Work, Subways and Restaurants
I feel like I am in a constant rotation of work, subways and restaurants lately. Work has been literally non-stop so far this year. I am surprised I have found energy for much else. I have made some progress on my goals for 2012 but honestly not as much as I want;
Become a student of photography
To me this was about taking the time to stop and study the work of other photographers. I have actually started to build up a pretty good library of photography books. You can see a lot of images on the web of course but there is nothing like seeing photography in print.
I want to improve my technical skills as a photographer
I signed up for Kelby Training and I am making my way through the Lightroom Training from Matt Kloskowski. I am slow but steady. I have always had a minimalist approach to my workflow but I was also missing some pretty fundamental things. The one thing I picked up quickly from this training was a really good discipline for setting my metadata, copyright information, keywords and rating my best pictures. I am going back and redoing all of my images. I am 30% of the way through but I can find images in seconds now if needed. I need this for my last goal. I think taking this slowly is the right approach. I have rushed through training before but things don't stick. Now I am just doing a bit here and a bit there but I am picking up tips and then applying them as I work. This seems to be the right pace for me.
I want to explore Japan more
This I haven't gotten to yet but I am planning a photowalk in Kyoto later this year.
I want to more consistently study Japanese
I haven't been as good with this as I want and need. Bad Dave...busy Dave.
I am going to publish a book this year
This took a couple of interesting twists. I got published in The Plus One Collection last week. It is for charity so make sure you get your copy. While I was published...it is not a book. Next I was contacted by a best selling author to guest write a chapter in a book he is releasing next month. I finished writing my chapter (more details later on this) and can't wait to see this in print. OK, now I got a chapter under my belt but it still is not a book. Now onto my book...I have decided on Blurb for sure. I have identified two book designers I will use and just need to decide which one. I need to finish key wording and rating my photos so I can decide which make it to the book. I feel confident this will continue on track for the year.
I also have a bad habit of adding to my insane list of things to do...so I am also in the process of upgrading the infrastructure underlying ShootTokyo which will go live next week. I hope you see a good boost in performance. I am also in the process of doing a site redesign that will come in a few weeks.
I have even managed to get to the gym on a semi regular basis. It is a good thing that I have boundless energy.
I am looking forward to a few upcoming trips to help break up my routine but unfortunately my work will only be more intense when I am traveling.
I will be in Hong Kong next week, Beijing the week after and Singapore the following week. I am planning to do photowalks in each city while I am there. It is a great way to get out and explore the city. I decided a few years ago that I was tired of only knowing the airports, conference rooms, hotel rooms and restaurants of the cities I visited. It is important to take a little time for yourself while you are there to learn about the city you are in. I have already announced the Hong Kong and Beijing walks. Leave a comment on the announcement if you want to join. I'll announce the details of the Singapore walk in another week or so when my plans firm up.
I have a very busy schedule while in Hong Kong but will have time on Friday evening for my photowalk. I am going to shoot the Kowloon side of the island for the first time. It is an interesting area that I have not spent a lot of time in so I am excited to see what it has to offer. I have had a few people signed up already and it will be good to catch up with my friend Humphrey. He recently just launched a blog called 'The Timeless Moment' where he documents his life in Hong Kong and travels around Asia. I give all the respect in the world to someone starting a blog as it is a tremendous commitment. Aside from having to be committed to taking photos and writing about it you end up learning a ton about web technology and social media. More than you ever expected when you started out. Make sure you stop by and check his site. If you have ever thought of launching your own blog...here is how to do it.
I will have a little more free time while in Beijing so I am going to try to shoot Ghost Street at night and get up early and shoot the Temple of Heaven at dawn. It is probably hard to tell from here but I rarely get time to just 'go shooting'. Typically I am snapping shots while 'on the go' so I am looking forward a bit of 'me' time for shooting. For the photowalk I am going to shoot the Hutongs. It should be a lot of fun.
I was walking to a dinner and came across this scene. I love how everything lined up and was glad to have my camera with me and ready to go. I have gotten in a habit of making sure my camera settings are ready to take a shot if needed for the given condition I am in. I wish the white car was a bit sharper and I was a bit lower but given it was driving by at 30kph and I was manually focusing while talking to someone I am pretty happy with it.
I ended up having dinner at Gompachi, aka Kill Bill's, my new favorite haunt. I really like this place and for a city that has some pretty ridiculously priced places to eat this one is reasonable. We had a great Farewell Party for one of my co-workers here back in December.
I have been back to back at work lately and eating lunch at my desk but it is nice when I can grab 30 minutes for a bit of sushi.
No Operation Ivy? Take Warning, Take Warning...
I was the only guy in line to buy chocolate on Valentine's Day...
I picked up this cool little collapsable tripod for my M9. This thing gets tiny and can easily fit into my little Billingham bag. I haven't done a lot of long exposures or cityscapes at dusk with my M9 so hopefully this will give me a chance.
Look at how small this collapses. Amazing!
My tripod in action...
Thanks for stopping by!