Snowfences: My First Solo Show

The Snowfences series was exhibited at The NeiCrescent Moon- Snowfencesghbourhood and Coffee Starbucks Okusawa near Jiyugaoka Station in Tokyo for the month of July. This series had 13 photos ranging from A2 to A5 in size. They were printed on inkjet washi paper. Everything A3 and smaller was printed on Awagami Paper Factory’s Inbe inkjet print paper.

It was a thrill to see my work on the wall. Many thanks to the manager, Nakano-san and the staff who made the experience so wonderful. It’s a beautiful place to hang art.

The photo, Crescent Moon is probably my favourite in the series though I almost didn’t include it.

Most of the photos were taken during a trip through the Rocky Mountains in Idaho and Montana during stormy, almost white-out conditions so the majority of the work in the show is stormy white.

Later during the trip, the sky cleared to reveal this clear moon. This print will continue to be available on my shop.

Below are some photos from the exhibition and the last day. Thanks again Starbucks and Nakano-san for the wonderful experience!


Upcoming Exhibitions Including my FIRST Solo Show

It’s been a productive time behind the scenes and now the fun stuff! I have three exhibitions coming up in the next couple weeks. Two are group exhibitions and the other is my first SOLO show!

I’ll be posting more about each show in the future, but for now, this is the schedule.

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016

The Zinesmate Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016 starts next week (Sept 16th)and I’m frantically trying to get my books done in time.

I’ve decided to make fewer books this year but I’m enjoying my projects.

Here is a sneak peak at the contents of one of my mamebon (bean-books, so called because of their small size). This book will be 5cmx5cm when finished. This is the screen shot of the photos to be printed.

I really like bees for some reason. I suppose it’s because I now understand how important they are for the environment. Still haven’t gotten over my fear of wasps and hornets. Baby steps. I haven’t seen many bees around my neighbourhood in Tokyo this year. Other years I’ve seen many bees around the hollyhocks and cosmos. This year? Not so much. Occasionally I’d find bees enjoying the lavender I planted.

Anyway, it’s back to work. I’ll post more info on the time and date of the TABF 2016 this weekend.

If you’re going to be at the TABF, drop me a line. I’ll be with Art Byte Critique again this year.

Happy book making!


World Wide Photo Walk 2015: Tokyo, Yurakucho

It’s been a crazy last couple of weeks. The Tokyo Art Book Fair is finished, the Kanna Art Festival is over, just finished a week and a half of a short-term job, photographed the supermoon in Chiba on Sunday and near my house on Monday, prepped for an upcoming trip to Yosemite and finally the World Wide Photo Walk!

If you’re wondering what World Wide Photo Walk (WWPW2015) is your best bet is to check out Photoshop guru Scott Kelby’s page, Kelby One. Volunteers around the world organized a walk on their city and photographers meet up for a day of socializing and photography. We can enter one photo from our walk in a contest and the rest we can put up in the Flickr group. There are souvenirs available online and the proceeds go to a charity.

Candy Javier organized our photo walk here in a Tokyo and it was a nice day of meeting people and taking pics. We shot around Yurakucho. I took lots of pics but I didn’t get anything I liked until we got near the Yurakucho Concourse, a Mieji-era styled little tunnel under the train tracks. It’s interesting what does and does not catch out eyes. I don’t usually photograph people because I feel like I’m invading their privacy but I tried a few street shots. My favorite was a pair of elderly people holding hands as they walked down the street.

I brought more gear than I used.  I’d toyed with the idea of using some off camera flash, but just decided to focus on details and people using the 70-300mm lens. I love the 5DIII but I’m finding that changing lenses can be tough when I use a knapsack. I’m still trying to balance a healthy back and easy lens changes. I guess that perfect bag is my unicorn. My new camera bag has hooks on the back for my camera strap to keep the weight of my neck. It worked like a charm! At the end of the day my neck didn’t hurt and I felt less tired than I usual.

Candy, YT, Hideyuki and I finished the walk drinks at Manpuku Shokudo under the tracks. YT and Hideyuki kept shooting after but I had to go home, start packing and catch up on other work.

This is the photo I’m entering. I like the light in the rail underpass and the couple.
Here are some other shots I liked from the day.

Architecture and Details:

And now for the iPhone shots:

O-Tsukimi (Moonviewing) Report Part 3

There’s always a balance between what you imagine you are going to shoot and what you actually have to work with. I imagined this:

When I got there I found that the castle’s lightning rods were under construction. The low-lying clouds didn’t help either. By the time the moon emerged from the clouds, I lost out on the optical illusion of size created when the moon crests the horizon.But still, ya gotta test it just in case.
Tateyama Castle in Chiba with full moon behind it.
I think if I’d had a higher powered lens and more scouting time to find a distant hill or rooftop, I could have gotten something closer to my imagination. But that didn’t solve the pesky scaffolding situation. So I decided to try in bits and pieces rather than the whole facade.

But I like a lot of the photos I did. I liked a lot of my iPhone photos, too. Sometimes a bit better! That’s kind of annoying. But at the same time, the photos have a lot of noise.

shot with iPhone6plus
Shot with iPhone6 plus

lesncomparison-300-400-extendI was really glad to have a chance to test the Canon 100-400mm US ISM II against my 70-300 lens. I added the 1.4x extended to the 100-400 mm to compare as well. Here are the uncropped but layered frames to compare how much moon fills the frame. Some of the difference in the position is moonrise and some is my tripod moving during lens changes.


Sadly the eclipse creating the blood moon was not visible in my part of the world so I decided to pack it all up and leave around 9 P.M. My husband convinced me to go to a sushi shop. So hard to convince me.
sashimi-japanesefood-lori-onoThe actual full moon was September 28 and I went to Marukobashi over the Tamagawa in Tokyo to try again. If you have time, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of O-Tsukimi photoshoot.

O-Tsukimi (Moon Viewing) Report 2

It’s been peekaboo with the moon all night so far. I finally found an angle of the castle that I like.

Here’s a photo from the camera screen. 

I even deployed the off camera flash to get some oomph into the castle. That ended up being a bit problamatic. I’ve been using a Cowboy Studio Remote Flash Trigger which has worked perfectly up until I set the flash ten meters away. I guess it’s just out of range. Not a super big deal since I’m using long exposures but running from the camera once I click the shutter to get near enough to the flash for the remote to trigger was challenging. I’m pretty sure I looked ridiculous.

I’m probably also lucky I didn’t slip. The dew was pretty intense. My camera bag was covered in water like it had been raining. Which, reminds me of this PSA: ALWAYS WORK WITH YOUR CAMERA BAG CLOSED. Some people won’t need the reminder but it’s easy to get caught up in what you are doing or think to leave it open for a quick change.

I learned this lesson painfully when I first started doing photography. I’d taken my dog to a deep, snowy field. She was a great model frolicking in the snow. I’d left my camera bag open because it was dry, sunny and I was changing lenses. My dog came up and did a skidding stop that shoved snow into my bag. Hard to get mad when it was my fault for leaving the bag open and she was just so proud of herself for executing all commands with vigor. I definitely had a heart sinking moment. Luckily the gear was fine.

September 26, 2015 O-Tsukimi (MoonViewing) Report 1 

At Tateyama Castke in Chiba.
Moon to rise at 105 degrees NE but still cloudy on the horizon.

Hoping to get a view of the moon and the castle. The west side is under construction. 😦

Here is a view of east side.


More Soccer Photos. This Time I Focus on the Goal.

Thought I’d practice more sports photography with Tokyo Hibernian vs Swiss Kickers last night.

I didn’t get a lot of shots of the Hibernian goalie (AKA my husband) last time so I decided to spend more time at his end of the field. It was a pretty exciting game and the goalie provided some dramatic saves to capture.

The game started at 6. Even with the lights, I still had to shoot at ISO 6400 in order to get a decent shutter speed.

This one is my favorite.


Here is a quick gallery of some other shots I liked.

Kicking Around With Some Sports Photography

Decided to tag along to my husband’s football game and practice some sports photography. He plays  for Tokyo Hibernia FC. The shooting ended up being more difficult than I expected. There was heavy cloud cover, from impending rain making the sky darker than usual. The field lights didn’t come on until well into the second half.

My 5D MarkIII handled things pretty well all things considered. I ended up shooting at ISO 3200-4000 in order to get some decent shutter speed but I still ended up with more blurred photos than I like. My 70-300 lens is too slow for sports photography on a stormy day. I’d like something faster than f5.6. Might be better on a bright day. I look forward to trying it out again.

Egg Breaking News

It’s always good to practice photography basics and I thought I would try the photograph an egg exercise. The exercise I often see at photography schools is to light an egg. I think the point is to use only artificial light. I’ll get to that eventually. I’m just not in the mood to pull out my strobes and set them up.

My first attempt was to use natural light. It was a darkish, overcast day so the light was nicely subtle but meant high ISO. Here is my attempt.
20150124-193753-70673210.jpgThen a friend challenged me to photograph the egg breaking.

Still not in the mood to pull out the strobes, I decided I’d try the window light again and just practice. It was another overcast day so more high ISO. Capturing the moment something breaks is hard I knew it would take practice but I didn’t want to waste a lot of eggs. I was not predicting a lot of success.

I roped my husband into helping me.  We practiced by dropping a roll of washi tape. The toughest part was the communication. It is surprisingly difficult to coordinate a count-of-three egg release. Let go on “3”, say “3” and then let go? Good thing we practiced.

We finally moved on to the egg. We only had one egg. It was make it and break it time.

20150124-193817-70697853.jpgAnd we got lucky! My first egg breaking photo has some of the shell popping out! More success than I anticipated.

ISO 5000 f5.6, 1/5000s

I am ridiculously pleased with this photo but something bothered me. The continuous shooting function on my camera wasn’t what I expected. Even though I’d bumped the ISO to 5000 shooting at f5.6 (I was using my long lens to prevent egg splatter on my 5D) the shutter speed of 1/3000 wasn’t catching the whole fall. The shutter snapping just didn’t “sound” rapid-fire either. My fault. Usually I research before I try something new. This time I shot first and asked questions later.

So I did the research I should have done. Instead of going through the user’s manual like I usually do, I just relied on my experience with my old 5D. One big upgrade from the 5D to the 5D mark III is the high-speed continuous settings.

I learned:
* The 5D Mark III will do 6 shots per second on high speed continuous shooting I need to *Set the AF servo for high speed continuous (check the menu from the AF drive button on the top of the camera and set by the wheel on the back)
*I need a fully charged battery so frame rate doesn’t drop
*I need fast processing memory card. Until now I never saw the need for the faster cards.
So… Yay for experiments!

I was pretty excited by what I’d learned from my first attempt. So I did what comes naturally… I went and bought more eggs.

I tried again with a few changes:
We changed our practice object from washi tape to a cherry tomato.
The tape bounced way more than the egg. After looking in my fridge for something suitably splatty I settled on a cherry tomato. The tomato still bounced but a lot less than the tape. I expected the fruit to splat on the plate but that little tomato was surprisingly resilient.

We dropped the eggs on a plate instead of the paper.
I actually washed the washi paper to use again but it came out a bit wrinkly. My husband suggested dropping them on a plate. Easier clean-up and more dramatic shell breakage sounded great to me. Plus then we could eat the eggs instead of toss them.

We made three more tries. For some reason I could not catch the egg on the whole trip down even though I started shooting before the egg drop. The shutter speed was slower than the first test but the burst was faster. These were also faster than the tomato.
Set 1: f5, 1/2500 (ISO 4000)

Set 2:  f4.5 1/2500 ISO4000

Set 3: f5, 1/2500s, ISO 4000

My favorite egg breaking photo is actually the first one, though I do like the intial splat from set 3.

Some random broken eggs after the drop photos.

I learned a lot today. I enjoyed working with my husband and he enjoyed eating some eggs. I also realized how much I love the word splat. I have a few more things to research but I’m pretty satisfied with today. I think I will try again sometime with strobes next weekend.

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