It is nice to be back in Tokyo after a short trip to Boston.  I didn’t actually realize it until I was leaving but this is probably my last trip to Boton for a while.  My parents are going to be moving out of the area and my brothers already live in other parts of the US.   I am also no longer working for a Boston based company so not sure when I will need to be back in the area.

North Attleboro, Ma

I was able to catch up with my friend and former employee Naho and her son Leo while I was in Boston…  Leo and I had a fierce pillow fight.   They don’t have pillow fights in Japan so I needed to make sure Leo knows what they are now that he lives in America.   I would say he does now…

Naho and Leo

Enter the time warp back to Tokyo…

Chicago O'Hare

Ah United, if I didn’t have so many miles…

I always find flying United such an interesting experience.    During my flight to Boston I was woken up so many times from the cabin staff either hitting me with the beverage cart or carrying on loud conversations with each other over the cart as they were going down the isle.   The passengers just appeared to be a mild annoyance/inconvenience to them.   I can sleep really well on planes but I think I was lucky if I got 2 hours of sleep.  I was exhausted the first few days I was in Boston.

I think United executives would benefit from flying Chicago to Tokyo to Chicago unannounced in coach to truly understand the experience of flying their airline.  I think it would be an eye opening experience.  Especially since every flight now starts with a video of their CEO talking about how many improvements are being made.   Before they fly their coach flight they should make the same trip on All Nippon Airlines or Singapore Airlines (to Singapore) to see what the experience is like on other airlines and then experience theirs.   Perhaps fly ANA to Japan and then United back.   The reason I mention unannounced is I actually sat next to one of their customer service mangers on a flight once who was ‘checking things out’.   She was in uniform and the cabin crew were tripping over each other to wait on her.   Since I was next to her it was the best service I ever had on a United flight and nothing like the experience I have had in the 1,500,000 miles I have flown with them.   I imagine they pass their assessments with flying colors but it might be giving some false indicators to management.

As I was waiting to board in Chicago for Tokyo I thought I would check my seats to make sure it was isle seat exit row, like I always sit in.   United must have changed planes as my seat was change from economy plus emergency row exit seat to regular isle seat in economy.   The Red Carpet Club was unable to change anything there as there is a limitation with the new system after the merger with Continental Airlines according to the agent.   I needed to pack up all of my stuff and head to the gate to see if they can change the seat.   Luckily I found a very nice gate agent who quickly gave me a economy plus window seat when she saw I was a 1K 1 Million Miler.   I took the last decent seat in Economy Plus and was speaking to another 1 Million Miler who ended up with a middle seat.  Way to look after your best customers…

Now in fairness, I have the nicest possible crew on the flight back to Tokyo… night and day from the crew on the way to the States.   Hopefully this is the new training crew and they are going to train the rest of the United staff.

United Airlines

I spent a lot of time tonight scanning film… Here are a few shots from my trip to Hong Kong shot with TMAX-100.

Hong Kong Airport

Gary Tyson from F8 Photography

Gary Tyson

I did a photowalk with Gary while I was in Hong Kong… I love that we started it with brunch.   What a great idea…

Brunch in Hong Kong

I also caught up with my friend Chris Handley

Chris Handley

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan…

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Riding the Train

Now when scanning film you need good music as you need to settle in and take your time…

I have a very diverse iTunes library.   Tonight was ‘Public Enemy’…


I have been struggling a bit to find my grove with film… mostly because I keep going out with both my M9-P Digital Camera and my M3 Film Camera.  I think it is driven by need for instant gratification.   Today I decided I would just shoot with my M3 while I was out and about.  I also found myself really hesitating when shooting film so I decided to shoot just like a shoot with my M9.   I am pretty happy with the results of this afternoon…shot with Portra400

Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan

Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan

The unhappy commute…

Riding the Train

Riding the Train

The sleepy commute….

Sleepy Train

I stopped off in Ginza to pick up a print I had done by Master Printer Mitsuhiro Matsudaira.   I am always amazed when I see my photography printed by Mitsu.   His work is exceptional.   I don’t proactively try to sell prints but if someone contacts and wants a print of my work I will use Mitsu to create it.

ShootTokyo Prints

A wildly popular cat in Ginza…

Popular Cat

Me in the mirror…film style.

Me in the mirror

Stop here…

Stand Here

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

I am glad I seem to get my groove with film today.  I am still figuring out a workflow that works for me with film.

Currently here is my workflow:

1. Scan negatives as a TIF using VueScan

2. Import into Lightroom, add my metadata preset of my contact and copyright information, tag with key words

3. Edit in Photoshop and apply a Smart Sharpen filter

4. Clean up dust

5. Post on ShootTokyo

If you have any tips or tricks with scanning and post processing, especially with dealing with dust,  I would to hear it.  If you are a film shooter you will certainly have more experience than me.

Riding the Train

Thanks for stopping by today…