Monday, January 26, 2009

Bording at Nekoma with Stu

Went for my 2nd snowboard of the year with Stu the other day. This time at Nekoma where I havent been for years. Its a pretty decent size park and only costs 3000yen for an all day pass. The weather looked really cloudy and thought it might rain or snow looking up the mountains from home but once we got there  were plesently surprised to have quite good conditions for boarding. Zero wind, not snowing or raining but just a big foggy and overcast. 

Heading up to the top for the first or second run of the day we noticed 4 huge jumps and had to head over to have a play on them for a while. One or two of them had huge gaps of around 30ft to get over to land on the downward slope of the other side. I was feeling still pretty rusty but managed not to kill myself too bad. Also got the motivation to pull out the 5D and get some shots of Stu as he was showing his skillz. 

Stu style "Ooh git out my way!"
Stu demonstrates his signature move. The Kungfu air punch (only a handfull of top snowboarders in the world can pull off this incredibly dangerous manuver) 

Later in the day we decided we had to have a ride on this very nice patch of steep and deep powder running down under one of the lifts. There was no easy way to get onto it so we had to make our way though 100m or so of trees and bush but it was totally worth it (for me at least, as Stu has decided he doesnt like powder too much just yet as its "too much hard work" lol) You'll come around Stu. Unfortunatly I didnt have my camera with me for that run. Next time Gadget! next time. 

me again
Me on the other side of the cam for a change. Photo by Stu

Two mean Gaijin!

Freaky Gaijin
Fisheye head

Super Sick Air Stu
Pic of the day! with a little help for a good friend called photoshop CS3. 
Stu flying high over Nekoma

Family trip to Ebisu circuit and zoo

Took the fam today to Ebisu to see some drifting and animals at the zoo there. We were blessed with good weather so wanted to practice shooting some of the animals and maybe some cars. But being still winter and pretty damn cold there was no one there drifting 8(. 
So just had a wander around checking out the various animals in their shitty cages and trying to get shots through the bars of their cages. I find it pretty tricky to get a half decent shot of animals in cages so I used my 70-200mm f2.8 L and got up as close to the bars as I could in order to get them way out of focus. Here are some results

Peacock blue

Zebra portrait

Lion Love
This was the hardest one as this cage had really thick metal 
bars and they were pretty close together. 

Death of my 40D

During a recent wedding my Canon 40D died mid way through the shoot. All of a sudden the shutter was making a weird noise and pictures were coming out mostly black with only a quarter of the image being exposed at the top. Ive only had the camera just over a year now but already shot around 100,000 shots with it which is what its shutter life is rated to. So sent it off to Canon about a week or so ago and they just called to tell me its going to cost 38000yen ($425us!) to get it fixed! Ouch. Thankfully I still have a 5D and 30D to shoot with for the time being. But hoping to get a 5D mkII and 1DS mkIII sometime in the not too distant future. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Thunder Cats fake movie trailer!

For those of you old enough to remember the cartoon Thunder Cats will dig this one. This is a fake movie trailer for a live action version of a Thunder Cats movie. The interesting thing is it was all made in Photoshop and the footage was edited in Adobe Premiere. 

Something else seem strange about this trailer? It was made using various scenes from these movies. 

10,000BC, Masters of the Universe, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lord of The Rings: Return of the King, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, Chronicles of Riddick, Pitch Black, X2:X-men United, X-men:The Last Stand, Troy, Star Trek6: The undiscovered Country, Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Stargate, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Garfield, Enemy Mine, Spykids, Underworld, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Galaxy Quest, John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars, Planet of the Apes, Aliens, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Reign of Fire, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. 

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First snowboard session for the year

Got out for our first "real" snowboard of the year yesterday. Took Stu & Haruna up to Minowa (where we used to work) for some mountain shredding 8) The weather looked promising on the way up the mountain but once going through the long tunnel which brings you out the other side of the mountain the weather didnt look so great afterall. Still it wasnt a blizzard so could still enjoy some decent riding. 
Most of the steeper sections had the snow blown off by the strong winds leaving bare ice patches which made for scary fast decents. But once we got off the main corses and into the trees there was plenty of sweet soft powder to be ridden. We all had our fair share of stacks/crashes but were all able to walk away with just some nasty muscle pain today. Wanted to take the camera up to get some shots of use boarding but with the weather the way it was I just couldnt get inspired. Just a couple of snaps back at the car park befoer heading home. 

after snowboarding at Minowa
Having a gay ol time with Stu

after snowboarding at Minowa
Stu & Haruna take a leap of faith. Note Stu pulling out his trademark facials during this shot!

after snowboarding at Minowa

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New home theater room

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have been setting up a new home theater room as the last one was just too small and didnt make for a good sound stage at all. Took about 4 or 5 nights of setting up and moving stuff around but we are really happy with it now. Sounds heaps better and the woofer is in a much better place now making for much better bass and the surround speakers and positioned correctly now as there was more space to work with. 
Also got rid of our old crappy couch we had for years and got a sweet new bigger one.  Here is the result. 

The new home theater room
Still got a lot of wires to clean up but its coming along nicely. Click image to view interactive image on Flickr 

Home theater room
Next will be a 100+inch front projector. But this Hitachi Wooo 42in plasma does the trick for now

Kazama's S15 drift car model
Room decorations. 

Fisheye fun
Jet is such a great model! 8)

Happy New Year!!!

Happy new year everyone! I spent most of the last day of the year chillin at home and compleated GTA 4. Well all the main missions anyway. Still only about 75% complete though. Headed out to Neo, a smallish underground club in Fukushima for the countdown and to catch up with some friends. 

countdown 2009 at Neo
Right on midnight at Neo

countdown 2009 at Neo
Some happy party girls welcoming in the new year

countdown 2009 at Neo
Some HipHop act

These images were all shot with my Canon 5D with Sigma 15mm fisheye. I only wish I had brough along a flash so I could get some better people shots as it was too dark and even at iso 1600 and 15th/sec @ f2.8 I was still getting underexposed shots quite often. 

My new year goal is to get into a better photography job!