Sakura Season Plans~

YEAH! It’s that time of year again! Sakura Madness! If there is a busy but beautiful time of year it is during this season. Spring has come and around the end of March, beginning of April everyone and their dog goes out to view the symbol of spring here in Japan, the Cherry Blossom!

I am no exception. This year however instead of just taking pictures of gorgeous flowers I am hoping to do a bit of people work too. It will be the first BIG challenge this year. I have my diffuser, reflector and my speedlight and will hopefully be able to capture something worth posting. However…… If you want to send me something… I am in need of an Orbis flash ring ^_^~  As for where I am going in the Nagoya area and beyond, I plan on hitting a few locations.

Tsurumai Park – mainly for people partying shots, gonna try getting some of that in~ not so much the flowers.

Iwakura~Gojo River – This location is for the flowers and river, may do a frolicing session here~ it’s gorgeous!

Yamazaki River- This will probably be night shots and few frolicing as it is in Nagoya

Kyoto- Flowers and buildings! What more could you ask for~ I’m just hoping it’s not as goofy as the Kouyou was.

Yoshino Mountain- LOOKS AMAZING!!! If things go well might hit up here with great friend~ More landscape-ish

Those are the big plans this year! If you are in the area and want to meet up I am all for it! Hit me up on here or G+ or FB! I have one more paid day off so I will be saving that most likely for Iwakura or Kyoto~

The blossoms are set to open around March 27th here in Nagoya~ are you ready? I am!

 

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Windmills~

Sometimes it’s easy to forget where you are. It’s easy to forget what you set out to do. Instead taking a tilt at the windmills you become lulled by the motion, it soothes you inexplicably. I fear recently that this has happened me. In my photography and life in general. It’s easy to say I’m good enough or that it whatever it may be is good enough for me, I can produce decent work, I know the basics and the rules and I seem to no longer challenge them. I used to laugh in the face of challenges! Now I cringe and spend more time and energy thinking how to avoid them. I’ve realized I do this more and more.

This really hit home for me when I took a trip to the Nagoya aquarium with a friend. I had to look at my controls! As in physically remove the camera from my face and look at the controls! And the light, ahhh the light! I read it wrong! Some of my pictures turned out decent and yes by decent I do mean workable and just toeing that line of “looks good”. Examples below. But more than half of the pictures I came home with were to be honest… Crap. With that capital C, as in no amount of Photoshop or Lightroom will save you!

I’m so lucky I don’t shoot film. I will also save your eyes from the horror that occurred and not post any of those instead a few more decent ones. So the goals for this year have a new sub-article? Yes again! I plan to see this one as a lifestyle change not just a photography one. I think they go hand in hand in my case so I expect that as one changes so will the other. At least that is the logic I’m applying to this constant problem.

Some of my new year’s resolutions have fallen under the lull of the windmills. I don’t need to go for that run or I can have an extra bottle of soda because well I look good enough, I don’t NEED to run…… See where this is going? So hopefully with this new point added I can focus on doing stuff. And doing stuff better ^_^ at least that is the goal. I’ve even downloaded the couch to 5k app and will be starting that Monday. I plan on bringing bigger and better and also more frequent photos to the table. But, gotta walk before you can run I guess. As to that I’m am going to need a lot of practice before sakura season starts so I’m going to see if I can rope someone into being my shadow model. I hate taking photos of people but I’m curious if I can do a shadow series where all they are are shadows/silhouettes. Stay tuned to see if I can convince anyone to do so. In the meantime I convinced Koyo to model a little bit. She was too sleepy to object.

Unfortunately she awoke with the first actuation. So only one of her really sleeping~

Other than that I am off to Kurokabe Square on Sunday and going to attempt blowing my own glassware. I’m going with a friend so hopefully she will allow me to take pictures of her but we shall see. I plan to get more of Koyo as she is my constant companion and therefore makes a great model~ We had snow on the 14th which was really nice. I was actually able to make a snowman! He lasted a total of maybe 5 hours though all said and done. However, Koyo was able to play a bit in the snow so I got a few good ones of her out running around.

Working on it

So with my last post deciding what I should work on I have started working! You should feel proud! I feel proud! However as I have been sick for going on about two weeks now I haven’t gone out and gotten new shots…… How am I working you ask?  That is a good question! Youtube and Adobe tutorial videos and such! Yeah for the computer!

Everyone knows that the camera can’t see what you see in fact sometimes it’s way off~ way way off sometimes if you are me. If you are working with a DSLR, welcome to heaven and purgatory! Better known as Photoshop and Lightroom in my case. One I have trouble getting it just right in but when I do it’s great and two is fantastic for organizing and non-serious edits but I hardly get any photos out of it, they just sit in limbo. More of a personal problem I know but I would like to believe that it happens to all photographers at one time or another.

So what have I been doing about it you ask. Well first I watched The Grid: How to be a better Photographer in 2014 and as you know I scrapped my 365 project, we had that lovely discussion earlier. I decided I needed to learn PS and LR better than I already do, which involved me buy Scott Kelby’s book covering Lightroom 5 because I like his writing and his book usually covers enough to get me going into the extras that I can later explore on my own. So started flipping through that learning some new tricks and tips. I headed online and watched a bunch of educational(FREE) videos because I wasn’t going out in the wind and cold. So with my hot chocolate I sat down to absorb all I could in about 3 or 4 hour segments.

I realized that I did not know as much as I thought I did. So then I decided to delve into all the photos! I mean ALL THE PHOTOS… I hate deleting, that just in case always gets me. So I decided to start just randomly and closed my eyes and clicked a folder. It happened to be my Shirakawago trip. I then picked a photo I really liked but I couldn’t get to work/look the way I wanted. This was the photo I started with….Snow in Color - Original

So as you can see it’s kind of flat, a little boring and not really at all how that morning looked to me. The snow is rather gray and a little dirty~ Not really the pristine snowy landscape I saw. So using all the wonderful information I has absorbed I took it all into lightroom, took 3 of the different exposures, bumped them over and into HDR in photoshop and then SURPRISE, SURPRISE I bumped them back into LR as a 32bit TIFF! Oh the things you learn… So about an hour or so later, yeah I’m still learning LR, I had a final-ish product.

Snow in Color

Now I tried to crop it so those little branches on the side disappeared but the crop looks funny and as much as I don’t like them I have started to like them. Not sure if that is good or not. So what do you think? Let me know! More and more the work continues. So much more to do and learn and hopefully when I get over this stupid sickness I will be able to get out and get more shots.

A need shutter actuations~

New year new goals.

Ah dear reader, it’s nice to see you again. I am still here but I happen to be a little lost. As you know I am on a quest to better my photography. I even started a 365 project to do so….. And then I watched an episode of the grid that told me not to! I was told I should instead figure out what I want to do. Therein lies the rub. I want to do it all! Except portraits.

It was hinted at that I should decide to master one thing this year and not just be generic. So… What should it be… Let us do a process of elimination together ^_^

Portraits -as you know are out, I’m one of those awkward people, those who know me know this.

Wildlife – don’t have the glass or the time to travel extensively. I live in the city so the only wildlife is rats and cats. Neither are really high on my list.

Macro -don’t have the glass, and though beautiful takes a lot of time, effort and bugs.

Street/city – back to being that awkward person.. Let me leer at you through my lens. Also having a camera around my neck makes me stick out a little more than I already do here in Japan.

Underwater – would love to do these… If I could afford the housing so I wasn’t freaking out about water damage every 2 mins.

Trains – um nope. I mean great for practicing different skills but not something I enjoy taking pics of.

Sunrise/set – oh the over done joy! Honestly I like these but unless you are somewhere spectacular I really don’t want to see another.

Food – see above. In all honesty I don’t care how it looks, the most important thing for me is how’d it taste.

Architecture – this I enjoy, let my buildings lean! Lean back, lean back. So we got one that’s a maybe…

Landscapes – oh sweeping beauty how I wish you looked at least similar in my final product.

Daily life/traditional life – I live in Japan, opportunity abounds, but some odd million other people live here also…

Nature – Flowers, overdone but beautiful. Autumn leaves, see Flowers. But I enjoy it none the less. So that gives us another one to work on.

So I guess that gives me landscapes/scenic views and Nature. Hand in hand I guess. But I want to add “leaning” architecture to that too. And maybe a bit of daily life?

See the problem I’m running into here? I can’t get it down to just one. The tragedy! But I guess that will give me more to work with. So it seems that I will have to rename my G+ album and start getting more focused. I have ideas, but same problem as always. I actually need to get up and off the couch to do them!

And as I do not have a nice scenic landscape on my phone to post. Here! Enjoy this chocolate piggy~
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