Paying attention to the corners and edges of a photograph can relieve distracting visual tension. Visual tension can be good or bad. The tension I’m referring to is the nagging and irresistible pull on your eyeball away from the subject to undesirable and distracting features. Not invariably, but often, these reside in the corners and edges. This response is hardwired and not learned, so we all experience it. Here are some on-location tricks I use to mitigate visual tension: I use a tripod. It slows me down and allows me to really look, … [Read more...] about Tension relief: Pay attention to the edges of your image
Our most recent trip to Japan was completely different from its predecessors: We went in the winter, on a trip dedicated to wildlife photography. Seeing the best of Japanese wildlife took us to the far reaches of Japan’s northernmost main island, Hokkaido, far enough to see the off-shore islands claimed by both Russia and Japan. We had a chance to see and shoot the marquee nature stars of Japan: Snow monkeys relaxing in steaming onsen hot springs, whooper swans in an idyllic snowy scene straight out of Swan Lake, soaring Steller’s Sea Eagles … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Shooting wildlife in wintry Japan (Part 1: Choosing a trip)
Any single article on Kyoto’s many splendors will necessarily be an overview. In our last post, I described a potential itinerary to see highlights on the western fringes of Kyoto. If you missed it, check it out here: https://photofocus.com/2018/05/20/traveling-photographer-in-japan-kyoto-and-arashiyama/ The eastern margin of Kyoto is a treasure trove as well, with much to reward the traveling photographer. As always when traveling, flexibility and portability are keys to maximizing your photographic opportunities. It is a balancing … [Read more...] about Traveling Photographer in Japan: Eastern Kyoto
In our prior posts, I suggested starting points for exploring the sprawling metropolis that is Tokyo, modern Japan’s capital. If you missed those posts, here are links: Tokyo & Tsukiji and Tackling Tokyo Kyoto is another essential element in exploring Japan. Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan for over a millennium, until the mid-19th century and is ringed by historic and beautiful temples and gardens, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Unlike Tokyo, which is served by a comprehensive subway network, the Kyoto subway … [Read more...] about Traveling Photographer in Japan: Kyoto and Arashiyama
Tokyo is to Japan as New York City is to the US: modern, frenetic, a mélange of sub-cultures; in short, a blast! You can’t do it all, don't even try, there’s just too much going on. But it’s great fun to explore and most corners are interesting. We covered aspects of the transportation system two posts ago: it is comprehensive and user-friendly, clean and safe. (If you missed it, here's a link). Should you find yourself lost, no worries: it’s doubtful you could find yourself in an unsavory situation. Most Japanese will go out of their way … [Read more...] about Japan for the Traveling Photographer: Part 4: Tackling Tokyo
In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about WHY a photographer might like to travel to Japan. In this post, I'll look at logistics, especially transportation. Images of commuter-jammed subways and incomprehensible-to-the-Western-eye script may be intimidating if you haven’t been to Japan before, but with a little preparation and a good attitude, the Japan-novice will find a lot to like. What to know about getting around Japan Japan is known for its transportation system, which is a marvel of engineering and to-the-minute … [Read more...] about Japan for the Traveling Photographer: Part 2: Getting around the country
Japan is a destination that has drawn us back again and again. We recently returned from our 7th trip over the last 25 years, the last 5 being in the past 4 years. This accelerated pace reflects several factors, including having family there (my mother is Japanese and her family is there), studying Japanese (slooowly) and Japan being a safe and user-friendly destination. But wait, that’s easy for you to say, you speak some Japanese and you have family there! That’s true, and while that has made it easier, I’d still argue that Japan is a … [Read more...] about Japan for the Traveling Photographer Part 1: Why go?
Shortly after the nuclear disaster in Japan, Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda of the Toyota Motor company came to the United States to raise money for the victims. As it happens, Vanelli was hired to photograph a meeting between Toyoda and a prominent local dealership. However, in order to maintain privacy and security, Vanelli was not told who he would be photographing. Can you imagine preparing to go photograph someone you know is a V.I.P., but having no idea who it is so you can prepare by researching and checking out their work? You'll see that … [Read more...] about Stories From The Set: Saving Face Saves The Day