Friday, June 30, 2006


I was reading one of the dpc threads about contrast masking, so I experimented with this photo, which is recent. Well, levels masking. The background was blurry green, but I made it much darker.

The kids at school went to a concert this morning, so I managed to get there at noon (for lunch, because it only costs 210 yen, and the afternoon lesson). So before that I went ot the city library. I would never have thought that the library would be so busy on a Friday morning - though it's be logical as the other branch is closed on Fridays.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Flower Ant

Trying out various flowers for the Flower challenge. It's not this one. I've got three or four to choose between - and of course, it's a difficult choice.

The ant was busy and and was moving about quickly.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Maybe This one

Would have been better for Glass, but then the busy background might have counted against.

Well, I've been too busy/tired to do any photo editing lately. I took some flower shots today - I've got Friday morning off, so I should be able to do some editing then.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A Couple of Insects

When I arrived at school, I saw this moth on the gate. It's abdomen was arched back; unfortunately I only got three shots in before I accidentally knocked the gate and it flew off.

At the end of school, some kids saw this damselfly - "itotombo" - in the window of the staffroom, between the curtain and the glass. It was caught with a net and one of the boys held it for me to photograph. They're usually very difficult to get close to in wild, so I'm sorry I didn't get better shots of it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Well, I've had my car for a few days and it's already gone 40,000 km. Well, that's after me driving it about 120km. And I've been too busy to really concentrate on anything to do with taking photos, so here's a memento of when the car reached this kilometrestone.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Bit of History (insignificant as it may be)

Yesterday, my father sent a photo of my nephew with a soccer award. The photo was almost 2Mb, so I said you should make the file size smaller for emails. I also mentioned that I had seen a book in the bookstore about railways in Nikko.

So, today, he sent some photos that are too small, including this one of the cable car from that went up to Lake Chuzenji from Nikko. He rode it in 1949. The railway was closed for good in 1969 after the Iroha Road was completed.

I got my own car yesterday, as well, then I had to take the company car to a Honda garage (though it's a Nissan); and walked most of the way back home until I could get a bus - 6 kilometres, I guess. So now I have a Toyota Vitz Clavia. It's only the second car I've ever bought myself.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

30 second gems

I tried some 30 second exposures using marbles and glass beads. Not terribly interesting, really. In the evening, I thought I might try go see if I could find fireflies ... but it's too early in the season for them, apparently.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Too Busy

... to do any photography or editing. It's raining. I'm tired. Mi-chan's sick. It's still raining. My new car isn't ready to pick up (apparently, as I haven't received a phone call yet). I might not even get to go to boardgaming on Saturday. :-(

Well, here are a couple of butterflies from June 7.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Butterfly Chaser

I went to the art gallery for my challenge entry photo (I wanted to get something in, but there will be a lot of entries in that challenge...), and this girl and her father were taking their little dog for a walk in the long grass of the park. She was chasing after butterflies - and later I noticed her shirt.

I used my long lens - it was set at 300mm - and had only this shot to take, so I think it's a pity that her legs are cut off at the knees (in the picture, of course). Will post a shot taken a few minutes later in my dpc portfolio.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Universes within Universes

Whoops! I haven't used my camera for a couple of days, and the weather is kind of dreary, not at all good for the kind of Shadow challenge picture I want to try. We had a family dinner at the regular expensiveish sushi restaurant last night, in the private room. Outside, there are five or six swallows' nests under the eaves of the restaurant; young swallowettes (swallowings?) are learning to fly.

This is a lily from last Monday, on display at the foot of a bronze Bhoddisatva statue with gold filigree decorations.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Poppies still out

I've passed by this field of poppies so many times, I finally stopped to take photos - with the 100-300mm zoom, and I'm quite pleased with the result. I used a very fast shutter speed to allay the camera shake effects, which of course pushed up the ISO.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A grey egret or heron or whatever it is

Using my 100-300mm zoom lens; it's not the sharpest lens, but it was cheap. :>)
This bird was with others in the rice paddy, but the others flew off. He did too, eventually...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Schoolyard gatherings

SontokuSo here's one of the statues of Kinjiro Ninomiya, also known as Sontoku, which I mentioned on May 27 in "In the company of Naked Men and Children". Often depicted reading a book while carrying a bundle of firewood - remember to be diligent, frugal and virtuous.

While I was taking a photo for my kana project, some preschool teachers from the neighbouring daycare centre came in pushing these prams for the little itty-bitty kiddies to have a look at the school chickens. There were four prams all up. And notice how she has another kids strapped to her back!

Monday, June 05, 2006


I noticed this streetlight during a second grade lesson we had in the craft room, so I went back with my camera during the break. I hadn't taken any pictures during the weekend ;-)

I also transferred my humorous website to Vert's Page here, with my Japanese webhost.

Friday, June 02, 2006

This Afternoon's Snake

As I was leaving school, a snake was discovered outside the teachers' entrance, so naturally I got my camera out. I only got two shots as I thought that was enough. The boys were excited but were told to go away. Of course, it's harmless, and armless.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fly on Rose

Yes, it's a fly on a rose.
It was quite warm today, and not a little breezy in the afternoon; summer's definitely on its way.