I have only been to Shimokitazawa once before so it was nice to get out and explore that area a bit. While I really like shooting film I think what I really like the processing part. With digital I can shoot, get it home, process it really fast, upload to ShootTokyo and move on. While is it extremely convenient as a blogger I don't think that always shows off my best work. With film I need to wait for the film to be developed which gives me a good distance from any emotional connection I might have with recently taking the photograph. I also need to select my images to scan which typically weeds out about half of them or more. Then I need to import them into Lightroom and clean up any dust in the photo which I end up weeding out another large group of them. It gives you a lot of time to really objectively look at a photo and try to understand why it worked or didn't vs. 'hey cool photo - uploading...'.
In today's example I think the first image and 4th to the last really work. There is a lot of depth in the images.
Today's configuration: Leica M6J with a Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 shooting Acros 100 (for the first 6 images) and Delta 400@1600 for the rest.
I love the things you can read on clothes in Japan. I'm sure people often have no idea what it says. I was in an elevator in Sydney last week and there was a guy (not Japanese) with a shirt on that said 私は日本しゅっしんです。 I asked him where he was from and he said 'Australia mate'. I asked him if he read Japanese and he said no. I said well your shirt says you are from Japan. He said something like 'I just thought it was a cool shirt'. I imagine shirts in Japan in English happen pretty much the same way. I see people with some of the funniest things written on their shirts.
Perhaps the same approach is being applied to the naming of stores...
...and potentially hats.
I love how neon looks when you are pushing film. The last photo in this post is still my favorite but I will continue to work to replicate and improve on it.
After a short amount of shooting we stopped for a few beers and some of the best burgers I have had in Tokyo. We had Bacon Burgers and I think the bacon was 3 times thicker than the beef. Fantastic!
I continue to see GTA advertising everywhere. I also saw a great TV ad for Modern Warfare. I am so glad I never really got into gaming. What a time suck that would be for me. I know my personality well and me as a gamer wouldn't be pretty... After all I am reading and seeing on GTA I am actually getting interested in trying but am resisting with all my might. I have no more hours left in my day. I'm officially full!
While I usually bash McDonald's after a very long week in Sydney last week I broke down for a round of McDonald's at the airport before boarding my red eye. A bacon double cheese burger and fries. Maybe it wasn't a healthy choice but it was fantastic. I slept well for my second red eye flight of the week to return to Tokyo...
A cobbler in Jiyugaoka... I really like how this one came out.
I think this building was one of the first film shots I ever took...
I love how neat and organized garbage in Japan. God help you if you screw up the order or sorting...
I have been working on a bunch of different little ShootTokyo projects in the background. I constantly have a list of projects I am working on. While this is just a hobby I try to make it as professional as I possibly can in terms of look, feel, branding, quality of images, changes to the site, etc. Even on this post the images were a little darker than I would have liked when I uploaded them. I realized it after they were all uploaded and tagged. I re-edited the photos, re-uploaded them and re-tagged them. I probably could have let it go but I don't like do things that way. Perhaps it is overkill but this is my personality and how I like to do things.
I have seen so many sites that go from a blog where people are sharing their personal work and thoughts on photography and life to being a site full of guest posts. While this is a really smart and easy way to create content and drive traffic this is not what ShootTokyo is all about. Perhaps if I was more concerned with daily traffic rates or things like that I might have to go down that path. When I first started blogging it was exciting to see and exciting to see what I can do to increase it. The challenge with that is you start to focus on that vs. the blog and often the reason you started it. I understand the mechanics of blogging and what levers I could pull if I wanted to spike traffic significantly.
For me, ShootTokyo is a site for me to share my work. As you know I have a very busy work schedule so that means that this sometimes takes a back burner and I am not able to post for a few days or a week. Hopefully that just makes the next post all that much better.
I have completely changed the underlying infrastructure of ShootTokyo and actually moved the site to a new hosting vendor. I was having some support issues with my previous supplier. I hate when ShootTokyo is having any type of issue and work to get it resolved really quickly when it does. I can't stand poor customer support. There is just no place for it in today's environment. I am much happy with support I am getting; instant messaging, Skype, and phone calls all available 24/7. It suits my personality well. I was initially just moving my hosting but ended up moving my emails, domain registrations and CDN (the service that caches stuff and gives it to you faster). It is pretty amazing to see the impact of a positive customer service experience first hand. It is always important to remember your customers have choices.
If any of you have bumped into me on the street you know I give away buttons and stickers pretty liberality. My buttons were in a little vacuum sealed bag while the stickers were loose. I think both of them didn't look very professional or aligned to how I like to do things so I worked with StandOut Stickers and Pure Buttons to help me step it up. They helped me to make this very cool button pack that will have 3 ShootTokyo buttons. I made my newest buttons just a little smaller than my previous buttons at 1.25 inches. They look really good. I am also making a similar sticker pack that will have each of my 4 ShootTokyo Stickers in it including a new one! I should get them in a few weeks and will include them in ShootTokyo T-Shirt orders between now and then. After that I will probably put them for sale in the store...still deciding.
As I have so much free time I have also decided to start another blog! I have it all set up and running now. I have made my 10th post on it this morning and will make my 11th right after this! When I am a little more comfortable with it and that I have everything the way I want it I will announce it out so look for this in the coming months. It should be interesting for some of you...
Thanks for stopping by and reading today!