Everyone knows that the heart of Tokyo is often a city that most believe never sleeps; but it does. If you stay up late enough, streets are deserted, and a place that was so full of life just a few hours ago is now seen as a pretty lonely place. The amount of unique lights spread across all over Tokyo makes it easily one of my favorite places to photograph at night. Our first night in Tokyo, we were pretty whooped from all the traveling so we decided to just take it easy, roam around a bit then call it a night.
Life is cold AF.
I don't know when it starts or what prepares us for it, but there's a moment when you realize that shit starts to get real. You're standing there faced with this giant cave of uncertainty. As you enter, a cold draft of emotions smacks you in the face. It hits you, and you realize that gust is everything from excitement to fear.
These are the moments I really enjoy because they're what truly define us in the end. The destination is never where we learn our lessons, but rather the journey. As we move through the cave, we follow a path that we hope will eventually lead us out. And in the end, it always does as long as we keep moving forward. When we make it out we're greeted by bright skies and the winding roads of the mountain side. As we're cruising we look forward towards the sea of green in front us.
"The destination is never where we learn our lessons, but rather the journey."
Much like staring at a vast forest- families, relationships, and careers can all be extremely daunting. But these are the moments where you take a step back and simply enjoy the view. Because at the end of the day, you might find yourself standing on a pier staring out to the horizon watching the day break. You won't know how you got there, but it doesn't matter because the snow will be untouched, the water still, and everything perfect.
The weather in Alaska was something we were definitely not used to. I mean, we have dealt with single digit weather in Glacier National Park but heading far up north in up to Fairbanks, Alaska was a whole new ball park for us. We went from 30˚ landing in Anchorage and it quickly dropped to 9˚ heading up to Denali then when night came around when we got into Fairbanks, it was a painful -11˚. If you have ever been out in this type of weather with electronics, then you know what it could do to your equipment. Batteries were fully charged and after about 15 minutes out in the cold, things just die. Packing light and keeping things warm were definitely priority. Here's just a quick In The Bag shot we put together while shooting sunrise at Harding Lake in Alaska.
- Dust Blower
- Leica XU + DSPTCH Neck Strap
- Leica M240 mounted w. Leica 21mm ASPH Summilux + Artist & Artisan Strap
- Leica 50mm ASPH Summilux
- Leica 90mm ASPH Summicron
- Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6
- MIGHTYKILLERS x Mophie Powerstation x 2
- Leica F26 Flash
- RED Dragon mounted w. Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 21mm/T2.9 Cine Lens
- RED Touch LCD
- Fotodiox E to V adapter
- Canon 5DM3 + Canon 24mm f/1.4L II
- Tiffen Gradual ND Filter + Pouch
- iPhone 6
- Spam Musubi
- Sony a7ii + Sony Vertical Grip + CV 21mm f/1.8 + Incase Wrist Strap
- Incase Leather Wallet + MIGHTYKILLERS Mophie New Powerstation
- Klipsch R6i Earbuds
- Sony 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye A Mount
- Starbucks + Cherry Cheese Danish
- Sony 70-200mm f/2.8G SSM II A Mount
- Sony NP-FW50 Batteries x6
- Incase Leather Wallet (Brown)
- Sony a7ii + Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon
- SanDisk 64FB Extremem SD
- CLIF Bar
- QUIP Electric toothbrush
The California coast line is something else...
Throughout all my years of living on the west coast, I can’t seem to get enough of what it has to offer. From the mystical Redwood forest to the scenic HWY 1 shoreline, the west coast has it all. And Point Reyes is no exception to that.
Recently, I took a trip through this national park to just get out of the house. I didn't have any where in particular that I wanted to go, nor did I have a time schedule I needed to meet. It was relaxing to wander around with no agenda on what would end up being an epic day. The afternoon sky was bright blue without a cloud in sight, this might sound like a picnic in the park, but for a photographer it’s exactly the opposite. Shitty light conditions like this tend to make pictures blown out and boring, but these are the challenges I always look for. Always testing yourself in a multitude of different environments is what pushes you past your comfort zone.
But sometimes even I get frustrated and stop shooting. I think its natural to take a break and even refreshing at times. Always stressing about getting that perfect shot is not what shooting means to me. When I’m able to put down the camera and soak in the views is when I can truly begin to appreciate everything. You begin to reflect on everything thats going on in your life; all the good and the bad. You appreciate all of the positive things you may have otherwise overlooked when something has you down. It’s these moments that I remember the most when I look back on all my adventures. The pictures are always an added bonus.
Life can be overwhelming at times, and everyone needs a place to unwind. For many this means going out, hitting the gym, or spending time with loved ones. But for me I've always found the outdoors to be my escape.
There's something about being outside, especially during the winter months that’s calming to me. I've always been drawn to it ever since I was a little kid, and as I grew older the attraction never faded. In my early years, family day trips would grow into snowboarding expeditions with friends, which have now turned into solo adventures in the same place. From the fresh powder lining the beach to the still clear waters of Lake Tahoe, this is where I found myself this past weekend. Reflecting on everything.
As I near the intimidating age of 30, I can’t help but to think back on all that has happened and that’s going to happen. You begin to realize that your family and friends are getting older with you, and as more time passes you being to appreciate what you may have taken for granted at one point. You appreciate that they are all finding their own path, and you look forward to the new experiences ahead. You look back on past and current relationships as you search for growth. Have you grown as a person? Whether it’s in my relationships or in my career, growth is something I’ve always found myself reflecting on the most. I think it’s important to ask yourself this difficult question, "Are you growing?" If not, what are you changing so you can grow? I’ve got a friend that always tells me, "Each passing moment is a chance for change." He really believes it, even got it tattooed on his chest, and honestly I didn't get it at the time. But maybe after all these years he knew something I didn’t... until now.
With the sun setting and the golden hour slowly turning into an incredibly underrated blue hour, I snapped a few more pictures and started to pack my things. I wish I could say that some huge realization hit me and everything was all of a sudden as clear as the lake, but lets be real that shit doesn’t happen. Instead, I left feeling a little calmer knowing that everything I’ve been doing these last few months would pay off eventually.
Staying hungry to achieve your goals is half the battle; the other half is waking up every day looking to eat.
It's been a while since I have gone out for the pure fun of shooting at night...I think it's been because I've been in a slight funk with my photography and personal life but tonight was definitely needed. But I saw a quote the other day that said... "The only way out is through." and that really struck home for me.
I recently just sold my 5D3 and upgraded to a Sony A7Rii and I think tonight was a good test run. Lots of shadows, lots of highlights, levitating photos, etc. And to sum it all up, it did the job quite well! It's a big change coming from using Canon for 7 years. The buttons are very different and menus are way different. It's a learning curve but the only way to learn is to keep shooting!
Rachel joined me and was my model for the night. Being as she's behind the camera 99% of the time...I think she did a pretty damn good job.