Recent Years

My blog turned 8 years old a few weeks back. I’m really happy I started this site. While I can’t always maintain the pace I did when I first started ShootTokyo, it’s something I always love to return to and update.

In Transit

I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of transit for the past few months. I’ve been to Sydney three times, Singapore twice and Melbourne once. I was in the US three weeks ago. I was there again last week only landing at 5AM yesterday but I’m off to Sydney night. That will make three red eye flights in a week.

Mushi Atsui

Tokyo's summer has been brutally hot.  Endless heat and endless humidity.   Tokyo has hit highs this summer of 41 degrees (105 for those of you in the US).  I don't agree with this type of weather.  I prefer mid-fall weather.  Cool enough to wear a jacket but not so much that you need one.   Summer isn't for me. 

What gift did this give me?

I decided to shoot M10 for a few weeks with the intention of converting the images to black and white to see if this is a suitable replacement for my Leica Monochrom.   I left my display in color which was probably a mistake I realized later.  When I was shooting my Monochrom I often found myself searching for shadows, textures, and contrast. 

Noticing the Details

A big part of what got me started with photography was the desire to slow down and explore the world around me.   It was this desire that got me interested in photography initially, then carrying a camera with me everywhere I go.   It helped me to slow down and really enjoy the places I am traveling to.

Interesting People

I have the pleasure of knowing and meeting a lot of interesting people in my life.   The international community in Tokyo is full of fascinating people.   I'm lucky enough to meet many more as I travel around the world. I have also gotten away from photographing people I am interacting with.  it is something I have always liked doing. 

Spring in Tokyo

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Spring has finally arrived in Tokyo.  The cherry blossoms bloomed about a week early with peak bloom hitting last weekend.    Pink trees popping up everywhere and now it's snowing pink leaves across Tokyo.  Spring made a few attempts of arriving but then it turned cold again.  The weather has been weird.  It was snowing less than 2 weeks ago in Tokyo and many parts of the world. 

Changing your perspective

I took out my 50mm f/1.4 lens for the 1st time in a few months.  The great thing about shooting primes is how it changes your perspective and gives you all new images to see and shoot in the same places you have been.  The trick to getting used to shooting primes is stick to one lens for a week or two and learn to 'see' at that focal length. 

The New Year

I love the turn of the year.  It's a great moment to pause and take stock of what's working well and what needs adjustment.   Last year I wrote a post called  Staying Balanced and think it's a good time of year to bring up this conversation again.  I had a good conversation with my friend John about the post.   We are all busy and sometimes one of these projects needs to take a much bigger priority.  

The Leica M10: A Visual Review

As I mentioned, my Leica M9 and Leica Monochrom have finally met their maker, quite literally since I traded them back in at Leica Ginza.  Those cameras have treated me extremely well over the past 7 and 5 years, respectively, and will be missed.  I've been shooting with the Leica M10 for a few weeks now.  The short answer: I love it. 

Time for a Change (Part 2)

This is the final post with my Leica M Monochrom.   This camera has served me well for the past 5 years.  It has traveled the world with me.  But, I'm really enjoying shooting the Leica M10 and ready to move on.   I'll start posting some M10 images soon.  More on why I'm changing in my last post

Time for a Change (Part 1)

I've been noticing a lot of spots on my images when I am shooting at f/11+.  I could really notice it when I am looking at the images large.  I brought in both my Leica Monochrom and my Leica M9-P to Leica Ginza to have the sensors cleaned.   My long time Leica customer service rep Naoki came out looking a bit concerned. 

After the Storm

Amazingly Japan has 17 public holidays.   The way the holidays fall this year I end up with 6 three day weekends this fall.   They have arranged them in such a way that you get a lot of long weekends.  This weekend happens to be one of them; 文化の日, or Culture Day was on Friday. 

Transportation

I looked at the images I've collected on my Monochrom after the past few weeks and they were all more or less of modes or places of transportation; Trains, Subways, Airplanes, Train Stations and Airports with very little scattered in between.   It's understandable given the amount of travel I have been doing. 

Recent Cities

I just got back from recent trips to Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne Australia.  Both are places I haven't been to in a really long time.   I was last in Ho Chi MInh was on a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia with my dad.  It has changed and developed so much since that time.  It has been even longer since I have been to Melbourne.

Around Jiyugaoka

I have been reading Angel by Jason Calacanis this past week.  It is a book I have been waiting to be released for a long time.  Jason is a well know Silicon Valley Investor who turned $100K USD in investments into $100M USD.  He was an early investor in Uber, Thumbtack, Wealthfront and a few hundred other companies.

Constantly Moving

My wife says I'm like a little mouse that can't sit still.  When I'm not physically moving my mind is moving a million miles an hour.   This year has been no different.  I've had a lot of travel so far this year with trips to London, Mumbai, Osaka, Seoul, Manila, Bangkok, LA and Singapore twice.

Spring Focus

I have been very focused on a pet project for the past few months using what little free time I have on it.   20 minutes here, 30 minutes here, a Saturday afternoon here.   It's amazing how much you can get done with little focused amounts of time. 

Bombay

The week before last I was in Mumbai for the week for business.   I think this was my 20th trip to Mumbai in the past 15 years.   It's amazing to see the massive transformation this city and all of India has been on.   

Moving Forward

Life has kept me very busy lately without much personal time.  I have had a few business trips to start my year.  I had a trip to London in January and a short trip to Singapore in February.  Unfortunately both had very packed schedules that didn't get a chance to get out and shoot.