Tag Archive for winter

December Newsletter

This is a modified blog-version of the email newsletter that goes out to my commercial and editorial clients. If you want to receive a more personalised newsletter direct to your inbox, contact me and I’ll add you to the list.


November has been an interesting month. First, getting over random illnesses. Second, getting the new website online. Third, I now have a print-version of my portfolio (sort of). Fourth, it’s autumn in Japan; and it’s BEAUTIFUL! Fifth, I am getting very concerned about the climate and the environment… and I hope that we can help it. There’s a short Christmas message at the end.

Let’s skip over illnesses, and look at what I did during that time. Despite feeling poorly, weakly, stuffy, snuffly, coughy, I still got out and tried to get some autumnal photos. I couldn’t travel to the destinations I wanted, but I still managed to get some interesting photos locally. This photo features a few things about my style: I look for different perspectives, colour contrasts, natural colours (no tacky Instagramy filters), and non-cliche.

Autumn leaves at Nagoya TV Tower

Autumn leaves at Nagoya TV Tower

Secondly, the new website TravelPhotos.Asia is up, still a work in progress, but it’s there. I’ve realised that I’m over-using recent photos and not showing enough variety, so I’ll dig a bit deeper into my archives when I get the chance in the future. I’m still adding more to my Instagram account, so you can see the latest there.

Autumn scenes at Gifu Park with a lady in a bridal kimono posing for another photographer's shoot.

Autumn scenes at Gifu Park with a lady in a bridal kimono posing for another photographer’s shoot.

Thirdly, I don’t have much experience in dealing with the North American and European clients beyond stock photography, but I do know that having a physical portfolio is important. I’ve spent some time working on my portfolio, there’s still some tweaks needed, but it is representative of my work and I’m surprised that I could easily pull together a great collection of images; and I’m a little proud after seeing the final selection. In this first ‘edition’, I was happy with the texture of the paper, and I think matte paper is better, as shine on gloss hides portions of the photo. However, the size seemed too small for my liking. One challenge was finding an online company that can do a quality job, and deal with international types like me, so for time being I’ll use Blurb unless I can get a better recommendation. Currently, I’m editing a larger version, and I would be very happy to send it to you to look at with pre-addressed return labels; contact me if you’d like to see my work. Any feedback would be appreciated, but importantly I hope that you can get a feel for the quality of my work.

Andrew Blyth showing his draft portfolio

Andrew Blyth showing his draft portfolio

Fourthly, winter is coming!… to Japan. How can I resist saying that?! I enjoy snowboarding, and I can work well in cold weather. I’ll be heading to Hakuba, which is an easy hop, skip, and a jump away. I’d be happy to go again for more photos if you like. Anyway, just letting know and giving you inspiration for the photography that you can request.

Fifthly, there are more and more headlines regarding the climate and the environment. I already do monthly donations to Tree Nation, who help offset my carbon emissions to help me try to be as carbon-neutral as possible. With your help, I’d like to contribute more. Either, become your own direct supporters of Tree Nation, or hire me for your projects, and I can boost my contributions to Tree Nation. The photo below is one of my top selling stock photos (back when I thought stock was cool). It was taken in 2007 in Yokkaichi Japan, which was regarded as the worst polluted places in Japan in the 1960s, which had the worst incidences of respiratory illnesses. Today, it is much cleaner and safer. After seeing too many recent stories of sea life with plastic in their stomachs, and more stories like this: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46398057 I really want to photograph more, and show more to help encourage more people to do right for the future generations. I want to show the problems, and the solutions. I hope that you have a project that I can help with, or can help sponsor me to photograph and share these stories.

An oil refinery in the port of Yokkaichi. (Note, the colours were adjusted for dramatic effect)

An oil refinery in the port of Yokkaichi. (Note, the colours were adjusted for dramatic effect)

Finally, Andrew is available for commercial and editorial photography projects anywhere in Asia. He is currently working to fill his 2019 schedule, so please get in touch soon. With his passport he is able to stay in almost any country for as long as the project requires. He has professional equipment, and is focused on getting the job done, despite difficulties and problems that might arise. He has abilities in Japanese, Korean, and a bit in Mandarin. He also knows how to pickup enough survival language for other countries, and lots of experience in working with non-native speakers of English. He can find and organise the right people to help with the job at hand. To learn more about his company see TravelPhotos.Asia, and contact him here or by replying to this email.

Andrew photographing autumn scenes at Gifu Park (self portrait)

Andrew photographing autumn scenes at Gifu Park (self portrait)

Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year. I won’t write again until may be mid January or early February, but feel free to contact me any time for me to to help you with your next project.

Winter model call

This model call is for a snowy day photo shoot in Nagoya, Japan. Note, this is open only to people who are already in Nagoya, Japan. The original posting was created on Model Mayhem, and here’s the main summary copied below. The intended time to shoot is possibly over the New Year period, weekends in January, and almost anytime in February or March.

Wanted, male and female models and couples (gay and straight) for outdoor snowy day shoot. Because snowfall in Nagoya cannot be predicted the shoot cannot be fixed to a particular date. Therefore you may be contacted either the night before or early in the morning when snowfall is confirmed. Photos will be similar to this
http://ablyth.photoshelter.com/gallery- … _9FTzAKwMU
and this
http://ablyth.photoshelter.com/gallery- … uDQSfYbu8k and others similar.

Theme: Candid street portraits and romantic
Location: Sakae or Osu area. The meeting place is likely to be at a subway exit in Central Park.
Models will sign a model release to allow the photos to be used for commercial purposes.
For general model call information, see Model Call, or Contact me here or via JapanesePhotos.Asia for more information.

General advice: Please where full length heat-tech or thermal underclothing, at least two layers of socks, and no clothing with brand logos or print designs. Please do not bring large bags.

#tgif Snow Monkeys

Looking for something to do this or another weekend? The very well known Japanese snow monkeys are actually Japanese macaques, Lt. Macaca fuscata, are the northern most living primates, other than humans. These macaques were photographed Jigokudani Monkey Park hot springs, near Yudanaka, in Nagano prefecture. To do the trip, you can take a special JR express train to Nagano city, or a bullet train, where you’ll see lots of reminders that the city once hosted the Winter Olympics, last century. You could stay in a hotel there, or take a 44min train ride to Yudanaka and stay in a holiday resort hotel. All the details of how to get there and other local info is available at this website, http://nozawa-onsen.com/. However, you should be warned that there is nothing to do at Yudanaka in the evening, and it seemed that the restaurants take turns on being open in the weekday evenings. Also, here’s a link to a monkey-cam with on the hour updates (local time), http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/livecam/monkey/index.htm.

For this photo, and others like it, see my Nature gallery on PhotoShelter website, and my agent’s.

Since Yudanaka had a daytime high of -6°C (about 30°F), you’ll definitely need hiking thermals (shirt and long underwear type, or long johns), two layers of socks (regular & thick was fine for me), a regular undershirt, shirt, jumper (or sweater), and the thickest winter jacket for outdoor camping you’ve got. Thermals are good because they’re quick dry, and I wore regular hiking trousers, as they’re also quick dry. Regular hiking boots are fine, and may be spikes, but I didn’t use mine. Of course, you’ll need gloves, scarf, and hat. I wore a hat with a visor to keep my jacket hood out of my eyes. You will need to walk for about 30mins from a car park, and you’ll probably want to stay there for about an hour. They tell you not to bring food near the macaques, but there are lockers near the entrance gate that you can use, right next to where you’ll pay the ¥500 entrance fee.

Expect to take lots of photos.

#POTW 27Jan 2014 Snow and mountains

This Photo of the Week is very simple. For most expats and tourists their idea of Japan at this time of year can be summed up in this simple equation:

Winter = Snow + Mountains

The number one group of tourists to Japan in this time is apparently Australian skiers, who apparently flock to Hokkaido. I’ve not been anywhere near that far north, but this is as far north of Japan I’ve been so far, and it’s still a water freezing, bone chilling -10° Celsius, it’s Shirakawa, the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For this mountain + snow photo, and others like it, see my PhotoShelter portfolio, and my agent’s website.

New #coupon for 2014

What better way to start the New Year than with a coupon for 10% off any photo purchase, but only for images on my PhotoShelter portfolio. No restrictions on the number of times you can use it, and you can pass the coupon on to anyone. Minimum purchase is USD$20, until 31st January (New York time zone).

This can be used for personal and professional uses including personal and professional blogs, licensing, gallery quality prints, t-shirts, mugs, and lots more.

Coupon code: NEWYEAR2014 (write it down, it’s hard to remember 😉


#POTW 6Jan 2014 UNESCO Shirakawa town

This is the first Photo of the Week for 2014, so it’s only fitting to look at what’s up in Japan now… snow! Shirakawa town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is in the Gifu mountains, and is pretty guarranteed to get lots of snow. The town is in fact a collection of rural houses moved to this location to help centralise and maintain a traditional architectural style, and also to maintain the culture required to re-thatch the roofs every 20 years. This photo was taken on film, and the others in the Shirakawa Gallery of my PhotoShelter portfolio were taken on a mix of film and digital.

POTW: 28 Jan 2013

Soon, on the 11th of February, it will be the 2,673rd anniversary of Japan. It’s a public holiday in winter, where lots of flags are flown on department store buildings, and young couples shiver as they attempt to hang out in the trendy, or ‘cool’, shopping districts. Incidentally, it’s also Kagami Biraki day (“breaking of mochi“), where after a successful battle, the ruler of Japan, Tokugawa 300 years ago gathered his generals and broke open a barrel of sake to celebrate. Since then sake and breaking of mochi is done on this day.

The image below is one of my rare film-street photography images, which includes natural film colourisation, dust, grain, and other film-charisma.

Heavy snow

Some parts of Japan have received heavy and accumulating snow. Last week many areas in the north received snow, followed by a slight warming, which has allowed the top layer to melt slightly before freezing again. On top of this icy layer, known in Japan as corn snow (due to it’s micro scopic shape), fresh snow created yet another layer. Concern is for a number of points.

  • The corn-snow layer allows for surface avalanches
  • Avalanches and surface avalanches can be triggered by earthquakes
  • Snow sliding off roofs can kill people under them. A meter of snow can weigh upto 500kg (1/2 ton).
  • Snow clearing with snow ploughs have killed pedestrians
  • Snow clearing off roofs have accounted for about 75% of deaths. Most deaths involve people aged 60 and over. Most deaths are as a result of falls, heart attacks, or falls with snow burials.
  • Solar panels on roofs have also contributed, as normal roofs have stoppers that hold snow in place, or slow the rate of fall. However, solar panels were not designed with this consideration, and often sit above snow stoppers, thus with the smooth surface are more dangerous than a regular roof (see the picture below).
  • Finally, some houses this week have collapsed under the weight of snow on their roofs. So far, some areas have more than 3 meters of accumulated snow.

Below are file pictures relating to the extreme weather.


Solar panels allow snow to dangerously slide off roofs, which has caused the deaths of many people.

Solar panels allow snow to dangerously slide off roofs, which has caused the deaths of many people.

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