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Humbled

January 28th, 2009 by admin

On my recent trip to Japan, the crew from bodykit manufacturer ChargeSpeed, took us out for dinner. I have photographed a fair few of their cars, around 8 from memory, and for some reason, they are fans of my work. At the conclusion of the dinner, Kay from ChargeSpeed presented me with a gift, a new camera. I was humbled and thankful that they took the time out to get me a present, for no real reason. Thanks! It’s an interesting camera, a 3D film camera. It uses 4 lenses to shoot on the size of 2 35mm frames, so each lens exposes a half frame. I think I may have some trouble finding someone to develop the prints.

Nishika 3D camera

I’m not 100% sure on how it works, but I think the final print is what is called lenticular, which you might remember those animated plastic images with fine ripples on them, as you moved it from side to side the image became animated.

Happy or sad?

January 22nd, 2009 by admin

I have a few more posts from my experiences in Japan recently, here’s a pic Charles Kha took while at a shoot location.

roadsters

I didn’t know if I should feel happy or sad, happy that I saw my favourite cars, but sad in that one of them looked like it was crying with its blinkers hanging out. These Mazda Roadsters were at an auto college outside Tokyo, I hope some students get good use out of them.

Back to…

January 17th, 2009 by admin

not Babylon, but home. I spotted this at Shibuya’s famous main crossing, and thought it was appropriate for my last night in Japan, for a while at least.

High End Fruit

January 13th, 2009 by admin

JDM fruit

This fruit shops looks maybe a little cleaner and neater than what you may be used to. However, there lies a secret. Take a close look at the fruit and the prices they wear.



I’m not entirely sure of how the prices work, but it’s a lot.


grapes

These grapes are hand grown in New Zealand, and I guess air freighted in first class. That price works out at A$87 for that small bunch.


rockmelon

The rockmelons take the cake, A$350 for this pair. The fruit really are spectacular, they are completely flawless and unlike anything you usually see at even the best Aussie fruit shops. They look like they were constructed from wax and hand modeled as the perfect fruit. I can only imagine the taste.

Harajuku

January 13th, 2009 by admin

This looks like a store for kids clothes right?

Look again.

It’s all for small dogs.

Japan Day 3

January 12th, 2009 by admin

With the rest of the week completely booked with shoots, today was our only ‘free’ day. Walking, seeing the sights, and a bit of shopping (not much cus of our Aussie peso) was the plan.

We started with breakfast at First Kitchen. There are so many burger places in Tokyo now, apart from the usual U.S. based McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s etc, there are better Japanese alternatives such as MOS Burger, Freshness Burger and what we tried this morning, First Kitchen. I ordered a pork burger, which was decent, but not quite to the MOS standard. What was good was the side salad; super fresh lettuce, nice bacon, sauce, cheese and cute tiny little croutons. The highlight was however, the soft boiled egg. Perfectly cooked and individually wrapped, you crack it open, and allow it to slide out of the shell and onto your salad. This was a much better alternative then the same old french fries.

Walking towards the shops the cold set in, nothing beats a bottle of Royal Milk Tea in this case. It warms your hands, tastes great, and is cheap at ¥120.

Next up we trained it over to Harajuku, and walked to the Meiji JingÅ«. I’m not sure what the occasion was, but there amount to people was mind blowing.

Lining the route to the shrine were Ice Sculptures, some of them were very intricate. With the morning sun filtering through the trees to the ice, we were impressed and if it wasn’t for the crowds around us, it would have been a very peaceful place.

The small shop complex near the shrine had a few stalls setup, so we picked up some fresh hot bean paste dumplings, giving us some much needed energy to attack Omotesando.

This looked like potpurri but was tea.

We finally got to Omotesando and the streets were crawling with shoppers.

We walked through a few shops, but with the conversion rate, bought next to nothing. After we walked back to Shibuya, we spotted this R35 just cruising, no one really looking at it.

Japan 2009 Day 0.5

January 9th, 2009 by admin

Got to the airport at a bright and early 7 AM, the morning traffic was non existent. I was flying JAL, and after walking past the Jetstar line, I was very thankful of that.

JAL

Jetstar

The 9 hour flight was made all the more tolerable by the fact that couple who was meant to sit next to be, moved to a further row back, perfect, 3 seats to myself. Unfortunately the IFE was not working for the first couple of hours, so I was glad I had my iriver clix, N95, and laptop. I only ended up using the iriver, and got through most of a season of Entourage on the way there. Finally got to Shibuya at around 9pm local time, and the first thing I went for, was one of my favourite desserts anywhere:

Haagen Dazs Caramel Crispy Sandwich

Packing.

January 7th, 2009 by admin

I don’t mind packing now, with all the travelling I have done in the past 4 years, (mostly domesically) I reckon I’ve become quite good at it. Flying to Japan from Au isnt too bad, its about 9.5 hours from Sydney to Tokyo, just long enough to watch a couple of movies, have a nap, eat dinner and be there in time to catch a Tokyo sunset. One thing I struggle with, is fitting all my gear within the weight limits. One suit case of 20kg is it. U.S. folk have it too good. 2 bags of 32kgs. That’s massive, and it’s no wonder I buy up big on every U.S. trip I do. The rest of the world unfortunately has to live with 20kgs. As a result, I pack most of my gear into my carry on bag, a Lowepro CompuTrekker Plus AW. It’s about the biggest backpack that is carry-on approved in Lowepro’s range and here’s what I stuff into it:

gear

Canon 70-200 f2.8 L
Canon 85mm f1.2 L
Canon 24-70 f2.8 L
Canon 17-40 f4 L
Canon 15mm f2.8 fisheye
Canon EOS 5D plus grip (if anyone wants to lend me a 5D mark II I’d love one)
Canon EOS 20D plus grip (or two)
Canon 580EX II
2x Canon 580EX
Canon charger
10x BP-511A batteries
2x AA chargers
3x PocketWizard Plus II
PocketWizard Multimaxx
24x Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries
Lexar CF reader (waiting to find a firewire800 expresscard)
Approx 8 CF cards of various capacities
Power plug adapters
Canon OC-E3 flash cable
Sensor cleaning kit
3x Canon flash stands
LumiQuest Softbox III
various PocketWizard cables and flash adapters
2x Hoya ND filters (ND8 and ND400)
Hoya Polarising filter
Flash colour gels

So all in the bag it looks like:

packed

And I think I’ll squeeze my Dell 1710 laptop in there too.

What to do when you can’t get home.

November 4th, 2008 by admin

On a recent trip to Melbourne we were due to fly out of Tullamarine at around 8:30pm. After sitting on the plane for about a half an hour, the pilot announced that they were lacking a co-pilot and they were trying to source a replacement. A further 30 minutes or so and the flight was cancelled. They were not able to find a replacement co-pilot to get the plane in time to make the Sydney Airport curfew. I offered my services, but 2 hours on Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t enough apparently.

Closed flight

So we had a plane-full of annoyed passengers, and 3-4 staff members to get through it all. Basically good airlines like Qantas and VirginBlue will provide you with accommodation, Jetstar apparently force you to take care of yourself.

If you have several people in your party you can get:
1. A hotel room each. (why not)
2. 2 cab charges each. (the ones we received had a shelf life of about 2 years)
Usually, they fill the better hotels first, so it’s a safer bet to line up first, however, we did hear of a group on our flight, who got to their hotel, to find out it was booked out (after they were sent there) so they were rebooked at Crown Towers, one of the best hotels in Melbourne.

Also, try find out exactly what you are entitled to, for instance, we were told to feel free to make some phone calls from your hotel, order dinner, have a drink, etc. Once we arrived at the hotel, a letter was placed in our rooms saying one free 3 minute phone, dinner and breakfast were covered by the airline. Any movies or Alcoholic drinks were not covered. I ordered, dinner, dessert and a drink, with the bill came to around $45. The next morning while checking out we were told that the airline only covered dinner up to $20 and that I would have to cover the rest. This was not described in the letter and I will be posting that invoice to the airline.

The airline did rebook us on a flight the next morning, however they were also quite full, and we had very little choice on which flight we could go on. We had a 8am flight, to had to leave the hotel rather early, around 6am.

While waiting at the airport, our stage crew just had to jump online and check:

Crewspace

Yup, you guessed it, Facebook and Myspace.