Monday, August 17, 2009

Enoshima Beach Part 2

Okay.. so a lot has happened since my last input. Strong earthquakes, fireworks, sexy shoots.. and airsoft games. I promise to write about all these things but let me slide this in first. This is fresh and I am still overwhelmed by the fun and excitement of our weekend escapade.

On the last minute, on Friday night, August 14, 2009, our group of Photographers here in Tokyo planned to go to Enoshima to spend the weekend there. The initial plan was to meet up on the next day, Saturday, August 15, 2009 at around 3PM at Takase - Enoshima Station of the Odakyu Line and set-up tents near the beach, cook food (BBQ), drink beers, shoot and spend the night and go home the next morning. We did just that and it was awesome.

Me , my wife (Tata), Neri and Bernadette arrived at Enoshima at about 3:30PM, met John and set-up our camp on a camping site just above the beach. A very nice location to the right side of the East beach, just in front of the surfing area. The camp site was just perfect too, covered by soft grass instead of sand, it was neat and near to everything. The supermarket was just behind it, about 200 meters away, the toilet was even closer. Joey came at around 4:30PM followed by Sonny and Cesar.

More came later that night including Ningning and Margarita. It was hot, there were only a few clouds, about 28 degrees celsius with a cool breeze. I even tried to take a nap under the "still" harsh 5PM summer sun.

While they were cooking, I went to the beach and shot the sunset (yeah yeah.. I was trying to get away) and I was joined by Joey, it was her Mom's 6th death anniversary and he was taking shots of the sunset too as a dedication to her Mama. I didn't know 'til today, though, no wonder he was a little bit sad yesterday. "Joey, wherever she may be, I know that she is proud of you".

The night came and we didn't stop shooting, product shots with the city lights in the background - bokeh. Unfortunately, I didn't have my 50mm lens because I left it at the office so I was frustated with the bokehs from the 17-85mm lens of Tata's 50D.

Then, we gathered the girls for more shooting. The area was too dark and we only have portable lamps, so again, I was frustrated by the shot from the kit lens. I never missed the 50mm more, because it would have been awesome to shoot with its 1.8 aperture opening. More light and more DOF.

We stopped shooting when we realized that it was 4AM. Rested a little bit, then shot more at daybreak, the sun came as a "concerto pianist" accompanied by an orchestra of beautiful cloud formations that provided and inner glow of the best sunrise light I have ever seen, it was just "classical music" to my eyes.

We cleaned the campsite, packed and left at around 5:30AM, then we decided to have breakfast at Denny's at around 6AM, boarded the train at around 7AM and got home past 8AM. Showered, posted photos in the forum and at flickr, then slept like a baby and woke up at 5PM today.

So here it is, because I am still savoring our sweet summer escapade, I am writing it now.

Please see this last photo, my 65 entry to my 365 challenge at flickr. Taken at exactly 5AM.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Enoshima Beach

The weather today is particularly beautiful. It’s cloudy with the constant spring breeze kissing on your cheeks, as if it whisper its last goodbyes. Summer is definitely in the corner, and with it comes surfing and beach life. I don’t particularly surf, so I think I will just to hang out in the beach, maybe watch the beautiful babes in their swimwear and photograph the sunsets.

Last Sunday’s weather was no different when we went to Enoshima, a beach town situated about 40 minutes away from Yokohama, about 2 hours from the heart of Tokyo, and about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from my home, because I live near Kawasaki. Enoshima is a paradise, it is very close to Tokyo so a lot of people go there during the weekends, especially now that the weather is getting hotter.

My good friend John cordially invited us for a photowalk and he was kind enough to guide us all around the place.

Our cameras at hand, we photographed a lot of stuff. This old train with its railway that runs through the public road itself. This cool “dried fish” store with a “cool” dried fish hanging by its window. This cool woman riding a scooter with 2 dogs riding with her, just sitting there in the front.

Enoshima is also popular for its delicacy called “shirasu”, young sardines either fried or eaten raw, also used as rice toppings or in a sandwich. We all got the fried one on top of the rice.

The aura in the air feels light, and people are just trying to relax and have a good time. We had a good time. We didn’t swim but I will definitely come back and chill out more in this beautiful, cool part of my world.

Here are the rest of the photos.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ashikaga Flower Park at Tochigi-ken

A lot of International Organizations organize bus trips to popular places. This was was one of them, 2 buses at 5000 Yen per pax, with food and drinks plus an on board karaoke. It was indeed exciting but what excited me most was the site and the flowers that was waiting to be photographed.

Ashikaga Flower Park is a very large park with hundreds of different flower species, but it is well known for the "wisteria". Its called "fuji" in Japanese and it blooms like grapes falling from a vine. Available in different colors, this one is the main attraction.

We met at Shibuya at left an hour and 30 minutes late from schedule. Note taken, if we are to organize something like it, we will leave behind late guests. 30 minutes is the maximum waiting time allowed. My god, an hour and a half of waiting for 1 person, it is ridiculous.

I know from then on that it will be a bad day. Weather forecast said a it would be a fine day of 27 degrees but we never expected 31 degrees. It was too hot that it was almost shocking. We were just 2 weeks into spring and yet this temperature. OMG! Even the ice creams melt in seconds. Regardless of the heat, we went on to reclaim that we should enjoy the trip. Shooting mostly portraits, because we cannot concentrate on macros and close up shots for you cannot stay long in the open.

The other half of the trip was suppose to be "Strawberry Picking". It wasn't, the strawberries were small, most ripe and big ones were obviously gone from a series of trips done a week before. It was not even worth it. Too hot inside the greenhouse and that was just it. I thought that the whole trip was 1 or 2 weeks late. We could have done it during the "Golden Week", but I guess we learned our lesson. I said, next time, we go on our own, take the car and just drive. Most of the other guests inside the bus were too noisy anyway, you can't sleep or sing with them because they will rob you of your song. Organizing such events are not easy but I thought I can do better.

But nevertheless, here are the rest of the photos. The only thing that were giving us spirits was the chance to try my wife's new 50D.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 12, 2009, Akebonoyama Tulip Festival and Odaiba Photoshoot

Today is is April 19, 2009, and like last week, I didn't sleep much. It is already 5AM here and I am still wide awake. I thought, I should start blogging about our trip to Chiba last week.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. We started it by getting up at 6AM because we need to be at Kawasaki by 8AM to meet Crispee (Ben), Mamimo (Neri) and Wired (Rance) - they are members of the Timog Forum. This Forum is the chatting and meeting place of Filipino photographers here in Japan. Ben has a car and we are to hitch a ride from there. By the way, it was also our first time to meet, except Rance because I know him already way back from the Airsoft stuff.

We arrived at Chiba at around 920AM and many people are already there, the car park is already 90% full.

My wife's eye widened the moment we reach the Tulips. They are just beautiful. We haven't seen something like this it before.

It was our first collaboration with some of the TF Photographers, so we just follow their lead. Mr. Ben (The Roadrunner) gave me a lot of important pointers about photography and I was thankful. We met up with Sonny (Sarpon) and his officemate Jeff. It was cloudy in the first half of the day but the sun came out later after we had that beautiful lunch. Mr. Ben's wife prepared everything until the last detail. We even have garbage bags and toothpicks. Thanks a lot maam.

We went on to shoot 2-3 more hours before we decided to leave for Odaiba. It is on our way home and with that beautiful day, it was expected to be a beautiful sunset. We rushed out of Chiba and we barely made it. Took some neat sunset shots and moved on to the fashion poses. We don't have models with us, so we took turns on posing. My wife Josephine (Tata) got most of the play time. It was her first time but she enjoyed it so much.

Later that day, we still have to run to a birthday party, and about 1AM the next day we finally arrived home, exhausted. I thought I should go to bed straight but stayed for an extra few hours in front of my PC looking at the shots we took.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 11, 2009, Window to Tamagawa River

We were looking for some fun on this Saturday afternoon. The weather was perfect and it will be a waste if we stayed home. Again, we walked to Tamagawa River, took the left route to Kawasaki. We were lucky to find that some parts of the riverside is covered by grass weeds that grow beautiful flowers. I don't know the name, it is wonderful like a Nanohana. Just beautiful, took some shots with my wife sitting in the middle and surrounded by it.

Witnessing the sunset was just a grand prize, and it was so amazing. Will I ever see something more dramatic? I wouldn't know but I could watch this wishful setting forever. We stayed there with much joy, wondering if it is was a dream.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 8, 2009, A Walk to Tamagawa

Wednesday, 9:30PM. Still feeling after-shocks from the weekend of “Sakura Hanami”, I went home from work at around 7:30PM and told my wife that we should go for a walk at Tamagawa River after dinner. I felt that we are still hungry for more “sakura” and it was a good way to supress it, it was also a great time to see and take photos of the final stage of this yearly occurrence. She complied with much delight, adding that we needed a little exercise to burn- off some calories because we both gained a little weight through the winter.

The weather was perfect, the temperature was OK at around 18° C, and the sky was lit by an "almost-full-moon". All in all, it was a good night for a walk. Our target was a park just right after the Tamagawa Station, bordering Denen-chofu and the Tamagawa River. It is a park on a hill overlooking the river and the Kawasaki area. We will walk for 20 minutes from our apartment to reach our destination.

Tokyo could be the busiest and the largest metropolis in the world. The City devoted most of its resources not only to skyscrapers and highly advance technology, but also to parks and places of relaxation to reciprocate the constant stress of the giant economy and the busy life. The parks inside and outside the city boasts great landscaping and beautiful flowers, Japanese gardening leads in concept and composition in the world world today.

We got there after taking the Marukobashi route, bypassing the “Nakahara-kaido” (a main road going to the Kanagawa area) and went up from the river. The park looks magnificent at night with the whitish-pink sakura trees revitalizing and giving extra colors to the scene. Just as expected, the light of the moon illuminates the river and the trees, silhouetting a fine hint of glow. We took some pictures and went on deeper into the park. There we saw more sakura watchers, or more like drinkers. They are group together, sitting in a circle with their mats, eating and drinking. But the people here are fewer this time. Bought our beers and we joined them. Took a couple of shots, relaxed a little and we went home.

On our way home, I thought that maybe it's good to take some shots of the beautiful Kawasaki skyline. Took a shot at the bridge too. It came out quite good. Here are the rest of the pictures including a shot at our neighborhood.