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 photo walk 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 keywording 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 photo walks 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 photo walk. 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.
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 photo walk, 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!