Category: featured entry

Studio Style I

maya white studio shoot

The lovely Maya. My first attempt at shooting something indoors within a makeshift studio. Shot with a Canon 580 EX II bounced off an umbrella, a reflector and a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L. And a peanut butter jelly sandwich. Definitely the most important of all the equipment ;)

How to pass the JLPT 1 – Part IV

jlpt level 1 part IV excerpt

Stop right now. Listen to me. The kanji section on the JLPT I is hard. Do not sleep on this ish. To paraphrase Ice Cube: “You better check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.” You’re gonna need to study pretty intensely if you want to pass the kanji section of the JLPT I, my friends, so leave yourself plenty of time. So how to study? If you’re here looking for nifty tricks like mnemonic devices or fancy illustrations ostensibly derived from kanji radicals to help you, then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. There are only two main ways in which I’ve studied kanji: by reading them in context (in novels, newspapers, during the course of daily life or else at work) and also by brute force baby (break out a piece of paper and start writing them beasts out over and over and over (and over) again). I used both ways when studying for the JLPT I kanji section, so that’s what I’ll talk about. If you want to use pretty pictures or mnemonics you’re welcome to, but I don’t have any particular advice for you.

How to pass the JLPT 1 – Part III

jlpt level 1 part III excerpt

So if the object is not 100% listening and comprehension accuracy, then what is the goal? The answer is simple: your goal is to comprehend just enough to answer the question in front of you correctly. In order to do this, you need to be familiar with the general structure of spoken Japanese, be able to grasp the context of a conversation/situation, have a sufficiently deep vocabulary to enable literal comprehension to occur and most of all, be able to “keep up” with the pace of Japanese as spoken by native speakers.

2010 Year in Photos

2010 in photos - excerpt image

So just like last year, it’s time again for a wrap-up “year in photos” post. I had a hard time paring everything down into a manageable selection of photos for a single post, despite blogging less this year than last year. I’d like to think that it’s because my photos are improving slightly, but honestly speaking it’s probably that my editing skills are just getting worse haha. (though I did update the Photo of the Day section a lot more this year).

Autumn 2010

Autumn 2010 Poast

And while in an ideal world these pictures of leaves would be accompanied by some pithy, neigh-poetic text about the beauty and splendor of autumn penned by yours truly, I’m afraid that this is a) not an ideal world, b) I am not nearly so poetic these days (or really, was I ever, though I was considerably more emo-angsty as a young panda) and c) I spilled coffee on my shirt this morning and whilst I washed it out (and ended up buying a new one with sleeves that are too short because the clerk didn’t measure me correctly and I foolishly trusted her without double-checking) I still smell like coffee and it is discombobulating my groove and preventing me from thinking about anything save taking a shower.

Autumn Style II

autumn style II post

The lovely Bethann and Tomoko posing for a few shots on a gorgeous autumn afternoon. Not much to this one: a reflector (expertly wielded by the lovely Maya) and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L is all she wrote in terms of equipment. Oh and a stick in case that evil goose from last week returned to start some dramas. (I’m not even joking yo.)

Autumn Style I

maya aki lake

We just said farewell to summer so it seems only fitting to follow up with the first few pictures from autumn. It was beautiful weather last weekend (not this weekend though – it’s been so cold that I’ve already busted out my heater, two pairs of socks and thick winter blanket – and it’s only October!!!) so the lovely Maya and I headed over to a park for a lakeside picnic (consisting primarily of cinnamon rolls and other deliciously calorific bakery treats) and while we were there, I decided to get a few shots of her for the blog.

Reversible Destiny

reversible destiny mitaka excerpt

A while back the lovely Okapi and I ran across some pretty awesome looking Tokyo apartments on the internet. And it being delightful autumn weather recently, we decided last weekend we ought to make the journey out west of Shinjuku to take a look.

Farewell to Summer

one last day at the beach excerpt

One last day at the beach this summer… You can tell autumn is on its way… the water was colder, the skies a little darker, the sunshine a bit more chill than last time

Sanya Photowalk

sanya photowalk excerpt

Our photowalk took us through what used to be the old Sanya neighborhood in Tokyo, over towards Asakusa and the location of the new Tokyo Sky Tree. It’s about as urban as things get in Tokyo, with lots of wonderfully textured concrete, steel, power cables, shuttered buildings and what not, and the fact that we could see the Sky Tree poking up intermittently through the clouds and gaps in the stormy skyline (as if some foreboding Tower of Mordor or whatever) (I may have screwed that name up, but I’m talking about the bad guy’s tower in The Lord of the Rings) only made it that much better.