Movin in (and living to tell about it)

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What can I say.. moving is just one of those things that’s stressful.. but after you’ve moved everything in to your new place, you can breath a sigh of relief. Once those beloved books and movies are in place, and the pages of my teaching manuals are open.. I can start to settle in, and get ready for what November has to bring.

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My wife was kind enough to encourage me to hang the photograph of one of my favorite photographers, Richard Avedon. I love this print of Marylin, because, as one can see, it’s not all done up and posed. He caught her, with her guard down, and showed another side of her; definitely a more intimate side. I do believe there was more to Marylin, than met the eye, and Richard Avedon caught that.

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Eek! what’s this shot of the bed doing here?!! Mainly, my wife and I love the cosiness of the new place, and it reminds of this American hotel chain called La Quinta Inns. We can get a good night sleep, and enter our study the next day, where she teaches test-prep English to local San Francisco teen agers, and I get to edit little movies in Premiere Pro, and plan my next Black and White photography shoot.

Now that the Fall season is hitting the Bay Area, and the natural light is getting all moody, it’s time to get out my Nikon F100 35mm film camera and load it with some Kodak Tri-X film stock and see what ‘Kitchen Noir’ shots I can manufacture.

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Happy shooting, peeps, looking forward to reading your blogs and seeing your photos. 🎥

‘The road holds heavy photo beats and action around every bend’

Paul Mansfield

Cup of Noodle Freedom

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In Tokyo, one may find themselves, at a cross roads of which way to go, this Harajuku hipster, may be asking himself, what’s the coolest boutique to ply his hand stitched wares, or where he needs to go to get to Uni, to learn the latest English colloquiums. Either way, he’s trying to advance himself on the path of life.

Such is the nature of freedom, that any of us, may be blessed with unlimited choices, it even makes it hard to choose sometimes. But on any given day, to have the chance to step outside and embrace, that internal flame of creativity and artistic liberty.   It’s quite a gift.

Hope my fellow bloggers, here, whom I have found to be quite creative, expressive, and open to chance.. all would find their inner voice, and that we may keep on reading cool posts.

Thanks ya,’all, namaste 🙏

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These guys had the coolest hair cutting place in Shimokitazowa

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Shinjuku is quite the arena of mass people and stadium-type lighting: great for night street Photograpy

__9_0010And the proverbial fashionable wonderers moving along Neko Dori ‘Cat Street’

 

 

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

Google Play

Microsoft App Store

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.

Teaching Digital Photography

Harajukuk_district_sanz_textLast weekend, something kind of funny happened, I got a call out of the blue, from somebody asking to redeem a gift certificate for one of my digital photo classes.  It’s been like 4-5 years, since I gave those out.

But this gal, said, she’d heard about me, that I came highly recommended, and that I owned a photography studio of my own, in Sausalito. Heep! pretty funny, at least part of that’s true.

But, of course, I told her that I’d redeem the certificate. And, apparently, I had placed a ‘never expires’ on the voucher.  We ended up having a blast last Sunday, in the private lesson, taking photos in downtown Sausalito.

Paula Mak, and I celebrated the day, having some pretty beef burgers & wine at Sausalito Burger, downtown. I’m looking forward to giving a few more classes, as Spring comes along. I’d certainly like to see what kind of new features the iPhone 6 has for taking pictures.
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Ja mata!
Paul Mansfield
Photo Instructor

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For a rich and beautiful ride into a world of European style and elegance, and some very charming character portrayals ta boot, check, out Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Hotel Budapest’