Swimming with the koi

 

‘Swimming with the Koi’ is a major theme to my Tokyo Photography school experience. While I was studying photography with my teacher, Beezer, in Japan, I spent a lot of time, day or night, walking the streets of Tokyo, honing my photography ability.

Tokyo is such a metropolis of a city, so highly populated, the streets of Shinjuku, are just packed with shoppers and salary men going to work. I often times had the sensation of being in a flowing stream of Koi.

It was easy to get lost amongst the hoards of people, and let my artistic sensibilities and sense of wonder take over. And in fact, the moments that I captured on film that were the most interesting or stunning to me, were the ones, where I even let go of notions of compositions, framing, and just trusted my instinct more.

I would take the train to some cool district of Tokyo, land myself in a busy area or near a train station, where a lot was happening. And at first, the idea of grabbing a good shot, was kind of overwhelming, as it was hard to know what to focus on.

But I would allow myself to become more an an experiencer of the busy streets, and let the photographic moment alert me to it’s happening — and I had my camera loaded with an appropriate film stock, to give me the aesthetic I wanted, and then just react to the action that was happening around me.

I think that process must be a lot like a documentary film maker, but in that medium, I believe the film makers may have some notions of what the story line is to be, but in street photography, you’re surrendering to the moment and just responding with your camera. It’s quite exhilarating and exciting to see what you get on that roll of film.

That was one of the most exciting types of photography I engaged in, while studying photography in Tokyo.

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Mission 35mm Film Photo Junket

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Shot with Nikon FM100 + 28-200mm Nikon lens | film stock: Fuji Provia 100 ASA color slide film

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While attending BAVC’s TechSF program, and receiving a video editing & post-production certification, early this year, I did, what I always do, when studying something of a digital nature, and that is to take some analogue film capture camera out and take pictures in the surrounding nieghborhood.

It not only clears my head, of all the video editing details, which are comprehensive, when trying to mount a complete video editing workflow, but it also helps me to get in touch with the neighborhood in a more organic way.

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Choosing film stock, has always been important to me, especially, when I would travel to Japan, to take photographs in the street. I liked shooting film, even when digital capture was being perfected, because shooting film captured the light in a certain way, and gave me more interesting textures, then just the vibrancy and pixilated grain, that digital provided.

In the mornings, before such classes as Intro to Premiere Pro,  I read in American Cinemotographer magazine, about how the cinemotgraphy team, lead by Barry Ackroyd, shot both in video and film, to capture the look and feel, they were looking for in the latest Jason Bourne film.

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Ultimately, I would like t use both film and video to shoot stories, to give the piece that natural look, but also to give it some emotional impact. Looking forward to collaborating with other film production people, to tell local San Francisco Bay Area stories.IMG_3366 (2).jpgIMG_8079 (1).jpg

Learning Adobe InDesign

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Summer High Lights

August: I’m getting ready to pursue a publishing track for my Tokyo photo book manuscript, while at the same time, courting work at nearby GoPro. Thrown into the mix is getting the potential opportunity to enroll in a government sponsored job program called Ready to Hire at BAVC.

September update: I’ve gotten into BAVC’s TechSF program, woo hoo! So, this week, I’m just waiting to see what direction to go in the program. The helpful staff is ready to work with me to seek better placement for my skills and professional goals in the San Francisco market place.

In the mean time, I’m creating more photography on Instagram. I’ve made some cool friends from around the world there. Their photography and writing is inspiring.

And I wish to share some photographs and video clips from  some of Paula and my Foodie experiences in Oregon. So I’m going to continue to get my hands wet using Final Cut Pro X to edit these pieces.And also, I’ve had some cool experiences with my pal Algis in the Hollywood district of Portland.  He’s recently getting into the craft of mixology.

It’s starting to feel like Fall and baseball is in the air.  It’s about time to see how the SF Giants are going to do in the pennant race this year.
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Lighting photo shoot prep.

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When using Lightroom or Photoshop to ‘correct’ images, we usually think of fixing the exposure, color cast, cropping, elements that cosmetically alter the look and feel of the image.

But, sometimes, Photoshop edits can lead to more subtle changes in mood and aesthetics.

Here, I used several creative filters in Lightroom, and danced around with some lighting and contrast edits, before tweaking the tint and contrast.

My wife, Paula Mak, was caught cleaning the house, and was cool enough to help me get ready for an Environmental Portraiture shoot, later that day.

Thanks! Paula Mak
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Teaching Smart-Phone Photography

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Frame 1: is an example of how you can make a regular iPhone photo more dramatic by applying a Black and White filter

Frame 2: is all about enhancing your smart-phone shot, with some basic color saturation adjustments (and giving the creative filters a rest)

Frame 3: shooting with a smart phone provides an intuitive way to get closer to your subject and make great people shots

Star Wars characters

Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally arrives today! I’ve been a big fan since the first movie came out when I was 10 years old. Can’t wait to see it with my wife and her family next week.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Incredibly easy to use and sophisticated 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

by Paul Mansfield Photo

I am a professional photographer by trade, but I teach an smart phone photography class, and my students often ask me what’s the best app for creating photos, and I say Adobe Photoshop Express. It has controllers that are easy to manipulate, and the photos you end up with look really professional. Even the filters are a little better than what I’ve seen out there. It really brings the creative power of a Adobe Photoshop to your camera phone.

Apple iTunes App Store

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something about macro photography

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So, I’ve been doing some macro shooting in my kitchen niche, with a friend of mine, who’s sharing some of her Paleo/No Glutton recipes with me. She’s making some wonderful inroads to creating a line of healthy but tasty foods.

I am having some fun figuring out how best to shoot the close-up’s of her Spaghetti sauces, Asian stir fries, and ‘raw-diet’ fruit smoothies. I had been using my old school Nikon macro 55mm f/3.5 lens, which has been creating some nice boca effect, but my friend has been pushing me to create even clearer and more vibrant shots.

She’s suggesting that I get the Nikon 105mm Macro f/2.8 G lens, which I am reading really is a premiere lens for shooting close-up food photography; on the Nikon side of things.

In the mean time, I’ve been playing around with the Nikon Macro M2 extension tube to see if I can get a little closer to the subject matter.

I picked it up from a little classic film and audio tape shop in China Town. The lady, who owned the place, was pleased that I bought the pristine lens so she threw in the extension tube at no cost.

And I found a cassette tape of one of my favorite Jazz artists, Something Warm by Oscar Peterson as well.