Life has been keeping me busy the past few months. I've been focused on and traveling for work. I had three trips to Sydney, one to Melbourne and one to Singapore. I'm sitting in Haneda Airport right now. I'm taking a red-eye flight to Singapore a few minutes after midnight. I'll be there for the week. This is my 6th red-eye flight in the past two months. Thankfully I sleep very well on flights so red-eye flights make an efficient use of my time while traveling. I feel bad for people who can't sleep on planes and need to travel for work.
I have a trip to San Francisco and San Diego in September, then to Orlando in October, then Tampa in November to see my Parents. I'm fitting in two short trips to Sydney in between those. I'm hoping that wraps it up for travel for the year but there will probably be a trip to somewhere in December.
Outside of work, I've been consuming my time finalizing an investment. This took a bit more time than I expected. I have been continuing to build Grown Man Shave. I've been adding new products and continuing to refine my advertising approach. I'm on track to have my best month yet. If you want to contribute to that, please do! You'll never regret moving to wet shaving. Readers of ShootTokyo always get 10% off at Grown Man Shave with the coupon ShootTokyo39.
Japanese Tip: 39 = is pronounced さんきゅう (San Kyu) in Japanese, i.e., Thank You.
As expected, Leica announced the M10-P. It's very similar to my M10 but it has a touch screen and a few other minor enhancements. I prefer the P series to the standard M as I prefer the way they brand this one; Leica script on the top of the camera vs. the red dot. I prefer it but not enough to upgrade from my M10. Leica if you are reading this I'm happy to be a sponsored photographer. I feel like I already am. Also if any of my insainly rich readers are bothered that I am not shooting with the latest and greatest camera please feel free to gift me the M10-P. I'll even let you choose black or steel.
Today's Configuration: Leica M10 with Summicron 28mm f/2.0, Summilux 35mm F/1.4, and Summilux 50mm f/1.4
I got a new pair of Tom Ford reading glasses. I really like the simplicity of this pair. Mayumi thought my other ones were a bit harsh looking on me. I find myself using them more and more. If I wear my glasses while reading or using my computer I'm less tired after. I guess that is all part of aging.
This was shot from the 43 floor of SunTec City Tower 4. Back in 2000 when I was living in Singapore, I was working on the 31st floor of SunTec City Tower 4. The Singapore skyline has changed so much since then. I've traveled back to Singapore a few times a year since moving to Japan in 2001 and have enjoyed watching this country transform.
Those that know me, know I'm a creature of habit. I try to go to Mag's Wine Kitchen on each trip to Singapore. It's always a great choice for amazing food and quiet enough to have a good conversation. You can't go wrong with anything you order here. They changed the menu recently and this time I had Crab Salad and Lobster Risotto. The food was fantastic, as it always is. It's a very predictable experience. I'll be heading there this week while in Singapore.
You can find Mag's Wine Kitchen at:
86 Circular Rd, Boat Quay Shop Houses
+65 6438 3836
I was meeting up with someone for a casual business conversation this week, and we decided to meet up at Sangenjaya Yokocho. I have always wanted to try here at night, so it was a perfect opportunity. It's a similar type atmosphere to Shinjuku's Omoide Yokocho, aka Yakitori Alley, or Golden Gai but isn't completely overrun with tourists as those locations are today. Omoide Yokocho and Golden Gai really aren't enjoyable to go to anymore. I prefer a bit quieter location.
I shot the same scene as above on my iPhone and put in on Instagram. I was really happy with how it came out. It is my most engaged image on Instagram in a long time.
横丁（よこちょう）yokocho - bystreet; side street; back street; alley; lane, place
My local Shrine. I cut through there on Saturday mornings when I walk into town to grab a coffee. In summer, it's filled with the sound of cicadas. It's a small but peaceful place to explore.
蝉 (せみ) semi - cicada; locust
Good luck Minakami-san! I hope you get into the school you want.
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) with humidity in the 80s. It just makes it miserable to be outside. 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. Luckily I have had 3 business trips to Australia in the last few months. It is still winter in Australia, so the weather agrees with me much more.
蒸し暑（むしあつい）mushi atsui - humid; sultry
My friend Denise and her husband German were in Tokyo, and we decided to catch up for a long lunch at Nobu. We hadn't caught up for a few years, so it was great to see her again and meet her husband. We talked for hours. You may remember I caught up with Denise and her brother when they visited Tokyo in 2013. You can read her version of events over on her blog.
Denise jokes that she is part of my unofficial and exclusive Leicaphile Club. There is some truth to that; I have built a pretty amazing network of friends in cities all over the world, and we are connected through this unofficial club. I have met a lot of people through ShootTokyo, and they have in turn introduced me to other people as I'm traveling. I can almost always find a fellow Leicaphile to go shooting with in any city in the world.
I was introduced to Denise through my friend Ivan who I met up with in San Franciso for some shooting while I was in town on a business trip. We were chatting over lunch about work. At the time, they both worked for the very cool photography company SmugMug, who recently bought Flickr. I got Ivan into Leica cameras, and in turn, he got Denise into Leica. It turned out that Denise was speaking at the same conference as me, so we had a chance to meet up. She told me there were quite a few readers of ShootTokyo working at SmugMug.
Denise has had a significant impact on ShootTokyo. First, being the excellent marketer that she is she was telling me I should be hosting my portfolio on SmugMug and leverage their platform to sell prints. I always focused on my blog and never really gave these areas much consideration. I had a portfolio site, but I didn't like it or maintain it. I sold a few prints, but it was an extremely manual process.
I told Denise I wasn't technical and didn't want to take on this project. Denise persisted and insisted it was worth it. She even had one of their designers Tomasz help build out my portfolio site to look and feel like the rest of ShootTokyo. He also helped me to build out a print shop that is completely automated end to end. Since then I have been able to sell 100s of prints.
Tomasz and I collaborated and found some cool ways to use SmugMug. We had added captions below each photo in my portfolio to tell a little bit of a story and link back to my blog. SmugMug's CEO said to me that he liked it and hadn't seen anyone use SmugMug like that. After we finished creating my portfolio site I was speaking to Tomasz and he said "David, I need to be honest with you. I love reading your blog, but honestly, the design of it is shit. We are going to redesign it.". I like this approach to constructive criticism - issue followed by action. We continued to work together and he helped me to make the site you are reading today. If you ever need a site designed, make sure to reach out to Tomasz. He will keep it very real and leave you with an amazing site.
What started as a chance meeting turned into a great collaboration with SmugMug that persists to today. I've been lucky enough to be featured on their home page and the highlight of the last few years was the SmugMug Films feature on me. Thanks for your friendship and collaboration, Denise!
My wife Mayumi is very sad. Her favorite shop Laura Ashley is closing after 32 years in Tokyo. Aeon, which holds the franchise contract in Japan, isn't renewing that contract. It seems like it was a viable business so this was a bit of a surprise.
Stay cool out there. Thanks for stopping by today. Leave me a comment below and let me know what's you thought of today's post or anything that is on your mind.