Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
One curious aspect of the Japanese take on Christmas is the central importance of fried chicken from KFC. No joke. The story I heard, which I can't confirm, is that some American who was in Japan at Christmas time wanted to celebrate it with turkey, but couldn't find one to cook, and so settled for KFC instead, thus starting the fad. What is true is that the KFC company picked up on this and marketed it relentlessly and successfully. KFC outlets are plentiful in Japan, and at Christmas time lines of people waiting to buy fried chicken for Christmas dinner will stretch down the block from each store. People even reserve their Christmas fried chicken months in advance.
Above is a picture of a ubiquitous scene in Japan in November and December. It is a nearly life-sized Colonel Sanders, dressed as Santa Claus. This photo was taken in November of 2006, in a shopping arcade in Kyoto.
Happy holidays, however you choose to celebrate the season.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Here's the Iseshi train station, Ise city, Japan, November 2006. Rendered as a painting. (Click on the image to make it larger.)
Friday, December 17, 2010
As always, dress for the weather, and remember that the cold will sap your batteries, so have extras stored in a warm place, and keep yourself warm too.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Winter is a wonderful time for photography, but there are a few basic things to know about shooting snow. People often are unsatisfied with the pictures they get of snowy scenes. The reason for this is usually because snow tends to wreak havoc in the camera with two photographic variables: Exposure and white balance.
These things can often be fixed by software, such as Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture, but you're generally better off getting it right in the camera. The very easiest fix is to use the "snow" exposure setting in your camera, if it has one. The snow setting will automatically correct for both exposure and and white balance. But if not, or if you want more manual control over what happens, both exposure and white balance can be corrected using camera settings at the scene.
On Friday, some special fun shooting snow scenes at night.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Today most of Nauvoo is an historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A new temple has been built, pictured above, completed in 2002. The old town, or "flats" has been preserved with a scattering of buildings from the time. They include, among others, Joseph Smith's House and store (Below).
From there, it is just 25 miles south and east to Carthage, where the old jail, the site of Smith's murder, is also preserved by the Mormon church.
Information on visiting Nauvoo is available here, and Carthage here.
Monday, December 6, 2010
As it happens, some good friends of mine owned, and lived in, the Cherry Street Inn house until just a year or so ago. It was my good fortune to get to spend the night there a number of times. The view above is from the window of the bedroom where I slept on one of my visits. As you can see, this is pretty close to the view the Bill Murray character got up and looked out at each morning.
Information on Groundhog Day sights in Woodstock is available here.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The picture above is of an abandoned building at a stop on the Deadwood to Bismarck stage trail (rendered as a painting). The stop is along Highway 73 in northern South Dakota, south of Lemmon. In the 1870s this trail was one of the most active in the West.