Saturday, 24 December 2016

Photo Comparison: using photography to document facets of our lives

I was impressed with the arrival of our first zucchini in our new veggie beds (constructed by yours truly, but planted and carefully tended by my dear wife). They seemed to have grown in no time at all - so fast in fact that I decided to check and see if I could find a start date among my many iPhone snaps to confirm my suspicions. Thank goodness for metadata.

I found these two snaps, taken only 18 days apart.  Loads of sun and plenty of watering produced an almost tropical outburst of growth in just over two weeks.

 Very impressive - I particularly like the way that photography (in this case, with a mobile phone) can be used as a tool for recording, mapping out and documenting features in our everyday lives in a way that's almost seamless with our daily activities...

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Southern Sojourn: Japan Photo Tour 2017

I have finally devised a new itinerary for my (next year's) photo tour to Japan. This trip takes in the southern part of Japan, an area that many tours never get to because so many companies concentrate on the obvious locations of Tokyo and Kyoto.

We still spend a few days in Kyoto, the cultural heart of Japan, using the speed of the shinkansen to visit other major sites in the Kansai region such as Himeji, Kanazawa and Nara before heading south to experience the sumo tournament in Hakata, the canals of Yanagawa, the exquisite shrines of Dazaifu and the beautiful, scenic city of Nagasaki.

We then proceed further south to the volcano dominated city of Kagoshima, before flying from this southern city to the Ryukyu Islands, and in particular, Okinawa, to experience a different language, different culture, and sub-tropical scenery in a very different 'Japanese experience'. For more information, click here or click the image of Himeji castle on the right-hand side of this blog. (Note: Final schedule and cost TBA shortly)
Japan in the autumn is an exquisite explosion of colour...

In Brief:
Provisional itinerary for 10-28th November, 2017
(Please Note: dates, times, prices and locations may change subject to availability, access and local holidays)
Arrival Day
Osaka (Suggestion: Jetstar from Sydney via Cairns. Arr: 19:30
Group met by tour leader and escorted to hotel (express train) in town.
Overnight central Osaka

Day 01
AM: Osaka castle visit (escorted via subway)
PM: Walking tour of Shinsekai suburb in afternoon/evening
Overnight central Osaka

Day 02
AM: Morning local express train to Kyoto. Leave luggage at hotel (check-in in Japan is normally 2pm)
Visit Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple
PM: Lunch at Kyoto station, then take a local train to Fushimi Inari, the Fox shrine (local train) stopping off at Tofuku-ji shrine (if there’s time)
Overnight central Kyoto
Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto
Day 03 
AM: Taxi to Kiyomizu temple + then walk downhill through the old suburbs of Higashiyama and Gion.
PM: Lunch at Shijo-dori, a popular shopping street, then local bus to Shisen-do, a samurai house
PM: Return (taxi/bus) for evening photo shoot in the Shirakawa-minami dori area
Dinner in town
Overnight central Kyoto

Day 04
AM: North west to Arashiyama and World Heritage Sagano bamboo forest returning with a stop at Tenru-ji zen temple (local train)
Dinner in Kyoto
Overnight central Kyoto

Day 05
AM/PM: Visit the old capital of Nara and its parks and shrines, including the impressive Kasuga Shrine (full day, JR local train)
Dinner in Kyoto
Overnight in central Kyoto

Day 06
AM/PM: Full day trip to Kanazawa, including a walking tour of the Omi-cho markets, World Heritage Kenroku-en gardens, and the old Higashi Chaya geisha district (on the Thunderbird express train)
Overnight central Kyoto

Day 07
Early train to visit the most perfect castle in Japan, Himeji.  Lunch in Himeji, then afternoon free in Kyoto.
Overnight central Kyoto
Himeji, the most original and perfect of all Japan's castles
Day 08
AM: Early Shinkansen train to Hakata (approx. 185 mins). Check into hotel.
Rest of day free, evening visit sumo tournament
Late dinner.
Overnight central Hakata
Day 09
AM/PM: Full day trip north to Hiroshima, Visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum then on to the magical island of Miyajima. (Shinkansen 80 mins one way, then tram, local train, JR ferry)
Dinner in Hakata
Overnight central Hakata

Day 10
Full day trip to visit the Tenmangu shrine in Dazaifu then on for a cruise around the canal city of Yanagawa (local trains).
Overnight Hakata

Day 11
AM: Early express train to Nagasaki (140 mins)
Visit to the Nagasaki Peace Museum, lunch then take the tram and cablecar to the summit of Mt Inasa for a magnificent view across the city
Dinner in town
Overnight Nagasaki

Day 12
AM: Morning ferry trip to visit Gunkanjima island, return to Nagasaki for lunch then a walking trip to visit the Dutch Slope/Glover Gardens area, finally arriving in the Megane bridge part of downtown and Chinatown
Dinner in Chinatown area.
Overnight Nagasaki

Day 13
AM: Long trip to Kagoshima (approx. 240 mins)
PM: Check into hotel than take an escorted trip to visit the famous Edo period ‘borrowed view’ Sengan-en gardens
Izakaya dinner in city
Overnight Kagoshima

Day 14
AM: Local bus tour to visit the Chiran Kamikaze museum and beautiful samurai gardens nearby
PM: Ferry to the volcanic island of Sakurajima. We take a taxi tour around Sakurajima island then back to another ferry point for the ferry ride back into the city.
Dinner in the city
Overnight Kagoshima
Sakurajima volcano, Kagoshima

Day 15
AM: Morning flight to Naha, capital of Okinawa prefecture.
PM: Check into our accommodation then visit Shuri castle and museum in Naha, as well as Fukushu-en gardens and the historically significant Naval underground HQ, one of the few remaining monuments to the island’s tragic WWII history
Dinner in an izakaya restaurant
Overnight Okinawa

Day 16
AM/PM: Today we take a full day boat trip for scenic tour out of Naha to see best beaches in this Pacific paradise.
Dinner along the main street: Kokusai-dori (TBA)
Overnight Okinawa

Day 17
AM: Flight back to Osaka
Flights onward, or return home

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Santa's Shadow

Here's a demonstration of to combine one image with another and make it look like it was shot as a single image (using Photoshop Elements 15):

PSE 15 Santa Claus from Robin Nichols on Vimeo.