Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving 2005.  Goddess, The Boy and I were spending our Thanksgiving weekend in Kyoto, Japan.

A fantastic place.  A place where Goddess and I agree that we could spend the remainder of our days.  A place where, every November, our thoughts return and we check airline ticket prices.

That weekend involved our favorite Thanksgiving meal ever – in an Irish Pub, eating fish & chips, drinking Guinness and sipping on some fine, fine Scotch.  Playing darts between bites and sips.

What a fantastic memory.

Here’s an image from that trip, where we happened to run into friends from Tokyo and spent a couple of days chasing pictures and images around the area.

Kyoto Color

This Thanksgiving will be here in Oregon.  It sure is beautiful here right now.

What will make it better is that we will be spending it with friends that we met in Japan; friends we have not seen since 2006.  Not the same friends that we spent the weekend in Kyoto with, but friends whom we also spent a lot of time running around Tokyo, chasing images.  They are now living on the central California coast, creating their own art.

So we may or may not be eating turkey today.  We may or may not be chasing the sunrise at Crater Lake or somewhere else in the mountains.

Whatever it is we do, I’m thankful for the opportunity.

Launch

It has been quiet around these parts for the past week or so.

Usually I apologize for that, but this time I don’t think that I will, even though I do appreciate my loyal readers.

I really do.

So where was the focus?  My new web site, of which this blog is a part.  Some of you might have even noticed some changes here.

It’s all part of taking my photography a bit more seriously, including delving more into portraiture.

Photo Logo

So please click on the image above (which takes you to http://billandersphoto.com), take a look around, kick the tires and leave a comment.  Perhaps buy a print or three.

I even dropped the prices 25% to mark the occasion.

BAP-Launch

Just click on that coupon and a new window will open.  Browse and pick to your heart’s content, then enter that code upon checkout.  And you’ll be in like Flynn.

If you had browsed my galleries before and think you have seen it all, please look again, especially in the Travel section of my Portfolio.  There are new photos in there.  And quite a few images that I have reworked for one reason or another.

So you might find something different.

As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by my littler corner of the sphere.

Manzanar Obelisk

“Erected by the Manzanar Japanese August 1943”

Cemetery marker, Manzanar National Historic Site, Lone Pine, California.

Strobist geeky info:  ISO 400, 1/6400 @ f4.0; single 580 EXII strobe camera right at 1/64th power, radio triggered by PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5.

Rock ‘n Rolla

Still tiptoeing through the archives.

I sure miss watching these guys.

Rock’n Rollers

If you aren’t familiar with the scene, have a look at this video.

The live music in Yoyogi Park (Tokyo) on the weekends was always a treat.  You never knew if you’d hit upon gold or trash.  Either way, the energy of the performers could never be denied.  Just like the rockabilly dancers.

Back in 2009, the police tried to shut the scene down and they were successful for a little while.  But it looks like the scene is back.

And vibrant.

Miniature

Perusing the archives last night after I found the pic for last night’s post, I saw this one.  It made me smile.  And then made me wonder why I never did anything with it.

So I processed it and filed it away.

Then kept thinking about it today, as I was out on my bicycle ride.  Climbing a twisty, steep mountain road.

I could relate to the young lady.

Miniature

Faces

This image flashed across my monitor today as part of my screensaver. I had not seen it in a while, since it was taken on November 11, 2004.  The image made me smile at a moment that I needed it, a harried 45 minutes where I could not find my favorite lens.

A lens that has taken just under 30% of my 50,000 digital photos that I have taken that are in my database.

A lens, that if I had to replace it, would cost me a bicycle.

And I don’t buy cheap bicycles.

Long story made longer, the lens was right where I left it, although it had slipped behind a flap in my camera bag that never gets moved.

Except once recently.

Apparently.

I’m still trying to work on detaching from objects, but for something that has brought me so much enjoyment…

So back to November 11, 2004.

The progression of expressions makes me smile.

Faces

And no, this was not an image taken with my favorite lens.

Some train station on the Tokaido line, Tokyo, Japan.

A Flash…

…from the past.

And a flash from a different angle.

Tonight we had an impromptu evening with the neighbors.

A great time.

It also meant that I sat in a chair that I rarely sit in, other than to get kitted up for my bicycle commute in the morning.

But I rarely look around at that hour.

So tonight I was sitting there, enjoying the company and looking at the photos on the wall.

Here’s one from just over seven years ago.

Gion, Kyoto, Japan.

Hands down, still one of our favorite cities in the world.  Especially in autumn.

A place that Goddess and I have seriously discussed moving to and settling until our last days.

It touches us that much.

So this pic, 14×20″, matted to 20×26″ and framed, hanging on the wall, holds a special place in our heart.

She’s a real maiko, in training to be a geisha.  Headed out for an evening of entertaining.

We stood across the street from her home, a training center for aspiring geisha.

We stalked like paparazzi.

As soon as this young lady emerged from the doorway, dozens of flashes popped as she strode stoically to the waiting cab.

I lucked into the right angle, with just enough flash to not overpower the overpowered flash of someone to my left.

Perfect timing.

And likely for the person to my left, an overexposed image.

Paparazzi

A geisha fan forum did some research soon after I posted this photo on the web and there was much debate on the identity of this specific maiko.

It was all very interesting, but not as interesting as the culture and hope that her presence portrays.

Asakusa Shadows

I do have quite a few images in the queue.

But I’m getting bored with the stream.  Likely only a few will see the light of day.

So here’s something from October, 2004.

A fun interplay of light and shadow.

Lines.

Asakusa Shadows

Plenty of folk, enjoying a festival and prayer.

In one of my favorite spots in one of the most amazing cities in the world, Tokyo.

What are your favorite spots?