Monday, November 23, 2009


I just don't get them. Really. The smiles, and the "We are number one"s (well who really wants to be a number two?) ... but they do make for good photos.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whatever you say, boss

"Containing just a little more alcohol, this delectable liqueur has a rich flavor of barley."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Well, You Can Wish Can't You?

Saw this in the car park at Asda in Brighton Marina.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Buddah In The Wall

Photographs that tell half truths. I could have been somewhere more interesting than I was, but I wasn't, and there was the entrance to a small basement Izakaya near Nagoya station with an interesting display of small statues behind a lattice of bamboo. Next door to the Izakaya? Probably another one, or a petrol station or hotel, and it was on a busy main road. But could you tell how everyday and even a little tacky it was just from the photo? Not really, because the camera doesn't lie but the person holding it can bend the truth.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Well, it is rainy season.
I tried to add a little vignetting using the TiltShift Generator featured on Ben Curtis's 'Snapper Talk'. Sadly it refused to save it, telling me that the file must be an image file. I am most confused.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Football (not soccer)

Spent three days last week in Nagano with the school's football club. Together with students from a high school from Kyoto, my students were instructed by two under 18 coaches from Spain.
In Japan as America, football is known as 'Soccer', but the Spanish coach and I agreed that football by any other name...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Higher Education

From selection of photos of lectures and lessons. See more pics here, and learn more about where it came from here.
It was an education just taking them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Shopping at the supermarket today reminded me of the old gag about watching your job or you will be replaced with a computer. Pictured above is the latest addition to the checkout lines in Japan's Jusco chain, the DIY register.
Hook your bag onto the holders (bottom left) and then scan in your items yourself and pay. The holder weighs your bag it seems, and then check for the weight of all that is being scanned to make sure you are not being a cheeky tea-leaf.
The whole operation of about 14 machines is monitored by 2 staff.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here Be Dragons

Little monsters playing with monsters at a local festival.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hot Off The Press

I printed the first edition of the new school newspaper last week. Long story. Read the lead story here. An interview with the headmaster. Gripping stuff.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's On Your Table?

A cat, a container of barley tea, tissues, letters and an alphabet board from my mum, and a copy of the Reuters 'The State Of The World' photo collection from December 2007.
Love my local library!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Fantasy Worx

An image from the Fantasy Worx site run by the person who first put a camera into my hands and said 'go play'. Well worth a visit. Beautiful images.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Keitai Snaps

Last month I held an elective lesson at school on the theme of taking interesting photos with a mobile camera. The chance to be allowed to used their mobile phones in a lesson (we confiscate any that are used in class as a rule) drew 60 students.... and we were allotted a classroom for 40.
After a brief introduction and a 'getting to know your phone's camera' period, we talked about and practiced taking photos with contrast, movement and angles. After that I let the students loose on a rainy Saturday afternoon and the above are some of the result.
Some students used their inbuilt phone functions instead of thinking, some really tried hard to do something different, and some took the ideas from the lesson and took something a little different from their usual. All seemed to have fun.

Friday, May 01, 2009


And what a busy day. On top of the lessons, and the meetings, and the marking, we have club activities. In my high school I am now in charge of the new Newspaper Club and it's related blog. You can see a few test articles on that blog here.
Our first club activity was, of course, interviewing the headmaster. The aim of the interview was introducing a more personal side of the headmaster. The newspaper club finished their interview and I called in my volunteer from the photography club to help me out with the photo above which I hope will illustrate the article. Not a bad effort. The piece of paper over his shoulder is annoying, but at least we removed his lunchbox from the background.
On the way home I stopped off at the chemist to pick up a new pack of masks only to find that they had sold out. Photo taken on handy mobile phone as SLRs tend to draw stares when produced in a chemist's.
The empty spaces on the racks were the virus blocking masks. The green packs at the top are the standard versions (shop brand).
Japan is responding to the WHO phase 5 warning by being practical. They are handing out information pamphlets to high risk groups and in Kyoto, a tourist spot, they are doing so in many languages to visiting foreigners (reported NHK). Keep washing your hands and gargle.The media in Japan is not quite hysterical yet, but they could learn a few things from Yahoo news about dramatizing things with figures.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A cleaner Paris for Yu and Ai

This photograph from the Raw Japan blog by Reuters shows a Japanese volunteer holding out rubbish collected from the streets of Paris.
Not another fetish. The volunteers just seemed to think it could be cleaner. I suppose it could.

The Reuters blog offers an interesting range of Japan based stories, and a wide range of blogs on other areas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Was asked how to say "KY" in English (as English as those letters may seem, they are also used in Japanese). Interesting article here about the acronym culture in young Japan.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Be Prepared

It has been beautiful for the past few days. You can feel the hot summer coming, but it's not here yet and neither are the insects.

As the season changes, we change the contents of our emergency backpacks. These are the bags that we hope we will have a chance to grab after the quake that we hope our building is strong enough to stand up to.
Lighter clothes, a change of bottled water, larger nappies and dammit, I forgot the bottle of Scotch!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


An evangelist meeting? Day of the dead? Not at all. On the day when a North Korean missile was fired over the north of Japan, a small town in Aichi had a Mochi catching festival..
Mochi is cooked rice beaten into a thick paste and formed into small cakes. Today's festival was held at a local shrine where local people gathered to catch mochi cakes which were thrown from a raised stage.
I went to the Honen Festival a few years ago and as rock hard mochi rained down from the skies, someone grabbed my shell toe trainers thinking they were mochi and nearly sent me flying. These events get a little hectic.

As the crowd dispersed and the last mochi bagged, we noticed that one bag of mochi was stuck in a tree. Some very energetic throwing. It was a vary happy young farmer's son who caught them when they were eventually prised free.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Nice To Meet You

This is a self introduction from a friend Ben.
I'm Ben.
My photo's are from my wanderings around town. I also have an illustration blog which is linked to the photo blog. Please have a look and make a comment.
See Ben's photos HERE.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Smorgasbord Of The Day

Lens/sensor dirt on blossom shot. Time to clone! Today was a dash from a meeting at school to meet the photography club members and their multitude of cameras. Some nice shots, some so-so, but the real highlight of the day was chatting to four elementary schoolgirls who wanted to see my photos of the carp.
"Say something in English!"
"(in english) O.K... What do you want me to say?"
"What does that mean?"
"It means 'What do you want me to say'."
"I don't understand. Are you foreign?"
Fantastic! I worked for five years in Japanese Elementary schools and had forgotten how enjoyable it is talking to that age group.