Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

Personalizing Lightroom’s Amazing New “Auto Tone” Feature

Lightroom 7.2 introduced an entirely new version of its "Auto Tone" feature, a one-click adjustment of photo brightness and contrast to hopefully-pleasing results. The prior version of Auto Tone used what might be called a "stupid, brute force" method that merely adjusted tone ranges to try find a numeric balance. It wasn't very useful.

The new Auto Tone, however, is fantastic, being powered by an artificial-intelligence engine trained with thousands of hand-tweaked photos from highly-regarded artists. It does a sufficiently-good job that I now use it as part of my new-photo workflow, to give me a better starting point for [...]

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Cherry-Blossom Portraits with Monet and May

I've remained friends with the family of one of Anthony's preschool classmates, and even though they haven't been in school together for nine years, we still keep in close touch. The other day I did a quick photoshoot of the family's two girls, Monet and May, who should now be about 15 and 13 years old, respectively.

I'm sort of rusty with the camera, so wasn't sure what to expect, but the moment I took the first photo, I knew that the girls would do all the work and I could just press the button; no photographer skill required when [...]

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Short but Lovely Hike on Mt. Daimonji

I recently made the short hike up Mt. Daimonji to the fire pits (which I first blogged about 11 years ago here), with Damien and Chris Rowthorn, the author of the Lonely Planet guides for Japan and Kyoto. Chris often uses Damien's and my photos on his Inside Kyoto site.

The view from where we were, the center of the "大", is lovely, but today it was ridiculously hazy...

The spec of orange just right of center is the main gate of the Heian Shrine. Compare the photo above to those seen on this post, and this one.

There are [...]

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Okinawa Ride Day 1

I'm finally getting around to write about my first ride in Okinawa a month ago, which came after my "ride" to Okinawa. I posted a few photos in a preview post, but I want to keep the full memory of the lovely day, so I'm writing this report.

Here's the ride we did:

There are no big mountains in the south of Okinawa where we were, but there are plenty of short/steep hills, including two that average 12% over 600m, this and this. These short, intense climbs are the kind that, when I'm in good shape, I can do very [...]

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Cherry Blossoms are Quite Early in Kyoto This Year

Cherry are blossoming quite a bit early in Kyoto this year. I had a shopping errand to do, so I took the long way to check out a few cherry-blossom spots around town. Unlike a similar outing last year, this year I had only a small little camera with me, so the photos aren't too exciting, but they perhaps give a sense for some of the places. Many were at full bloom already.

Each photo has a map link under it.

I swung by the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park (京都御所公園), which has some nice blossom areas in its northwest, and [...]

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