to push the limits with it!

  6. Enjoying the new photo every day.

  7. The deer photo is excellent:)

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