Tag Archives: photography


Whether you're just starting in photography, or looking for a little motivation…

Whether you're just starting in photography, or looking for a little motivation to keep on going, this is well worth 16 minutes of your time.  Some great advice and encouragement, and a reminder that pretty much everyone starts out in the photography business with not much more than determination and grit.


Reshared post from +David Hobby

Fstoppers just dropped a cool, original video which they shot at Gulf Photo Plus this year. I am humbled to be included in the group of photographers who gave their heartfelt advice for this:

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Fstoppers Original: Success in Photography
This year Patrick and I were invited to Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai to film a behind the scenes look of what it’s really like to go to this exotic workshop. The experience itself was one of the highli…

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To Pin or not to Pin

I signed up for Pinterest a few days ago after reading +Trey Ratcliff 's post about it. There is some lively dialogue taking place in the comments of that post (link below), and is worth reading to get an idea of the various viewpoints by different photographers.


I can understand the worries of joining the Pinterest platform, especially if I were a professional photographer. I think alot of us have the same concern, that putting our images "out there" for the world to view/download/copy means that said image is no longer under our control. There's no way to guarantee that credit will be given, that people won't pass off your work as their own. For photographers who rely on printed works, this is probably a major sticking point of platforms like Pinterest.

Trey presents his points of view (he wholeheartedly supports the platform) on his blog, but I also encourage you to read the following link so that you're aware of the potential legal ramifications: http://greekgeek.hubpages.com/hub/Is-Pinterest-a-Haven-for-Copyright-Violations

My take? It's an easy decision for someone like me since I'm not a professional photographer. I take pictures for fun, so I'm going to give Pinterest a try (though G+ is definitely going to remain the primary place I post). There are certainly less-than-ethical folk out there on the internet, but I feel confident enough that the majority of people are still good enough to at least assign credit to images if they like what they see.

My account is: http://pinterest.com/njmshashin/ (though there's not much there yet)

I see that +Jarek Klimek is starting up a circle for Photographers on Pinterest – if you're interested and have an account, toss your name in the comments on his original post.

Reshared post from +Jarek Klimek

My new circle: Photographers on Pinterest

It's really hard to find photographers on Pinterest, so I've decided to create and share a Google+ circle for this. Are you into photography? Do you want to be included in the circle? Do this:

1) Share the link to YOUR Pinterst profile in the comments below the original post:

2) Share the original post publicly with your G+ audience.

I'll add all the users who fulfill both conditions into my Photographers on Pinterst circle and I'll share the circle publicly on February 21.

Feel free to follow my Pinterest profile http://pinterest.com/jarek/ or my TOP Google+ Photos pinboard http://pinterest.com/jarek/top-photos-google/ . You aren't obligated to do this to be included in the circle.

If you need a Pinterest invitation, share your email here. I'm sure there will be enough Pinterest users who will be willing to invite you.

#pinterest #photography #photographers

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Jarek Klimek (jarek)
Jarek is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.

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Experiences Photography

Thaipusam Festival in SG

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I’ve finally uploaded pictures of the Thaipusam festival I visited last year while in Singapore.  Pictures are uploaded to the usual place, but this time I’m putting the link at the bottom of this post since viewers may find some of the pictures a little upsetting if you don’t know what to expect.

One of the guys in the SG office is a shutterbug as well, and when he learned that a group of his photography friends were planning a visit to the temple where preparations for the festival were taking place, he asked if I wanted to come along.  I’m always up for any kind of photo walk, so I happily agreed.

Preparations for the festivities start EARLY – so I had to wake up around 4AM to grab a taxi to the Little India area.  There I met up with my colleague and we headed to the temple.  Once there, you have to take off your shoes (luckily I was wearing sandals) before you’re allowed to go in.  I’m used to taking off shoes when going in Japanese shrines/temples, but always within buildings.  This temple was more or less “open-air” though, and it took me a while to get used to walking on dirt and grass barefoot (I’ve grown pretty spoiled since I’ve come to Japan). 😛

I also hadn’t expected so much leeway in taking pictures, but there were tons of photographers and tourists already at the temple snapping away, some really up close and personal – I was rather surprised at how easygoing the devotees were and how well they took things.

The preparations for the event were fascinating to observe, if a little…unorthodox (at least for me).  More information can be found at the Wikipedia link for Thaipusam here, but the gist of it is that it’s a festival celebrating commemorating the defeat of an evil demon by one of the Hindu deities.  Devotees prepare several days in advance with fasting and prayer, and on the actual day of the festival, take on various burdens which they will present to the Hindu deity Murugan.

The types of “burdens” vary greatly as you can see in the pictures.  Some only carry pots of milk on their heads, while others pierce their bodies while carrying a portable canopy called a “Kavadi” (example shown in the picture at the beginning of this post).  Even the degrees of piercing vary – from thin rods that barely pierce the skin, to skewers that jut through one cheek and out the other, rods that punch through the skin of the belly, and nasty looking hooks that snag the flesh on the back.

Some devotees handle the pain fairly stoically, even appearing nonchalant, while others (notably the younger ones) were in obvious pain.

There were other preparations as well, such as the manufacture of incense (the place positively reeked of incense which lingered on my clothes throughout the day), offerings of food and drink, prayers, and more.  While watching one of the men get fitted with his kavadi, one woman appeared to get possessed, and started throwing herself first against him, and later rolling around the dirt.  I actually got a video clip of this which I may later upload, but sufficed to say it was a little disconcerting.

My colleague and I stayed until about 8AM, after which we packed our cameras away, washed our feet under a convenient nearby faucet, and headed to work (we had brought a change of clothes).

It was an intriguing experience, and despite the early hours and the somewhat disturbing displays of self-mortification, I’m glad I went.  For a look at all the pictures I took, and if you’re not averse to piercings, head on over to the gallery section.


Experiences Photography

More views of the Tokyo Sky Tree

I’d previously posted pictures I took of the Tokyo Sky Tree almost a year ago, but I’ve just uploaded new pictures that I took on Wednesday to my gallery page.

Not only has the Sky Tree reached its final height, but the pictures are of slightly better quality this time as well. 😛

I’ll do a further write up of Wednesday a little later, but for now I just wanted to get those up first.

Experiences Photography

More wedding pictures!

I’ve finished working on the color pictures of Leon and Machiko’s wedding and uploaded them to the same location as before: http://shashin.njmatsuya.com/lmwedding/

I think they turned out pretty well 🙂

Fun Humor

Photography and daschunds don’t always mix + plus 1 more

I came across this video on a photography site that I was browsing and as one who has recently started in photography and has always loved dogs, I thought it was too funny not to share!


Also came across this music clip via Stuckincustoms – a violinist (Charles Yang) and a ukulele player (Jake Shimabukuro) duet. From what I understand, they had just met the day before, but they really mesh well together and look like they’re having a ton of fun! (you can see at the end that the violinist has literally shredded his bowstrings!)

Experiences Fun


Yesterday I attended the wedding of a close friend – in fact, I was best man!  Though I did not have to do too much, I think I felt more nervous than Leon (the groom)!  Leon’s been a good friend of mine for… heck, I guess over 10 years now.  We both attended the same introductory courses when starting university, and I have fond memories of us doodling (when admittedly we should have been paying attention to the teacher) during the less exciting sections of the lesson.  I still have some of those doodles stored away amongst my old papers… Leon was also my go-to guy for math/stats courses *shudder*.

He graduated before I did since he had already taken some university courses prior to TUJ, but we still kept in touch over the years.  It’s odd to see how we’re getting older, and (hopefully) more mature.  How time passes…

Anyway, his wedding was a great success – an absolutely lovely day, and everything went off without a hitch.  I’ve created a separate section to upload the pictures that I managed to snap after the ceremony.  For now I’ve only uploaded the black and white versions, but I’ll upload the color versions after I’ve had a chance to go through them – hopefully by this weekend.


Omedetou Leon and Machiko! 🙂


Sakura at Yasukuni

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I went to Yasukuni yesterday in hopes that the cherry blossoms would be out but due to the extended chill this year, it looks like we’re still a week away or so before they’ll be out in full force.  Still, I managed to find some trees that have already started to bloom in defiance of the winter, and got some lovely pictures which can be seen in the photo section.  These were all taken at Yasukuni Shrine, and I plan to head back there again in another week or so for a few more shots.


Before and After – Victoria Peak in HK

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I took the picture above when I was in HK last year (click to embiggen).  On one of my rare evenings off after work, I took the tram up to Victoria Peak and took some pictures.  It’s shots like these that make me glad I shoot in raw – while the picture as it stands is (barely) “ok”, it really pops when you’re able to bring out the light.  The final result is a pseudo-HDR image, involving editing in RAW to first bring out the light, with additional processing in Photomatix.  You can see the “after” image on my gallery page HERE.