Archive for August 31, 2011

Typhoon 12 is coming

The 12th typhoon of the season named Talas is on the way to hit large parts of mainland Japan (JMA). Extremely heavy rain, tidal and storm surge inundations are highly possible, especially in the Tohoku disaster area. The Tohoku area partially sunk and suffered liquefaction, which increases the likelihood of storm surge flooding. The typhoon is due to strike Japan on the 2nd to 3rd Sept (Thur / Fri).

Below is a photo taken during Typhoon Songda.

Plagiarism in photography

It’s sad that some just can’t think of their own ideas. You get what you pay for in micro-stock. Thanks to Alamy on Twitter for finding link:

In fact, that blog reminds me of an article I saw on the Wall Street Journal a long time ago, entitled When Marketers See Double, where for instance banking competitors by chance have bought the same image for their advertising campaigns. Again, you get what you pay for.

Here’s one of my favourite (unique) photos


I don’t plagiarise photos and I can offer Rights Managed exclusivity (with conditions attached).


No budget for photos

There are people out there who want photos for their projects, but they don’t want to pay. UK based photographer Tony Sleep has written an excellent response entitled We have no budget for photos. I have also been asked to provide photos for free, though my response was less… frustrated, but more “browse my portfolio and buy what you like”. Tony Sleep provides a short and interesting read (for free). Caveat, I do provide photos for free, but with a twist.

Thanks to John Lander for posting the link via Google+.


The annual Nagoya Dance Festival, locally known as the Nagoya Domatsuri, was held again this weekend. For details and history of the event, see this previous blog post about the Domatsuri. Whilst photos are still being processed you can browse last years photos, below.

Nagoya Domatsuri – Images by Andrew Blyth


Also, to whet your appetite, here is a video…

New Prime Minister (again)

Japan is to get yet another Japanese Prime Minister. Back in the blog entry on 23rd March I predicted that because of the earthquake and the nuclear disaster there would be a new Japanese PM by the end of summer, though it was so predictable that the outcome raises no eyebrows. Can an earthquake cause a change in PM? The mentality of the politicians here seems to be that they are all lined up and waiting for their turn to be PM. A BBC correspondent, after interviewing former PM Yasuo Fukuda commented on both the revolving door system of politics, and how each new PM hurries over to Washington the get a photo with the American President to show off to the grandchildren. Furthermore, I joked with someone some weeks ago about asking how many Prime Ministers he’d been in Japan for. My answer? Six; the infamous Koizumi was my first. How many calendar years had I been here? Six.

There will be campaigning in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) this weekend, where the various factions will reach a consensus as to who should be voted for on Monday.

Propaganda Land

Even if this is true, it’s either too much of a coincidence or they’re too optimistic.

Last night on NHK it was announced that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the owners and operators of the troubled Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plants, had on 7th March 2011 submitted their first ever revisions to tsunami estimates to the appropriate government office. The same office that has been publicly accused of failing to fulfil their oversight safety duties of nuclear power plants. TEPCO admits that the Fukushima plants were designed to withstand a 5.7m wave (tidal, storm surge, or tsunami), but last year a revision to this estimate suggested that they should prepare for a 10 meter wave, so they claim to have submitted this revision four days before the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami struck. Thus, it is possible that both the government and TEPCO had not neglected their duties, just unfortunate timing… very suspicious to me.

Secondly, a German documentary was aired in Japan, which was about how a German contractor is dismantling the Russian unwanted nuclear powered submarines leftover from the cold war. Interestingly, the company had no immediate plans on dismantling the some 300 nuclear reactors, instead pulling apart the submarines, cleaning off any radioactive material, and selling the metal to scrap. The reactors are being stored in a sarcophagus (their own hulls with some extra lining added), and will be left for 100 years to when it is hoped that the next generation of nuclear-reactor disposal experts will know what to do. The reactor cores will still be dangerous, but less dangerous. In contrast, the Japanese government and TEPCO seem confident that they can solve the Fukushima problem in only a few decades. It should also be pointed out that the reactors are far bigger than a submarine reactor core. They seem very optimistic.

Save on your next photo purchases

If you want to save $1000 off your next purchase, here’s a FANTASTIC opportunity. I offer a “Free images for goods trade”, where you obtain something I need (legally) from a list, and you get access to my photos for free (with generous limitations). That offer still stands, but your chance to save is here. Sony has released the next generation pro-level camera, so the previous generation should get cheaper. Currently on eBay there are Sony A850 cameras selling for $1,600, which is $1,000 less than the new sticker price. I will credit you for $2,600 for your next photo purchase if you can get me a Sony A850. Because I’m also hired for an event on the 18th September, if you can get it to me before the 16th Sept I can credit you for $3,000! I am absolutely serious. Please see the Free Stock Photos page for more information.

Google Plus

I was just about to shut down my computer when I thought I might check Twitter for a brief moment. There, almost at the top of the list, was Adobe Express (@AdobeExpress) with an invite; again thanks so much. Now, if anyone related to photography or publishing needs an invite, let me know and I’ll make it happen.

Ishidori photos

The photos from this year’s Stone-bringing Festival (Ishidori) are available at Asia Photo Connection. The Stone-bringing Festival is an event that is probably over three hundred years old. I’ve written about this before (Tag: Ishidori), and there is also some good information about Ishidori on Wikipedia. I’m making this information available for free in the hope that you’d find it useful and would buy my photos. Which reminds me, buy my photos.

Clicking on the picture below will take you to a gallery of my Ishidori photos on Asia Photo Connection, and my Ishidori PhotoShelter gallery from previous years.

The lower portion of a portable-shrine and it's town-members at the annual Stone-bringing Festival.

The annual Stone-bringing Festival (Ishidori Matsuri) at Kuwana City is the loudest festival in Japan.

Radioactive food in Japan

Radioactive food is becoming a real and hidden concern. The discussion of this is veiled and brief on NHK TV news, the national broadcaster. One might assume that NHK is avoiding promoting a food panic. Already prices for Hokkaido dairy products are increasing. Previously in this blog, radioactive mustard spinach, a very popular part of the Japanese menu, was discovered growing in Tokyo weeks after the 15th March explosion, and in mustard spinach imported to Singapore from Shizuoka (south of Tokyo). Now some people are concerned that rice being grown in the north may be mixed with uncontaminated rice grown in the south. According to NHK, already, rice stocks are low, as many people are stocking up ahead of the harvest season beginning now. A friend of mine went shopping in Nagoya city with a dosimeter (a radiation measuring device) and found that cucumbers in his supermarket had high levels of radiation. I wish I could get a dosimeter, they are so hard to get.

Rice and mustard spinach are pictured below.
Rice shortly before harvest

More rice pictures here, and rice harvest pictures here.

Mustard Spinach

More mustard spinach pictures here.

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