I have officially stopped traveling for 2016 with my final two trips of the year to Bali and Taipei completed. My traveling has come to an end for the year. Checking my Star Alliance milage account I logged 160,080 miles. I also had two trips where I didn't use a Star Alliance carrier which totaled 14,580 miles. My total travel for the year 174,660 miles. Wow what a year of travel!
I dropped my passport off at the US Embassy in Tokyo to get a new one as my current one filled up. I really miss when they allowed you at add 40 or 50 additional pages you could keep a passport forever but it did get a bit too big to always carry around. It was like carrying a small paperback book. No passport at year end helps to ensure these really were my final trips of the year. No last minute impulsive trips for me.
I've resisted reaching for one of my digital cameras and have just continued shooting with my Leica MP. From time to time I wish I had a second body so if I am shooting Black and White I can switch to Portra for a project I am working on so I can maintain consistency with my images. It's also helpful when you are shooting through the day and into the night. You may have only shot half a roll when it begins to get dark so it's nice to have a second body that you can load with a higher speed film. Perhaps I need to pick up a second body one day.
If anyone has given up on film and was shooting and MP and has been struggling where to donate it please message me and I'll give you my mailing address.
I hate having to waste a shot when going through security but in Tokyo at least they always make me shoot a roll out the window to prove that the camera works. It's basically a .75 cent tax for carrying a camera through customs with film in it.
Speaking of doing good!
If you are sitting around this Christmas Eve and looking for something to do, go here and make a donation. The beautiful, inside and out, Michelle Phan is helping to raise money for Support Love 146 to support work to end child trafficking and exploitation. Michelle is matching $3 to every $1 donated up to $75,000 USD. So you spent all your money on gifts, no problem, please post the project on your social media. It's free. Do some good...
Today's configuration: Leica MP with a Summilux 35mm f/1.4 on Portra 400 film.
I was in Bali for a few days. I didn't get to shoot much. Some photography friends of mine were in Bali but on the other side of the island at a photography workshop so didn't get a chance to meet up.
It can be common in Bali to hire a shaman to keep the rain away when you are having an event. We did and it worked like a charm. We didn't pay him for the departing day and sure enough it started raining. This isn't the first time we hired one and I've seen it work enough times I believe.
I like shooting anywhere but I love shooting in Tokyo. For me I just see things to shoot everywhere when I am here.
Separate yet together...
Tokyo MIdtown. I don't get over to this side of Roppongi a lot but I really like this building. Check out my Instagram for some neat shots while I was over here. It's such a cool area.
I was over here for my annual physical exam. I'm all cleared to keep blogging.
It's hard to believe this is the center of Tokyo.
My last trip of the year brought me to Taipei. Flying out of Haneda and into Songhang is a joy. Both are in or near the city which makes for very quick trips, relatively. I can get to Haneda in about 40 minutes which is amazing compared to Narita which is usually 2 hours. Once landing I can get to the W Hotel, my new favorite, within about 20 minutes.
One thing I have gotten out of the habit of doing is taking people's portraits. It's gives me a lot of joy but I just stopped for some reason. Recently I was remembering how happy people are to get a good headshot of themselves. I was also thinking that I often encounter so many cool and interesting people as I go about my day or when I am traveling. I decided I'm going to make a very conscious effort to get back into this. For now I'll just called it my Interesting People series until I come up with something more interesting. Up first...Steve.
While work was fantastic one thing I loved about this trip to Taipei was getting to spend so much time with my buddy Steve. He is an all around awesome guy. We try to meet up whenever he is in Tokyo but I missed him his past few trips so was really happy to get to spend time with him. Mayumi kept referring to our Bromance since we spent so much time together in Taipei.
Meet Joyce - An amazing person. Just look at that pose. You can just tell how great she is from that alone. Also one of the best PR people I know. I'm a fan.
Meet Moe - Pronounced like the french champaign Moet and not the drunk guy Moe on the Simpsons. She is one of the most accomplished 20-somethings I know. There isn't anyone in the Entertainment, Music or Fashion business in Japan that she doesn't know or can't connect to in a text message or two. It is fun to hear her humbly back peddle while he was photographed with Kanye West or Quentin Tarantino.
Meet Marek - One of my best partners in crime at work. Absolute marketing genius. Seems mellow (as you can tell from the photo) but is anything but.
Sorry I'm one of those horrible Americans that needs their Starbucks.
I'm trying to work on the most artistic and abstract side of my photography. This photo to me represents the constant tension and movement of the city and the people within....kidding.
Final flight of the year!
When I said in the city it's in the city. Look you can see Taipei 101!
Thanks for a great week Taiwan!
I hope you all had a great 2016 and have an amazing week of holidays ahead. Thank You for the continued support.