Archive for September 30, 2013

TGIF 27Sept 2013: Gozaisho

Looking for something to do this weekend in Japan? Gozaisho in Mie is a place for hiking in spring, summer, and autumn, and for skiing and snowboarding in winter. In the picture is a part of a path that leads between the town Yunoyama at the base of the mountain, and Gozaisho at the top. The views are spectacular, the hike up or down is a great healthy way to clear the lungs and work the muscles for a few hours. There is a cable car lift to help you get back down (or up) if you had only enough energy to go one way. It used to be a resort town, and there are still some hot springs (aka “onsen”), and there’s a simple cafeteria style restaurant at the top of the mountain. Don’t forget your camera. Gozaisho as POTW in Nov 2012.

For this photo, and others of this great place, see my agent’s website: Asia Photo Connection / Henry Westheim.

Hikers on a mountain at Gozaisho, a popular hiking destination, in the autumn, Japan

Hikers on a mountain at Gozaisho, a popular hiking destination, in the autumn, Japan

Model call

I’ll be travelling to Osaka on the 12th & 13th October, and again 9th & 10th November. I’m hoping to do some basic test model shoots on Saturday mornings from about 10am to about 12pm (though with getting to Osaka and train changes, maybe more like 10.30 to 12pm), and may be Sunday at about 5.30 or 6pm for some dusk / evening shots. Where? Yodoyabashi station, Exit 1. All will be outdoors, and it will be a simple set up for a simple shoot. If you’re interested, please email me first. Please wear simple and nice clothing, do your own hair and make up (simple and nice is fine. You can bring a friend (who can hold your bag, phone, purse, etc); if he or she is interested in being a model, too, that’s fine, but please email me first. If there’s light rain, please bring a simple and nice umbrella or a clear umbrella (or I will get a clear one). If it’s raining heavily, then we’ll go to a café and consider our options. Pay is ¥2,500 /hr (not including your friend if he or she is only watching). If you can, please send me a link your your portfolio or samples.

What kind of photos? Commercial and art. I’d like to shoot both film and digital. Well, see my portfolios to get an idea of what I’m currently doing: People Gallery (see below), my Model Mayhem profile, my 500px portfolio, and projects similar to what I’d like to do in the future on my 500px Favourites from other photographers. Also, if you have a project or idea you want to try, please tell me.

It should be an easy and fun time. Contact me.

People (RM) – Images by Andrew Blyth

One of Japan's top jazz dancers Ai Tsukamoto

One of Japan’s top jazz dancers Ai Tsukamoto

POTW 23Sept 2013: Autum at Nagoya Castle

Autumn has began, and here are two symbols of it, an autumnal cherry tree and Nagoya Castle. Japanese love the autumn colours almost as much as the cherry blossom season in Spring. It seems that autumn is the last hurrah of colour for the long, dreary, drab winter.

For this photo, and others like it, see my autumn photos on my PhotoShelter portfolio, and at my agent at Asia Photo Connection / Henry Westheim.

TGIF: Kyoto rickshaw

Looking for something a little bit different and to enjoy this weekend? Try Kyoto. Well, it is my favourite place and an obvious choice if you know me. Despite the flooding damage caused by Monday’s typhoon, it was reported that most shops at popular tourist destinations were already cleaned up, restocked, and re-opened by Wednesday. If you’re looking for something interesting, wanting to financially support a community, and enjoy the last of the summer sun, this is the place. For more photos go to the Kyoto gallery, and check the Kyoto blog tags for more info.

POTW 16 Sept 2013: Tenjin Festival and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

It might seem that this Photo of the Week might have nothing to do with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but it does. The Tokyo Olympics are to be held from 24th of July to 9th of August 2020 (Wikipedia), which was chosen because it is the least likely time of year for rain, and it is the peak summer festival season. During this time the areas around where I live has its festivals, and Osaka has the Tenjin Festival on the 24th and 25th July each year. There are other major festivals in Kyoto, Tokyo, and many other places around Japan.

This photo, and others like it can be found at my agent’s website: Henry Westheim / Asia Photo Connection.

The Tenjin Festival (tenjin matsuri) in Osaka, Japan is held on the 24th and 25th of July each year.

The Tenjin Festival (tenjin matsuri) in Osaka, Japan is held on the 24th and 25th of July each year.

Typhoon Man-yi

NHK can provide updated information about the weather by pressing the d for digital button. It moves the live tv broadcast to the top-right corner, and the digital info layout on the left and across the bottom. Japan now has a three level system which says, from lowest risk to highest: Advisory, Warning, and Emergency Warning. At time of writing, the TV was chiming and putting Japanese language information about evacuations required due to flooding in various districts of Kyoto. Some train services in Nagoya have been closed, and more may be. Despite months ago the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and NHK promising multilingual ticker-tap information, this is not being followed through. Many flights in Nagoya, and presumably Osaka and Tokyo are cancelled.

Typhoons are usually strongest on their north-eastern side, and weaker wind and rain on the south-west. The slower they travel the more dangerous they are, as they spend more time dropping rain in a limited area. The more rain in one area increases the chances of flooding, landslides, and flood barriers and storm surge barriers at rivers and by the sea being washed away causing inundation. Unlike my Taiwan experience, the wind isn’t dangerous, whereas in Taiwan strong winds blow loose roofs off and into the street.

Current information about Tyhpoon Man-Yi can be found at the JMA website: and check twitter via the #typhoon, #typhoon18, and #typhoonManYi hashtags. Photos relating to disaster can be found at my PhotoShelter portfolio, and previous posts about typhoons.

A photo of NHKs digital information with live tv insert in top-right corner.

A photo of NHKs digital information with live tv insert in top-right corner.


JMA ScreenShot

JMA ScreenShot

TGIF: The Cone Species

This is the first article in a new category of blog posts I’m starting. Ideally it’d be weekly… on Friday of course, but let’s take it slow, first.

This inaugural TGIF post kind of starts it’s story about twenty years ago, before blogs, social networking services, and food fetish photography Instagram was invented. I was living in Australia, and realised that the country seemed to have four main populations inhabiting the continent: humans, sheep, kangaroos, and shopping trolleys. That’s right, shopping trolleys were living in the wild in Australia. I considered making a photo story about the life and death of trolleys. They escape from supermarket carparks, and at first seem to run free through the community, until they find other escapees living by the rivers. It seems like the vikings, when a trolley dies, they put it out to… the river. But trolleys don’t float or burn. So they just sit there with three and a half broken wheels pointing skyward, peering out of the water, as a constant reminder to the still living wilding’s.

Fast forward to today, I now have the time to do photo stories, and after seeing Dave Powell’s Land of the Rising Cone, reminded me of my wish to do such a photo story. Traffic cones, aka witches hats, are literally everywhere. I estimate that when at street level, almost everyone in Japan is not further than 5 meters way from a cone at any point in time. They are stalking us, following us, admiring us, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us… HG Wells, aside; cones are everywhere!

The Cone Species: hung over

The Cone Species: hung over

I didn’t know what to do with all my cone pictures. One the first day of shooting I got over fifty photos of them easily! So I made a Flickr portfolio and put them in The Cone Species set. All these photos are available for sale, but please contact me and I’ll help you out. Otherwise if you just like to look, please flattr me, it helps a lot.

POTW 9 Sept 2013: Rice harvesting season

It’s currently the rice harvesting season in Japan. Unlike many other Asian countries, there is only one rice season a year, as it gets too cold to have more. Countries like Vietnam can replant as soon as they harvest as it’s warm enough year-round.

Here is a close up of a stem with rice nearing the end of season. More rice photos can be found on my PhotoShelter portfolio, and harvesting photos at my agent’s website, Henry Westheim / Asia Photo Connection.

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