Styrofoam Balls – Taipei, Taiwan (I went to the zoo and came back with a photo of styrofoam balls hanging from the ceiling. It’s not really what I expected to come home with as my favorite photo, but it did prove that you can’t predict what you will end up with after a day’s outing. In fact, the other photo I decided was a keeper was of people, not animals, but people leaning over the rail to get just a little closer to some monkeys. )
I’ve been a fan of photography in its various forms for many, many years. But, more recently cycling has stepped into my life and pushed aside some of my time behind the camera. On weekends that I would have normally spent downtown roaming the streets shooting, I now spend in the mountains cycling. There’s been a little bit of friction between the two hobbies over the last couple of years with cycling coming out on top in a pretty big way. It has been interesting to look back through my photo galleries over the last couple years. The number photos taken while on the bike are taking up a much larger chunk of hard drive space. Over the last couple of months though, the leisure time has shifted back in favor of photography and I’m sure that some time down the road, cycling will start to take over again. It’s not good or bad, it is what it is.
One thing that has worked quite well is to start bringing a better camera on my rides, instead of my iPhone. I’m not one for carrying extra weight, and I really don’t have much room anyway, but I did try and find a reasonably sized camera that would be up to the job. I landed on the NEX7 as my riding camera. I guess you could say it has a good price:weight:performance ratio.
All of this brings me back around to the new header. I am much more aware of bikes. Bikes on the road, bikes in shops, bikes in media and bikes locked up on the side of beautiful Parisian streets on perfect spring evenings. This particular bike was locked up outside waiting for a rider. It was dark, the streetlights and the vehicles coming down the road made an excellent backdrop. I opened up the aperture, cranked up the ISO and came home with this shot. It could be my trifecta: photographing bikes in Paris, three very fine things.
For the last few weeks Laura and I, and by “I” I mean mostly Laura, have been making smoothies every morning for breakfast. This means frequent stops down a little side street near our house we call “Vegetable Alley.” I’m more of a novice when it comes to smoothies as mine are mostly like something you would get at a Jamba Juice while Laura’s are hard-core with equal parts fruit, leafy greens and other veggies. Regardless of what is in them they are a lot better then skipping breakfast or a cheese and bacon bagel.
Living overseas has sometimes been very difficult. It’s full of adventure, nothing is easy, nothing is predictable and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. Our family, friends and culture exist 7,000 miles away across a large ocean, but we continue to remain overseas by choice. There’s something addicting to the chaos of an unpredictable life.
In some ways it has made our time at home a more rich experience. We look forward to seeing everyone, going out for dinners, meeting downtown for some shopping or just hanging out on the deck watching the sunset. In this header image Laura and two friends stand on the deck talking, laughing and just enjoying each other’s company. This particular day we also happen to be waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks barge to show up. We are looking forward to this same exact situation in a few months.
I’m a big fan of Tokyo. I’m a fan of the food, the people, the culture and I especially enjoy the photographic opportunities. If you want to shoot landscape there are beautiful places to shoot. If you want to shoot urban-landscapes there are places to shoot. If you want to shoot street, you’ve come to the right place. Whatever you enjoy shooting you’ll find it here. I’ve been trying my best to get there about once a year, sometimes meeting up with my friend Dave (ShootTokyo.com), sometimes with my wife and sometimes on my own. Whatever the reason, photography is always on the agenda.
The photo was shot handheld from the window in our hotel room. I closed the curtains behind me and turned off the lights in the room to minimize any glare and tried to get the camera lens flush against the glass to avoid any stray light. For the best view of Tokyo through the lens be sure to check out Dave’s page listed above. His blog will point out some of the best, hidden parts to shoot Tokyo.
The current header, see full photo above, was taken in San Francisco a few weeks ago. We have a great hotel one block from this spot that we have stayed in a few times. On one occasion we hopped in a cab and headed out for dinner and the cab driver headed down this rather clean, fairly well lit alley. He mentioned that this was a ‘dividing line’ in the city. For a few blocks west of this alley things were somewhat questionable in the evenings. We made our way west of this ‘dividing line’ a several times, in the evening and didn’t really see a difference from one block to the other. Photographically speaking, I really liked this alley. Great symmetry of lines, nice mix of horizontal and vertical lines, well lit for night shooting and perfectly safe. The perspective was taken from a very low, crouching position. Even though I like a change of perspective this was out of necessity, since a tripod was not an option and crouching gave me a little more stability in this case. Camera Information: Sony RX1r 35mm f/2 1/3s (very slow for a handheld, non-stabilized lens) ISO100