Shinjuku and Park Hyatt

Yesterday I went to Shinjuku with some friends after work. We got there around 8pm (we work 11-7) right as things were picking up. Shinjuku is by far my favorite place in Tokyo so far! It’s what you might call the “stereotypical” Tokyo with lots of neon, crowds, and narrow alleyways (Tokyo is much more diverse in reality but more on that later). Shinjuku is also home to the Park Hyatt Hotel. If you’re ever here take out a small loan, go to the Park Hyatt, ride the elevator to the 52nd floor, and use the loan to buy a drink. I guarantee there will be no regrets. On the opposite end of the spectrum there are also crowded alleys with tiny bars that seat about 10 people and are so cool! If you’re a foreigner you have to ask before going in, but the sentiment is generally very friendly and relaxed.

Crowds outside the Shinjuku JR station. I’ve discovered a love for black and white!

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Neat looking office building…

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And again in bw. Which do you like better and why? I think it produces “richer” images and is great for patterns and textures.

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Intersections…

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Architecture…bw really makes the details POP

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Neon!

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More neon!!

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Alleyways and small bars…a bit disappointed with how this one turned out, but didn’t have time to stop and mess with the settings. All of my photos are unedited when I put them up.

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I was brave and tried raw squid sushi. A bit umm chewey, but not terrible with enough sauce haha.

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The lobby of the Park Hyatt

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And proof I was actually there 🙂

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I’m still learning lots about photography and always appreciate comments and tips.

Thanks for stopping by today!
Chris

Ginza

Ginza is the Rodeo Drive of Tokyo. That is, if Rodeo was five times bigger, every store was an entire building, and they closed the streets on the weekend! Ginza is also home to the Tokyo International Forum which is one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever been inside. The area was difficult to photograph because we were constantly walking in and out of different lights, but I was able to get some good shots. I think these pictures really speak for themselves. Enjoy!

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Thanks for stopping by.
Chris

En Route Tokyo

Hello! After a long journey starting in Portland at 8am on the 24th and ending in Tokyo at 12am on the 26th I finally have time to update this blog. The following photos were taken en route to Tokyo at both LAX and Narita Airport. Japan is a truly unique country and I’ve never been anywhere remotely similar! I’ve been doing a little bit if exploring and start work tomorrow. More photos to come!

A reader board at LAX.
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The massive Tom Bradley international terminal!
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I love the El-Al jets. They’re equipped with missile deflection systems!
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I’m slightly obsessed with planes and the A380 is the largest commercial airliner. It was amazingly quiet and unsurprisingly roomy. The Singapore airlines staff were extremely gracious and made the 12 hour flight quite pleasant (or about as good as it could be). Note the size of the police car next to the engine!
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Narita airport is easily the cleanest transit hub I’ve ever been to.
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Thanks for stopping by today!
Chris

Pre-Departure Mt. Hood Hike


Mt. Hood, located in the Cascade Range, is one of my favorite places in the world to visit. Its just an hour and a half drive from Portland and offers amazing hikes in the summer and skiing (or snowboarding I suppose) in the winter. I made a point of getting up to hike at least once before leaving for Tokyo. My best friend Ryan and I decided to hike to Ramona Falls on the western spur. I’m still learning about photography and probably could have used a UV filter today, but I did get about 10 or 15 good shots out of about 155. Enjoy!

The alpine portion of the Sandy River.

No love for the horses I guess. That water looked freezing!

The “hikers only” bridge. The forest service takes it down every fall and re-installs it in the spring. If they didn’t it would get washed out from flash floods.

Macro pictures are so easy to take and produce amazing results!

Came across this twig literally hanging on by a thread. What are the chances?!

This is the reward for two hours of hiking. Ramona Falls! Almost looks unreal and definitely post-card worthy. One of the many reasons I love the PNW.

Closer in the cascading water looks so cool! I was shooting at f/16 I believe.

I thought this was a neat picture. It really gives you a sense of the drop off next to the trail leading up t0 the falls. Had to sneak up to the edge to take it. Luckily heights don’t bother me 🙂

Great view of Mt. Hood, and I don’t mind the cloud obscuring the summit. It adds to the composition and its what I had to work with.

Meet Ryan, best friend and hiking companion. He’s not actually that serious, and had just finished lobbing stones at me before I took this.

Ryan’s car and the parking lot.

We stopped at the Zig Zag Cafe on the way back. Had great pizza and beer! I’m really developing a taste for pilsners and this one was excellent. The lighting was a bit dim so I increased the ISO, but you can see the graininess of the picture as a result. The colors and reflection on the bottle are very pleasing though.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Chris

Photos from my new camera

About two weeks ago I bought a camera on eBay to bring to Japan with me, and it came yesterday! Its a Nikon D40 and I’m currently shooting it with a 28-90mm zoom lens that also has a macro feature for up close photos. I’m fairly new to photography, but learning quickly. I took a 4 hour “photo walk” around my home town of Portland today (which included several stops for coffee and lunch) and these are some of my better photos.

Saw this dog outside of Little Big Burger in the Pearl District

Entrance to the famous Powell’s Books. I love all the action going on.

I was surprised at how well the D40 picks up colors i.e the yellow on the front of the streetcar!

Shoots black and white extremely well too.

Taking advantage of the macro feature on my lens here.

The early morning light at the beginning of my walk was ideal.

I stopped off at Washington Park for some nature pictures.

The lines in this photo really draw your eyes around, and I love the contrasting blues.

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

-Chris