Basically it’s been parties, beaches and sunshine….
This past weekend was a bank holiday in England and a group of us decided that it would be an ideal time to take a jaunt to the coast.
A good time was definitely had by all and even if the weather didn’t cooperate fully we got to spend some enjoyable time at the beach. Hopefully this won’t be the last of the passable weather for this year.
Last week we traveled to Bristol to see our good friend Sam Blake, if you squint really hard you can see her at the top of the table) perform in the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in Reading which was an brilliant show.
There was an awesome turnout of old friends some of whom I hadn’t seen for almost 8 years. Despite the time which had passed people fell back into the familiar patter which was great to see.
I don’t usually crop my images square but another group of friends, this time fellow wedding photographers, are undertaking an exercise to complete a circle of personal pictures in square form. Next in the circle is Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer Veronica Varos who i am sure will have cooked up something outstanding, you should totally check out their images, from there you can find the next link in the circle until next thing you know you’ll wind up back here again…
We have safely arrived in the UK and spent a few days in London while we put in our Visa application.
Now we enter the waiting zone. We have found an awesome apartment in Bristol and will be here until November all being well.
I just hope the great weather holds up…
It is a sad day when you leave home, which is what Tokyo has been for most of the past 5 years.
It is an awesome day when you leave home, the whole world open to you, new people to meet, new places to see.
I will still be Tokyo for another few weeks then Erin and I are heading to England to visit my parents, after that the plan gets a little bit unclear, though it will definitely involve making pictures.
It is fair to say 2011 was a difficult year but challenges are what makes life more interesting.
From Japan to Canada (twice), Korea and Thailand I’ve been lucky enough to meet some awesome people and share some exceptional moments this year.
Through cancelled flights, snowstorms and earthquakes I’ve been certain to remember how fortunate I have been and to keep a smile on my face.
Thank-you to everyone who helped make 2011 what it was.
Let’s hope 2012 will be even more exceptional.
This summer we spent three weeks in Thailand, I decided to travel light and only took an X100 with me.
Sadly after the first 10 days, the X100 and seawater came into contact with each other.
It’s fair to say that it did not go well for the camera. I still managed to get some great memories captured.
Hiro and Kathleen had an awesome day together heavy on traditional Japanese touches, including beautiful kimonos, a full temple wedding and even a ceremonial opening of a sake barrel. While the weather threatened to put a dampner on things, even a brief rain shower couldn’t stop the day going off without a hitch (though I think I lost about 4 kilograms in water weight due to the humidity).
It was awesome to see two very different families and groups of friends come together to celebrate two people’s love for each other. The outstanding staff at the Narita Nikko hotel helped make sure everyone felt well looked after (they also managed to keep me hydrated).
Things started off, with getting ready at the hotel. I have never seen a Kimono put on as efficiently and precisely as the ladies managed to do Kathleen’s
Then it was off to the temple for the ceremony.
Before heading back to the reception venue for dinner and some heartfelt speeches.
After opening the sake barrel there was time to change into a gorgeous wedding gown.
For even more pictures from the day, take a look over here. Thank you for letting me share your big day with you.
This coming weekend I will be lucky enough to spend the day with Hiro and Kathleen who enjoy getting married to each other so much that they’ve had two weddings already and the Japanese one is still to come. The first time we met they had just completed the paperwork at the city hall and we made some portraits.
After a break to go over to Kathleen’s native Canada they are back in Tokyo and this weekend they will have a Japanese wedding ceremony which should be exceptional.
I for one am excited…
Summer has hung around for a long time here in Tokyo this year, but it seems like maybe it is coming to an end.
It was good to sign off the year on a high note, with good food, friends and music (with a pretty awesome view over the city).
There are some pretty exciting things on the horizon for this winter, so it’s not all bad news…
Caitlin and Sasha’s wedding in Quebec, Canada went off in spectacular fashion. I’m going to wait for them to get back from their honeymoon before I share too much of their day but here is one that I’m sure they won’t mind everyone seeing….
I’m finally back in Tokyo after an awesome trip to Thailand (more of that to come shortly).
I can’t get too comfortable though because I only just have enough time to get my suits cleaned, my batteries recharged (and to replace the camera casualties of the trip) before it’s off to Montreal for Sasha and Caitlin’s big day.
Some of you might remember Caitlin as the maid of honour at Greg and Marie’s wedding back in January, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have fun…
This year has seen a number of really good friends leaving Tokyo. I guess the longer that we stay in Japan the more common this will be. This week saw one of my oldest friends in Japan finally depart and head back to her native Australia.
Thankfully we were able to give Steph a great sendoff with good food, great company and some not too terrible singing…
Hopefully we can catch up again in the future.
All of the pictures from this night were taken with the X100, which once again amazed me with how well it was able to handle the extremely low light. While the reproduction of colours at such a high ISO (6400 mostly) was not exceptional, a quick conversion to black and white fixes everything. I even find the grain quite pleasing…
More pictures can be seen here
This past weekend the Japan Association for Refugees Tohoku disaster relief program held a fundraising evening at M-Bar in Tokyo. I was asked if I could help out with some photographic coverage of the event. I was happy to oblige and came away with some great coverage of what was a hugely successful event.
The theme of the evening was bright colors and that was definitely what was on display. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making the evening a huge success….
More pictures can be seen over here
Tokyo may be home to a huge number of people but it is full of small intimate places where groups of people can gather, enjoy each other’s company and eat well. One such place is La Bicocca an awesome Italian restaurant in Setagaya-Ku. Last night the Tokyo family convened on La Biococca to bid farewell to one of my favourite people in Tokyo.
Kim has been with us for quite a while now, but unfortunately she has decided that the time is right to finally finish her masters degree and she is heading back to her native NYC.
I guess it means I have someone to stay with when I go to visit…
Yesterday I got to enjoy some Japanese history and a nice dose of sunshine on a visit to Kamakura. My love affair with the X100 is continuing as I was abe to enjoy taking photos all day without having to carry several tons of gear with me…
It would appear that spring is definitely with us here in Tokyo, and it is that lovely time when the sun is warm but the wind is cool.
Erin and I took advantage of that and spent most of today outside. I hope everyone is having an awesome golden week and that you got chance to spend some of it outside.
Nature can be such a fickle mistress, showing her awesome power and destructive force one minute, yet reminding us of her softer side with the beautiful cherry blossom and warm sunshine that is gracing Tokyo at the moment.
Hopefully there will more of the latter and less of the former for the rest of 2011
Two weeks ago, as I’m sure you are all aware Japan suffered from a monumental tragedy. Thankfully neither I nor my loved ones were really affected by the earthquake or the following tsunami, despite it taking me over 6 worrying hours to get home (the cellphone network was down the whole time so I had no idea that Erin, my partner was safe and well).
Ever cloud, and this is a huge one which still hangs over Japan, has a silver lining and for us that meant both Erin and I ending up with some time off simultaneously. Not wanting to waste the opportunity we headed west to Busan in South Korea for some much needed rest and relaxation.
Travelling light meant that I couldn’t take my usual cameras with me however I am lucky enough to have one of Fuji’s new X100 cameras which I wanted to really nail down. I’m slowly but surely falling in love with this little masterpiece, especially the viewfinder which is truly a work of genius. I just can’t wait for Fuji and Adobe to get together and let me process the RAW files as frankly working with .jpgs just feels clunky and backwards. Look for a real review to come soon.
All in all we had a great time, with lots of outstanding food and plenty to see and do. It had been almost 5 years since I left Korea and I definitely don’t plan on waiting that long before I head back again…