Tokyo Throwaway Pics

No, you’re not hallucinating. I really am updating just a mere 8 days (haha, is that really “a mere”?) after my previous update. Unfortunately, there’s not much to this update besides a few pictures, so, umm, sorry about that.

tokyo throw away pictures

Originally I had a moment of photographic inspiration this evening whilst taking a break from fighting my computer (Adobe InDesign to be specific) in an attempt to make a few hundred name tags for a seminar I have to organize for work. Normally this is a straightforward data merge operation, but due to a comedic series of mishaps, this task has ended up taking me the better part of two days (at one memorable juncture I created a 400 MB, 563 page document which contained the same personnel information 10 times on each page) including the 5 hours I spent today cutting out name tags and stuffing them into lanyard holders. I never want to see another damn name tag so long as I live.

tokyo throw away pictures

Anyway, so my idea was to make some HDR shots from my balcony at night and do a post on those, but in the end I wasn’t happy with the results and gave up. So then I needed something to put up for this post, and here you have it. A bunch of throw away shots from a recent trip into Tokyo.

tokyo throw away pictures

I call them “throw away shots” not because there’s anything particularly wrong with them, but just because there’s nothing particularly interesting about them either – no fantastic architecture, no stunning scenery, not even an interesting story or narrative to go with them. They’re just sort of … meh. Sorry about that. Oh well. I guess not everything can be a National Geographic covers. *laughs*

tokyo throw away pictures

A few more pictures after the jump. Gentle readers, please entertain me with some amusing anecdote or questions or something to distract me from the pain of my mundane, overworked existence. I’m counting on you to save my soul ;)

tokyo throw away pictures

tokyo throw away pictures

tokyo throw away pictures

tokyo throw away pictures

Okay, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with some R. Kelly. I have been rocking this song hardcore on my iPod during my morning commute. The only problem is this song makes me want to try and seduce every woman I see on the train (relax people, I don’t actually try), only I forget that a) I’m not R. Kelly and b) I’m on a train headed to my depressing workplace, not in a club getting my mack on. So instead I just groove silently in my head and awkwardly shuffle my feet in time with the melody. Sigh. But anyway, yeah. It’s a good song.

Now listening to: “R. Kelly – Skin”

10 Reactions

  1. SabineM

    wow….Malina and I listen to this song on our way to “where-ever” (she is in charge of the playlist on the ipod in the car… for some reason, the drums in it always remind me of all Prince stuff…
    Anyhow, just saw the video for the first time… Now I Am going to want to seduce every Woman I see (just kidding…..)….but hmm R Kelly is looking might fine!
    Oh and nice photos (sorry I started with the video, so I got side-tracked)

  2. felix

    The ordinary and the mundane always take a new meaning when one these are provided in a new context.
    From my online perch in New York, I revel in looking into ordinary life in other countries – even pictures of combinis in Japan are awesome.
    Thanks for keeping up with your pic posts! I, on the other hand, have lagged way behind, even though I have kept on photographing and journaling.

  3. Shan

    The 5th photo from the top looks like something out of a sci-fi flick, if you aren’t aware of the fact that you were looking up at buildings and sky when you took it! Looks like a shot from outer space looking down to earth or similar effect. Really cool!

  4. J

    shoot, your picture quality is great! not to mention that the bokeh of the pictures in other posts are nice as well. what lens(es) do you use?

  5. b

    i really like the first photo. it’s interesting and beautiful. i think that the skies, buildings, powerlines, adults, kids, bikes, coffee-drinkers/people-watchers and dog can all combine to make many interesting stories.

  6. Michaelpanda

    @J:
    Thanks for the compliment! I’m really glad to hear you like the pictures :)
    In response to your question, I used two different lenses for the pictures in this post and the one above it. One is the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. This is an ultra-wide angle lens made specifically for APC crop sensor digital cameras (so things like the Canon Digital Rebel Xti, etc. – basically any Canon non-full frame body that can take an EF-S lens). I love this lens so much, and it can make for some interesting distortions since it’s so wide, especially if you shoot buildings at angles (or my favourite, shoot clouds against blue skies – it stretches them out dramatically).
    This lens is not cheap by any means (it’s about $700-$800) but it is an amazing lens with solid build quality that is well worth the price, in my opinion.
    For the close up shots, or the ones with lots of background blur, I use the el cheapo Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (aka “the fantastic plastic”). This is a prime lens (non-zoom), but it is razor sharp, and it goes down to f/1.8 so you can get great background blur. Best of all, it is only $90! It is probably the best bang-for-the-buck purchase in Canon’s entire lineup. I have read on some sites that they think the background blur on this lens is “harsh” because it is so cheap, but I have never had a problem with it. (there are more expensive alternatives to this lens, including an 50mm L lens that goes down to f/1.4 or f/1.2 but it is like 10 times the price).
    When using the 50mm on a crop-sensor body like my Digital Rebel, it becomes something closer to a 70mm lens or so, which is a little long for everyday use, but it comes in great for those shots where you want razor sharp clarity and nice bokeh :)
    Finally, when shooting with the 10-22mm wide angle, I almost always use a circular polariser, especially when shooting outdoors or skies. A CP for this lens is not cheap (it’s a 77mm diameter, so it costs about $150 for a good quality polariser) but it will do brilliant things with your blue skies and white clouds (and building windows and green grass, etc.)
    If you have more questions, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll reply when I get back from my trip later this week!

  7. Michaelpanda

    @Shan
    Thanks! I’m glad you like it! The effect is achieved by using a wide angle lens (see my previous comment right about this one) along with a Circular polarizer, then adding a hard-lighting overlay in photoshop to make everything more contrast-y. The lens is what really stretches the perspective out though and makes the clouds dramatic like that, and the CP is what makes the colours pop.
    Now that you mention it, it does remind me of like an alien mother ship hovering over the earth’s atmosphere :)

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