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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Panoramic Views of Sapporo

Sapporo is the 5th largest city in Japan, and the largest in Hokkaido. The city planning was based on a grid system, so almost all the streets are straight and long. Each block in the city was name with the Cartesian coordinate system, e.g., North 3 East 8.

To get the best panoramic views of Sapporo, I went up to Moiwayama (Mt. Moiwa) by the rope way.




The Moiwayama Rope Way Station is along the only streetcar line in Sapporo, with the terminal station at Susukino, the entertainment district in Sapporo.

The return ticket costs ¥1,100 at the time of writing. Although it is not very cheap, it's worth it.




I stayed at the viewing platform starting from the golden hour until nightfall and I was rewarded with these views. You may click on the images below for larger view.












The Sapporo TV Tower was also clearly visible from this viewing platform. It actually looks a bit like the Tokyo Tower as viewed from Mori Tower.




I saw a lot of people taking the shots without using a tripod as they didn't have one with them. So, if that had happened to me, I would take some creative shots taking advantage of the handshake.




The neatly lined streets of Sapporo are also a gem for night photography, creating grids of lights.


Friday, 19 September 2008

Super Yosakoi 2008 – Stage Show

This post is a continuation of the post on people getting ready for the show. After all the dancing group had got themselves ready, the show lights were on and the action kicked in.




Most of the dancers put on the traditional Japanese outfit for the performances. One thing that I found very interesting was their shoes that resemble goats' hooves.
























In general, the Japanese festivals are always full of colours and action. I was never tired of shooting festivals in Japan.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Wordless Wednesday – The Colours of Samba Carnival

























Location: Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
Event: 28th Asakusa Samba Carnival
Date taken: August 30th, 2008
Camera equipment: Nikon D70s + Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D + Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D




Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Nikon D90

One think good about being in Japan is that you get chances to touch and play with the latest product even if they are still not on sale. Since Nikon will be putting the D90 on sale on September 19th, I think it is timely for me to write about what I think of the camera in brief.




This camera feels and operates like a D80 in my hands. However, I found the rounded buttons more responsive than those on its predecessor.

Image quality wise, it is very close, or shall I say, equivalent to a D300, especially the low noise at high ISO. If I am not owning a D300, I think I'll go for this camera as the 11-point focus screen is already enough for my kind of photography.




If you fancy some movie shooting, this camera offers 5-minute video recording at the highest resolution and a 20-minute recording otherwise. Although this is not a key feature for me, but it'll come in handy if I need it. I find myself shooting more videos with my P&S these days.

For those who are thinking about upgrading your P&S, prosumer or D40/D40X/D60/D70/D70s/D80, this camera is a great choice!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Cutie Pie on a Streetcar

While I was on my way to Moiwayama (Mt. Moiwa) on the only streetcar line in Sapporo, I had a crush!




Many of the local people were on board when I boarded. One of the advantages in taking the public transport in a foreign land is the chance to see the local people from all walks of life.




There is also a chance to meet with other tourists as well, foreigners and locals alike.




However, there was an even sweeter encounter for me on this ride. A young mother carrying her little princess was sitting right beside me. I started to flirt with her (the daughter, not the mother!) by blinking my eyes and she was so happy playing with me. Then I asked for the mother's permission to take her photos. She's just too cute!




That was a golden opportunity for photographing a sweet young lady, so I didn't stop at just one shot. When I showed her the shots I took, she was even happier and started blinking her eyes at me!




So, I took more shots to share with her and I played with her until I had to alight to change to a rope way.




That was the sweetest encounter on my Sapporo trip. It is moment like this that I'll remember for life in travelling.

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