Saturday, February 19, 2011

Descending Dragon

For some reason today I was thinking of Ha Long Bay. It's in Northern Vietnam close to China in the Gulf of Tonkin. Vietnamese legends say that the islands were formed by a family of dragons that came from the heavens to defend Vietnam from the invading Chinese. The dragons spat jewels and treasures to form a formidable barrier which are now these islands. There are thousands of little islands here that jolt out from the seas. Within are fishing communities and floating villages. It's believe that the dragon family still make their homes here and the name Ha Long means "Descending Dragon." I've been here several times and it's one of the most amazing places I've ever seen.
Lonely Planet Hanoi & Halong Bay EncounterHalong Bay

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hokusai's Sky

Photo I shot today's at dusk from my patio. From the colors in the sky I can clearly see where the great Japanese artist Hokusai was able to draw upon his pallet and inspiration. The blues to amber, and then oranges silhouette and capture the dramatic shapes of Mt. Fuji beautifully...
Hokusai: Mountains and Water, Flowers and Birds (Pegasus Series)Hokusai's Mount Fuji: The Complete Views in Color

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hot Sake

Shimokitazawa near the north side of the train station. Inside a narrow alley and under tracks is this drinking and eating stall. A small opening above let in sky and elements. It's snowing, it's icing, but here behind the tarp is a good place to nurse some hot sake (rice wine). There are only about 8 seats and a small portable heater. The owner servers drinks cooks with a small burner. He's a friendly guy and was proud to tell me that his shop is "Japanese tradion."Then hidden aspect of this place seems to draw enough charm for the regular evening crowds. I'm cold, my feet are damp, I'm constantly trying to keep my camera from getting too wet, and and my fingers feel frozen. I might as well stop in and take a load off.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Night Tori

Shot this "Tori" (gate) to a Japanese Shinto Shrine near my home. I like the contrast of snow, darkness, and even shades of green in this night shot. This shrine is located between Shimokitazawa and Sangenjiya in Tokyo. It's nestled on a hill with a set of stair cases that make their way to the main shrine. On this cold night I thought I had the place to myself. For the most part I did. A care taker came out and was very welcoming when he saw me taking photos. I told him that the place was beautiful. He smiled then walked quietly back to his quarters.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snowy Night in Tokyo

Last, night it snowed here in my Tokyo neighborhood Shimokitazawa. Went out at 12 AM to shoot. It was nice having the place to myself.. Shimikitazawa is a special neighborhood where the streets are less gridded and they wander through rustic theaters, cafes, bars, restaurants, music houses, and shops. It's a place for young Japanese hipsters and Bohemians. It said that this place retains it's old neighborhood charm as it was never hit by bombs during WWII. I find it reminiscent of places like the Village in New York, Haight Ashbury in SF, Adams Morgan in D.C., and such places in America. It's noted that most of this area will be torn down as the city ward plans to build a major road that will cut this place in half.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Waterfall Fisherman

Dalat, Vietnam: Meet this man who was blind in one eye casting a net and catching fish for his family along the rocks at the base of a huge waterfall. We chatted a bit after he noticed me noticing him. Really friendly guy. He was with his two daughters. Really nice guy with a warm and friendly disposition. I caught this shot of him in mid cast. Timeless...