Monday, December 18, 2006

Shoninzawa in winter

I came here in August when it was all green, and came up to see what a difference four months makes. Huge.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


It's supposed to be a toy, but could be a useful photo prop. Made by Takara and sold by Toizarasu Japan. The Microlady comes in about eight different colours, and has four different bust sizes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tonight's Full Moon

The sky wasn't actually that black, and the moon wasn't that orange, but it's a 100% crop. f5.6, 1/125, ISO 200

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Fly on Yellow

Feeling good about the K10D... I tried some macro shots today and came across this fly.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

New Camera!

I bought the new Pentax K10D on Thursday, the day it was released here in Japan. I'm still learning how to use it, but I haven't been able to take many pictures yet, due to other commitments. But I think it's great!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tesselated Balloon

One of the Balloons from the 2006 World Championships.
So okay, it was from last Saturday. My camera battery power is getting low, so I haven't been taking pictures.
Anyway, in two days I will be able to pick up my new camera.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I haven't taken any photos for a couple of days, so I edited the colour version of the infrared shot I submitted for the Landscape in Portrait Mode challenge. I made a duplicate layer so I could make the sky a solid blue, otherwise it would have looked banded.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Balloons: modified

One of the events for the World Balloon Championships was held in my worktown this afternoon. he sky was blue but when I was playing around with Curves it turned like this, so I kept it.

I guess the reason for it being in my town is because it's so flat. I saw them this morning, too, as I was driving in. They were in the neighbouring town, which is hilly.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Just a bit of fun for ART Roflmao over at dpchallenge.
Seedless persimmons, nice!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Forky star-burst seeds

I think this may be in the dandelion family, though it's a fairly tall plant (certainly compared to dandelions!). I have no idea what plant it is, really. Nice, eh.


I meant to post this last night after I finished editing it for the Out Of Border look. It's one of cows from Cowparade in Tokyo during the summer.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bee's Eye

I bought a really cheap multi-facet filter yesterday, all of ¥100. Actually, it's a toy. Not sure of the technical name for the equivalent filter because I'm too lazy to go look in the catalogue right now. I just shot off three shots, not even particularly worrying about focus. Just a sample with a hoopy hand-drawn frame.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


One of the Australian balloons that will be competing in the world championships next week. They were practising and came down in some rice fields near the school I go to on Tuesday afternoons.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Susuki, or pampas grass, growing in a fine clump by the side of the road.
Looking into the sun.
Wonderful stuff to photograph when the seeds are fluffing out like this, but this part of the side of the road was a steep slope leading to a ditch.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

In Preparition: Self-Portrait

I was getting ready to take my picture for the Headwear Challenge on and took a few test shots to see how the distance, focusing etc was. I had to do it in the morning because the sun was shining in through the window (after yesterday's wet weather). There's a bit of movement blur there, but I like this shot.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mouse Bread

Well! I haven't uploaded a photo for a couple of weeks, then log-in to find the new version of Blogger - which is still in Beta - so I'm using it now. It seems all right so far - I can see the photo in the text box as I type, rather than a whole lot of code.
Anyway, this is a azuki bean-filled mouse-shaped bread from the Noah bakery. Very nice!
Now that I've finished the 30 day photo challenges, I should be able to concentrate more on this one. ;>þ

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tsubaki :::: Camellia

I noticed some camellias flowering, so took a couple of shots. It could have been for the 30 day macro challenge, but I had something else.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

First Foray into Infrared Photography

I bought an infrared filter the other day (but not a holder for it), and tried it out today because I remembered to take it with me. The first few shots were way too dark, so it needs a longer exposure. So after school I tried it again, but it does suffer from not being in holder. Of course, the light was getting worse and I wanted to go home, but at least I know I can do it with my camera.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Curtain shadows

I'm concentrating on two 20-day challenges, but here's the curtain in the staffroom this afternoon...

Friday, October 13, 2006


Day Two of my 30 day macro challenge. I'm quite pleased with it. 1/20th of a second handheld in fluorescent lights. Also posted at dpc. ;>þ

Monday, October 09, 2006

Check out the Clogs

It looks like I forgot to post this yesterday.
I went down to the shrine to take photos of the kids being taken there for the 7-5-3 celebration (children of those ages). So, the girl wearing these pokkuri is seven years old. She was quite adept at walking in them, so must have had some training. Her sister wears more modern attire, and that makes a striking contrast. ;>þ

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Judge; The Evidence

A couple more. The cafe has ice atmospheric lighting which is pretty hard for close-up photography. The King sitting on my upturned tea cup (while the tea was stewing in the "pot")

And the evidence, the Jam Tarts the Knave of Hearts allegedly stole (but it was a pack of lies, er, cards, er, something dreamt).

"Sucoon" is cafe-speak for "Scone".

What's on the Menew?

Mock Turtle, that's what. It's a figurine of the Mock Turtle from the "Alice's Tea Party" set made by Kyuudo (note the tears). It was from the first series, which came out before I arrived in Japan for this stint. I have all the figures from the second and third series, though.

There was also a series made by Furuta, but it wasn't as good. They came individually in boxes with a couple of little cookies (Kyuudo) or a sweet (Furuta), but you didn't know which one you were getting.

A cafe we go to sometimes has an eclectic collection of things, including these figurines. The menus are handmade with funny English spellings where there's English...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I thought I'd get in a picture of higanbana - spider lily - before it all fades.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Day One ... Introducing Sharlene

I will occasionally post a photo from my 30-day (non)Pet challenge here... if I haven't taken any other photos on the day ;>þ. The full gallery is Sharlene the Emu. Sharlene came to us earlier in the year after we had watched a program about emus and how they travel thousands of kilometres, knowing where the rainfall will be producing wildflowers (in Western Australia). Mi-chan wanted a book about emus, so I asked my parents to send one. They couldn't find one so they sent Sharlene instead. Boy, did I laugh and laugh when I read the tag, "My name is Sharlene".

Day One: Sharlene the Emu seems to be confused. These eggs are all wrong; they have different shapes and smell funny. Not only that, it's the male emu that incubates the eggs in the nest

Friday, September 29, 2006

Crane Fly (as Karen suggests. Thanks, Karen)

This is the same insect from the other side of the glass. View the full-size picture b clicking on it.


This huge bug was hanging on the window. I took some shots from inside as well (may post later). Very long legs. But it has those two protuberances sticking out of its back, which I guess must act as some kind of stabilising mechanism in flight, or they have sensors on the ends of some type.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mini Pumpkins

Yesterday, there was a big box in one of the classrooms of small pumpkins, some of which were very photographic. But I didn't take my camera to school yesterday. Today I did, and there was a display in the entrance, so I took some photos there. Some girls were standing around, so I didn't really make the best job of it in the limited time I had...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Do insects feel pain?

A-chan holds a dragonfly by its wings. It looks like its mouth is open, screaming. (Click on it to see the bigger version, if you've never done that before. ;>þ)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wooper Looper

One of the third grade classes has an axolotl in a bottle, er, tank. For some reason, they are called wooper looper (upaa rupaa) in Japanese. There was a huge fad of them in the 1980's. I took this on Thursday.

I wanted to try to get a good shot for a macro, but nothing groundbreakingly brilliant, so will try something else for Abstract Macro.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sherpet's Leaves

The vice principal at one of my schools is a very keen gardener and she keeps the entrances to the school chocka-block with plants. So this is a tribute to Queenslander Sherpet, who has made a name for herself with close-ups of variegated leaves.

Oh, and after converting from RAW, I just adjusted the contrast and resized it in Irfanview. ;>þ

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This was a Buddhist priest chanting in Ueno yesterday. Maybe I should have put it in the Leading Lines challenge - my entry is doing very poorly at the moment, but I sort of expected that...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I went to Tokyo today, to a specific palce to take my Free Study for this month. I think I got a pretty good picture. Anyway, I was riding the Yamanote train into Tokyo Station when I saw some cows. I remembered seeing an advertisement in the newspaper about them: Cowparade in Marunouchi. So I went to take some photos of the ones outside the front of the station. There are about 65 of them in the area.

The website is Cowparade, but there's no mention in the archives of the artistic cows I saw in Calgary six years ago(maybe they're a permanent installation, unlike these ones which will be auctioned off).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Seed Hand

This was my weak attempt for the dpc Seed challenge, probably quite rightly not entered (even if I had done better editing). This was what I was doing the other day when the fly was dying. I actually thought that there would be some similar entries but I didn't see any in a perusal of the challenge thumbnails.

Of course, if I'd had the time to put them all over my face ... that would have been very messy, and my camera's autofocus doesn't work:::::

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Bagworm, Minomushi
While Typhoon No. 13 was playing havoc on Kyushu, it was just cloudy here ... but maybe it will disrupt my plans to go to Tokyo on Tuesday :-(

When we arrived home today, I saw this minomushi, or bagworm, on the wall. Good thing I had my camera handy. Anyway, I guess it's one of the bags that had been built on the nearby (to humans, at least) hedge. The worm used the bags as a shell, and went inside briefly when she became aware of me (as it is the female which stays in the larval form and remains in the bag).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Large Fly, Close-Up

I was at school today with nothing to do but take photographs, vote on dpc, and do some laminating. The kids were practising for their sports carnival tomorrow. So, in the entrance hall, where it's quite bright, I saw this large fly on the floor - long body, long wings. It just stood there.

I did some Seed shots, then noticed the fly twenty minutes later like this:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rice Lines

Leading Lines? I don't know where they lead to, but I thought it was worth stopping in the rain and getting a few shots off. So, obviously, rice harvest has started...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Just Sticking My Head In

... because I realised I haven't posted in so long. I haven't actually used my camera much this month. I took some photos of a bonsai tree for the Single Tree challenge, but they weren't of Challenge Standard. So here's a photo from the other week when I went to Senjogahara. Lazy, aren't I?

Friday, September 01, 2006


This deer was on the other side of the stream near the beginning of the trail when I was going back to my car. It was busy eating so its head was mostly down.

Another shot from Senjogahara. I mean to make a folder of summer photos at dpc - I wonder if I'll ever get around to it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Oh, I've lapsed again.

On Tuesday, being my last full day of the summer vacation, I went up to Senjogahara and the smaller Odashirogahara for a hike and to take lots of photos. It was much cooler up there, too. I haven't finished editing all the pics I wanted to from the summer, but this is one that pertains to a photo in today's paper - showing waremokou, or burnet (it's in the rose family, apparently). It's a harbinger of autumn, I guess, from the accompanying article. This is one of my shots, with a dragonfly.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Miner

I did a touristy thing today seeing that my summer vacation will soon draw to a close. I went to the Ashio Copper Mine, whcih operated from 1610 to 1973. There were 1300 kilometres of tunnels built in that time. Of course, only a very small section is open as a museum. I might write more when I less tired....

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spring Flow

Another shot from yesterday. Green and cool. I liked how there was a mist floating just above the water, which, by the way, is decidedly delicious.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Spiky Spider

I went on a photography expedition up a mountain today. I saw several of these very long legged spiders. This one had been with its partner hanging on a rope, possibly mating, but I did get a good shot of that. Notice the spike on its back.

New Fireworks

Hehe, it's nice t be on vacation.
We went to my work town's fireworks display on Saturday; we got there much later than I had hoped and found a good spot to take photos. I had imagined wandering around the stalls seeing lots of my students, but I only went for a short time to the end of the row of stalls to buy some fried noodles and didn't see anyone I recognised.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


There's a summer exhibition of Okinawan marine life at one of the department stores this month. I feel sorry for some of the fish, being biggish in smallish tanks - like a baby shark (unless it's a very small full-grown one) swimming around with an injury on the tip of it's nose.
This is a variety of shrimp that was less shy than another kind that was extremely ornate.

Friday, August 11, 2006

In The Amazon

I've certainly been lazy with processing and uploading my photos recently. I went to the river park aquarium yesterday where they're having a special Amazon River exhibit. This is an Amazon Horned Frog.