Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Get your camera geek on with Lens Bracelets!

While recording another podcast tonight with my good friends at The Photo Mojo Show, I stumbled across a link to this awesomely geeky Lens Bracelets. Only the true photo geek need apply!
They come in both Canon and Nikon lens types and 50% of the sales of they're limited edition "Pro Japan" bracelet go to the Japan Red Cross to help ease the pain for my friends and family up in Tohoku that have been effected by the quakes and tsunami. 

They are a bit steep at $10 a piece. But hey that didn't stop me from ordering 2 of them already.

Click the image or here to visit their site.

100% Photo geek and proud of it! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Haikyo (Exploration of urban decay)

Haikyo in Japanese literally translates to "abandoned place". These fasinating places are all around Okinawa and of course mainland Japan.

I recently had a meeting with a couple who want to have their family portaits done. The husband, a nice French guy who has been living on the island for 10 years noticed some of my older Haikyo images and asked me if I had heard of some of the places like this on Okinawa.
I had heard of a couple but had not known their locations so he was kind enough to mark several for me on my iPad's GPS.

On the following day off I took a trip to the closest one which happened to be only about 15mins from my place by motorbike in Kitanakagusuku. It is also connected to some old castle ruins which makes the visit all the more interesting. Although there is a 300yen entry fee to enter the castle ruins.

The above image is of the building in question which I intended to explore and to make some images off. It used to be a hotel named The Royal Hotel apparently.
I always enjoy visiting these kinds of places and imaging what they were like when they were a running business and what happened to them. Its quiet an interesting feeling to be wandering around in these huge deserted structures totally alone.

The old hotel walls are now covered with graffiti. Some of it is quite amazing you can see a lot of effort has gone into it, making some beautiful colourful art.

My favorite image of the day came after exiting from one of the side exits to explore some of the surrounds of the building. I noticed it was like nature was trying to reclaim its land as half of the walls were covered in green vines as if they were given enough time going to swallow the entire hotel up.

To visit more images from the day and some other Haikyo images I've made here in Japan visit my Haikyo album on Flickr here.
Also if you know of any other interesting places like this worth a visit here in Okinawa please leave me a note in the comments below! Thanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My 200th blog post! Used lenses from Japan

Well welcome to my super 200th blog post everyone!!

Been getting more emails lately again asking if I still sell the Canon 80-200mm f2.8L lens. A.K.A The Magic Drainpipe.
This is a very rare Canon pro series lens well known for its beautiful sharp images. Anyway I've recently found a few more I should be able to get my hands on. I have a list of names already of people waiting for one of these lenses but I should be able to get them on a semi continual basis now.

Also feel free to drop by my Used lenses from Japan Flickr group here.

Something I just came across which I found interesting for sale is this Canon 50mm f1.0L
That's right f1.0! I had only heard of the 1.2 version before I saw this one for sale.
If you would like it let me know.
Its only about $5000. Go on! You know you want it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Podcast Debut

Did my first photography podcast a couple of nights back with the nice fellas at The Photo Mojo Show.
Answered a bunch of photo related questions and geeked out about camera and photography gear for a good hour or so. Good fun.

Click here to download the podcast on iTunes.

Click here to download the podcast directly.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

LightCraft Workshop Fader ND filter review

Shisa the guardian of Okinawa by Shenanigans in Japan
Shisa the guardian of Okinawa a photo by Shenanigans in Japan on Flickr.
Just ordered myself the LightCraft Workshop Fader ND filter from Hong Kong as I have always wanted to try this sort of filter and love shooting long exposures. I have been using gel ND filters and cheap ones from China but I was always fascinated with the idea of being able to change the density with one filter as working with a very dark gel ND is a pain in the bottom big time.

I have to first compose and focus the shot, remove the lens and slip in the gel filter into the rear of the lens. Put lens back on being careful not to touch the focusing ring. Then I have to guess the exposure as the cameras internal meter will not work at such extremes. Or I can also use a little iPhone app called ND calc which also does a good job.

Singh Ray probably makes the most well known variable ND filter known as the Veri ND. But it retails for about $400 I believe. They can also be found at places online such as for about $30 but the quality of the filter would have to be absolute rubbish Im guessing at this price. I had read quite a few good reviews about this LCW Fader ND so thought I would give this one a try.
Set me back about $150 for the 77mm version and I'm happy to report Im quite happy with the image sharpness and faithful colour representation so far.

One problem it states in the user manual is to not use the ND filter at the maximum setting as you will see black lines in the image, especially with full frame sensors such as my Canon 5D mkII. I tested for this and found that yes at around the 9 (maybe 10) stop mark the image becomes unusable. Heres an example of the black lines appearing at the maximum density setting.

All in all I'm quite happy with the filter. I'm sure it will come in very handy in future long exposure shoots and also for video where I will be able to shoot as say an aperture of f1.4 in bright daylight for shallow depth of field if I wish. Recommended!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sendai Airport

This is the airport I use whenever I fly to and from Fukushima. Some crazy footage of the tsunami washing away cars there!

Monday, March 07, 2011

My blog got a mention on The Photo Mojo Show podcast

Just a quick shout out to Mitch and Willis from The Photo Mojo Show podcast in Australia for mentioning my blog and having a look at some of my photos on they're latest (episode 40) show!

You can find the link to the show and all the other episodes from this link.

I may be making a guest appearance on there show in the coming weeks talking shop and answering photo related questions so be sure to subscribe to them on iTunes. They run a great photo show reviewing new tech that comes out and discussing all aspects of photography.

Thanks a lot guys and keep up the great show!