Tag Archives: pictures

News Photography

Update, links, a couple of pictures

Things are quiet in Tokyo this week.  My family left on Saturday, and this Monday I started my regular commute to work (I was staying at their apartment while they were here, which was only a 10-15 minute walk away from the office).  The Tokyo Metro seems to be running almost normally for the most part.  However, the darkened areas (due to efforts to minimize electricity usage) of the underground are a reminder that things are not back to normal – and are not likely to be for a while yet.

Efforts to contain the damaged nuclear plants in Fukushima continue, though right now it seems to be progressing at a rate of 2 steps forward, one step back as the radiation dangers around the immediate area force workers to proceed with extreme caution.  There’s a sense of helplessness (at least from my part) since there is really nothing the average person can do expect hope and pray that things will come under control soon.  We in Tokyo are safe, but not far away are people putting their lives on the line.

This is probably old news for all Japanese readers, but still thought I’d post the English information pages on the possible power blackouts.  Energy usage now is fairly stable and the power blackouts are minimal, but as the humid summer months come, people are expecting that electricity outages will resume again in the near future.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company site (English)

Google Crisis Response Blackout Information (English)

General advice from Yahoo on how to conserve power (English)

Metropolis documentation of Iodine-131 and Caesium-137 in Tokyo tap water

The English NHK website

Spring is definitely on its way, and the weather is getting nicer every day.  However, just about 250km away, people are struggling to contain a crisis that has the potential to impact not just Japan but the rest of the world.  It’s rather surreal.

I’ve uploaded a couple of pictures I took of early spring buds while my family was here.  It is odd to realize how much more I appreciate their beauty in times like these.

Challenges Photography

Just for fun challenge – “Fall”

Here are the submissions for last week’s challenge “theme” – “Fall”.  Presented in the order they were received (click to embiggen):

Mom

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J4

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J3

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Tet

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Me

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Next week’s theme has been chosen by Tet – “Hello, my name is [Nickname] and I’m addicted to (photo).”

Feel free to interpret that however you will and please send any submissions to justforfun@njmatsuya.com – have fun! 🙂

Experiences Sights & Sounds

Messing around in Photoshop

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’d been to visit my family in Mongolia last month.  It was great to spend time with them and catch up (though I did come down with a stomach bug of some sort while I was there), and while we didn’t go out too much, I had a very relaxing time.  I’ll write a bit more about what we did in a later post.

One of the things I did while I was there was mess around with my youngest brother’s camera, a Nikon D40.  It was the first time I’d ever really used a DSLR and… I can’t see myself ever being content with a regular point and shoot any more.  I’m actually looking around now to see what’s available in the DSLR market, including the used/refurbished stores, but more on that later.  I personally took probably over 500-600 pictures over a period of 2-3 days (days that we went out), and though they’re not all post-worthy, I felt some were interesting enough to put up.

I’ve never been a hardcore Photoshop user, I’ve just dabbled with it in uni for an “elements of webdesign” course I once took, and for batch resizing.  But tonight, I thought I’d see what I could do to “spruce” up a few of my pictures – and I have to say I had fun with that too!  It’s amazing how one can make colors pop out and seem more vibrant.  I know that digital manipulation is no replacement for quality photography, but used in conjunction, I now feel that certainly has its benefits.  Below is what I came up with in the course of 2 hours (the one of the lavender mountain range took me almost an hour as I was figuring out what I could do with PS)

Post edit: I’ve updated the Hustai pictures and put them in a gallery HERE.

Uncategorized

Knife hunting in Kappabashi (2008)

Around September of last year, I took Josh and Sir Niles to Kappabashi in search of a knife.  Not just any knife, but rather the mythical 777 times-folded legendary Kusanagi blade.  Well… not quite.  Actually Josh’s grandfather had asked him to get a good quality sushi knife.  After asking around, I was told that Kappabashi (otherwise known as the Kitchen Town) would be the place to check and so off we went.

Kappabashi certainly deserves its reputation as a “Kitchen Town” as you can probably find any kitchen-related item  you could need in one of the many shops that line the street.  As it happens, we also found a really exquisite knife.  The shop owner assured us it had at least 100 layers (if I recall correctly), and it was one of the last blades they sold that had a handle made out of deer horn (apparently such practices are now outlawed?)

It was a beautiful item, and below are some of the pictures Josh took of it.

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Oh, and by the way – kappa statues are just weird… see the rest of the Kappabashi pictures below!

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-NJ

Uncategorized

Pretty handle!

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Just a random picture I took (sneakily) on the train of an umbrella someone was holding – just thought the rose handle was pretty 🙂

Sights & Sounds

Scenes of Yokohama

I had gone to visit Tet for a couple days before the New Year, and he had invited me along to one of his classmate’s performances. ?The performance was fun, but since I was recording the entire show, I didn’t take any pictures… but I did take some of the hall where she was performing, which turned out to be rather interesting as there was also an “art display” taking place. ? Some exhibits were fun to look at, where others were just…puzzling. ?Tissue-box head people??

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Humor

Funny photo of the day

This gets the ROFL™  stamp!:

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Uncategorized

Running

A few pictures I took during my weekly run.? (I had take more, but running and jogging don’t mix well 🙁

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Humor

Humor

Assorted funny images (only a few right now!) 🙂

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