Familiar Places

Familiar Places

I'm continuing to be incredibly busy with work and family but really happy how I am progressing on some of my goals.  Learning guitar being one of the big goals for me.  I'm not a great player (yet) but happy that I am continuing to progress along learning new riffs each week.  It's something I do for 30 or 45 minutes at the end of my day.  It's a great way to unwind and enter into another frame of mind before laying down for the night. 

Last week I learned Eric Clapton's Cocaine.   It's not a terribly difficult song to play but nice to play along to something familiar and feel like you are making progress and helps building confidence. I am continuing to relentlessly practice scales.  I think all of this repetition will really pay off in the long run with a solid foundation on picking and hand coordination.  I take classes from Owen at American Guitar Academy in Roppongi.   The instructors are fantastic, especially mine.  It's just a 5 minute walk from my office which makes it really convenient and sustainable activity for me. 

I love technology and spend a lot of time looking at new start ups.  It's become a bigger and bigger hobby for me.  I love people that can find and capitalize on a market gap or opportunity.   Often it is completely challenging a norm and other times it can be building a better mouse trap for something seemingly simply.   

I spend a lot of time on Kickstarter looking at projects.   This week I backed my fourth product Spooly.  As someone who travels around a lot I am always carrying charging cables and it's frustrating as they become tangled and take over your bag.  Spooly built a better mouse trap and is being rewarded for it.  One day I'll do another Kickstarter like I did for my book.   Perhaps one day I'll even have my own start up or small business but for now I'll support others.

Continuing shooting from my last post I headed out after work with the SmugMug Films team first to Shibuya and then Yurakucho.   I can't wait for the short film we shot to come out.

Today's Configuration: Leica M9-P with a Summilux 50mm f/1.4, Summilux 35mm F/1.4 and Summicron 28mm f/2.0

Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills

We walked around Shibuya for a little while. 

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

There is so much light night photography becomes easy...

Shibuya

Shibuya

Next we headed down to Yurakucho to shoot.  I haven't been here for a while.  I think the last time was when I was working near by in Marunochi.   I love going back to places where I have spent a lot of time in the past.  I instantly feel reconnected. My mind fills with memories of past adventures in the area.   I worked in the area for more than two years and had a lot of great meals in the area.  I have also come here shooting many times.  The first time was with my friend Steve back in 2011 when he was visiting from Taiwan.   

Yurakucho has a lot of bars and restaurants that weave around and under the train tracks. It's a bit dirty, crowded and smokey.  The atmosphere is amazing for photography.   It never disappoints me.

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

I love this wall of old Samurai movie posts.  They are all ripped up and tattered.   Reminds me I should watch some old samurai movies again.

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

I usually try to eat pretty healthy.   I know so many people that have busy jobs and travel a lot like I do and end up looking very unhealthy around my age.   While I do eat the foods I like I try to moderate the best I can to avoid getting overweight.   I do have to admit I ate ramen a few times this week and it was fantastic!  I'm sure there is a way to have a balanced ramen diet.

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

That lantern adds to the flavor of the yakitori... 

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

I love the guy frozen staring at me on the left of the frame.  It one of those things you don't notice until later and you are reviewing your photos on a Mac.

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

After a bit of shooting we retired into one of the tents for some great food and a few beers...

Yurakucho Yakitori

Yurakucho Yakitori

Anton, Film Maker at SmugMug Films.

Anton from SmugMug

Kevin, Developer at SmugMug.  

Kevin from SmugMug

I haven't posted anything for the past month and half.  I have been pouring all of the free time I have for shooting into building this new site.    I have been running the same Wordpress site for the past 5 and a half years.  ShootTokyo has grown to more than 50GB and 750 posts.  The database got huge and bloated.   I found more and more things breaking.  I found myself spending more time on maintaining the site than I did creating content for it.   Something had to change.

My friend Tomasz has been urging me to move to SquareSpace for a long time now.   Tomasz and I first met through SmugMug when I move my portfolio site there.   He helped make it look ‘ShootTokyo’ like and set up a print shop to sell prints.   Since then he has helped me so much with various design and technical aspects of ShootTokyo.  If you are ever looking to build a site I would suggest you reach out to him.   He will make sure your final site looks nothing short of fantastic. 

This has been a labor of love for both Tomasz and I.  We painstakingly sweated every detail.  This wasn't a simple copy from Wordpress.   This was a complete rebuild of ShootTokyo.  Many posts were reformatted from scratch and/or updated.  Lots of new pages were build, obsolete ones retired.  Tomasz fixed a lot of Wordpress's evil doings.  I think the final design is fantastic.  

This new site really focuses on the images and puts the photography front and center.   I have made the images as big as possible.   The performance of the site is really good.  The mobile experience is fantastic.  Best of all you can subscribe to have new posts delivered directly to your inbox.    

Please take some time to look around. I would love to hear what you think.   I really hope you like and enjoy the new ShootTokyo.   If you like what you see please share the new site with your friends.  While I haven't been posting lately I have been shooting so I have a nice queue of new posts coming out soon. 

Be well.

Jet Lag

Jet Lag

It's been a while

It's been a while

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