An Extra 12″

29 08 2014

An Extra 12" (adjustable spanner)

An Extra 12″ (adjustable spanner)

 

Been doing a few product shots this week, mainly tools. The texture on some of these is absolutely stunning. Choosing a background that compliments the product is quite a big part of the process. In this shot I wanted something other than a plain background, but not with too bold a texture. I used my son’s balance disc, and lit it with a single gridded strobe, shooting at F2.8 on an 85mm lens at pretty much closest distance to the spanner, which was sitting on a piece of glass between two chairs, over the training ball.  Ambient light illuminated the upper side of the tool. I also used a 0.6 ND filter in the gel holder of my Pro Shade, just to allow the use of a wide aperture (throwing the rubber spikes on the balance disc out of sharp focus).

The camera was mounted on a Manfrotto 3021 tripod, with the centre column set parallel to the floor. This is a great tool and the only way I think it could be improved is perhaps a carbon version, with titanium fittings. Just waiting on that lottery ticket….





Firemen’s Convention outside my front door

25 08 2014

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no fewer than 6 fire engines and 4 police cars packed into one tiny Tokyo street…nobody seemed to know where the fire was or even how to get back to the fire station. chaos redefined. if this is where my resident tax goes, please can I make a suggestion?





500px Global Photo Walk 6th September 2014

24 08 2014

In a couple of weeks’ time, 500px, the photo sharing site, are organising a global photo walk, and I’ve prepared a route for the Tokyo segment, passing through Sumida-ku and Koto-ku. 

We’ll be meeting at 2pm on Saturday 6th of September, in Asakusa. The assembly point will be just in front of the koban, which is on the junction of route 463 and Edo Dori (opposite Burger King).  Approximate finishing time should be around 5-5.30 pm, right in the middle of the Golden Hour, and by then we’ll be at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Shirakawa.

I went out yesterday to map the route, and provide some ideas for photos that we can make along the way:

 

details in the dust, at the start of the route, in Sumida Park

details in the dust, at the start of the route, in Sumida Park

Tohoku Expressway viewed through the frame of the railway bridge

Tohoku Expressway viewed through the frame of the railway bridge

Asahi Flame building

Asahi Flame building

Asahi Buildings. both are covered in reflective materials.

Asahi Buildings. both are covered in reflective materials.

Asahi Flame building. nothing very interesting inside, as is often the case. but the exterior is clad in these highly polished tiles, which are going to make life interesting

Asahi Flame building. nothing very interesting inside, as is often the case. but the exterior is clad in these highly polished tiles, which are going to make life interesting

here’s the Facebook page for the event. This will carry further updates on the event and more detail on the route, as we get closer to 6th September: https://www.facebook.com/events/535767803215353/

 

meeting point in Google Maps, here: https://www.google.co.jp/maps/@35.710726,139.797673,3a,75y,107.1h,102.03t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sqIUIHj8FOQ03CcvUhaSWxA!2e0?hl=en

 

hope to see you all in a couple of weeks. cheers, Peter

 

 





The Union Jack Band

10 08 2014

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went to see a friend’s band play an open-air show today, since the fireworks were cancelled. my m.o. for bands especially open air shows is, don’t bother with the photographers’ pit, get as far back as you can with a big lens, that still allows a fairly tight framing. main reason for this is the perspective is far more natural – you avoid that ‘up the nose’ look that shots made from the photo pit or front row, have. as usual the lights were fairly crap, not too bad with an exposure of 1/320 at F3.5 (wide open) on ISO 1600, but mostly the shadows would fall right over the performers’ eyes – the panda look, so shots like the one above were few and far between. the patterned background slightly defocused with a telephoto lens actually contributes to the feel of the shot. oh and the music was a good crack

a few more photos, by popular demand, as they say:

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Aimee sporting a Great Britain-themed hair accessory. and some Dio style devil horns

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A typical lighting problem – the rear half of the stage is lit, but step forward and you fall out of the light. Only a lot of dodging saved this shot from the delete key.

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never forget the drummer. the flag really helps though

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that stare. dealing with hecklers

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Ben Dover gave it all from his little heart

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the amazing Mr.Tommy Jaime – offstage he’ll be hobbling around with a walking cane but put a fat five string in his hands and you’ll see him dance

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what are friends for after all?





location spotting at the docks

10 08 2014

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while scouting a worthwhile and hopefully interesting shooting position for the Tokyo Bay firework show, I did happen across a few interesting industrial locations, which I hope will make a great backdrop for some portraiture or band promo shots. This one’s a set of disused warehouses, which will likely be demolished to make way for something ghastly….(sigh). The wear and tear on the paintwork is absolutely delicious.





putting bums on seats – Tokyo Bay 2014 Fireworks

9 08 2014

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I spent most of today cycling around Tokyo Bay, to select the best shooting spot for tomorrow’s firework display. About 12,000 shells will be fired, from barges moored close to Harumi Ferry Terminal. Although it is a free display (and hence most of the population of Tokyo is expected to turn up), if the mood takes you, you can pay to sit on a blue plastic folding chair with thousands of others for the eighty minute duration of the display. 





great light is where you find it

6 08 2014

Ko in Tamachi

the other day I spent 8 hours in Tamachi, where I was engaged to photograph a workshop dealing with improving your TOEIC score (Test of English for International Communication). The event was held in a giant glass fronted office building, and afterwards I went out into the huge lobby, and noticed the amazing light. Floor to ceiling glass on two sides, and highly polished black marble on the other two. So I grabbed Ko, who was assisting at the event, and we shot a few photos, one of which you can see above. All natural light, around 5pm.








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