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  • Hello. Welcome to my blog!

    Please check out our new fine art photography and graphic design business! www.paulandjewel.com

    This blog is no longer active but it is a great chronicle through my initial first few years as a photographer. The blog started while I was at photography school in Massachusetts, covers my time working in Florida and Georgia, and chronicles our recent 6 month adventure working with orphans in Thailand. Thanks for visiting!

Monthly Archives: June 2010

Japan – Day Six and Seven – Kyoto

Here are some more photos from recent Japan adventures. The photos in this post were all taken while further exploring Kyoto. Let me know what you think of these images!

Day Six – Kyoto

Paul trying to figure out our Japanese calling card in the hostel (a bigger challenge than you’d think!). I love all the colors in this one.

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We rented bicycles and spent the whole day peddling around the city, so I have to share these cheesy snapshots. It was really fun riding by this river, but riding on the some of the city streets was a bit terrifying in my opinion.

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Okay, just one more cheesy snapshot from the day! Oh, helmut hair. At the suggestion of our friend Sawabe (portrait in previous post), we rode our bikes to the Zen Ginkaku-Ji (The Temple of the Silver Pavillion).

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Back to the “serious photography.” The view of the temple and city from a hillside.

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Some visitors to the temple. Everywhere we went we observed Japanese people taking hundreds and hundreds of photos, almost always throwing up adorable peace signs!

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A man tending to the temple sand gardens.

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Wishing well.

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After exploring the crowded temple, we stumbled upon this tiny, empty shrine on an off-street nearby.

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These lions guarded the gates to the shrine…

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this cat seemed to stand guard as well.

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After a long day of riding around the city, we stumbled upon a beautiful place of worship on our way back to the bike-shop.

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Day Seven – Kyoto

Before leaving Kyoto on day seven, we spent a couple of hours at the Fushimi Inari Taisha (shine of 1,000 Torri). It was magical. The tall, brightly colored Torris just kept going and going.

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Fox prayers.

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Spider in the shrine.

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Torri after Torri.

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After leaving this shrine, we headed to the train station to journey to the city of Nara (Japan’s original capital). Check back soon for Day Eight!


Creative Coast TEDx

Last Friday I had the privilege of photographing the Creative Coast TEDx event in Savannah. It was a full day packed with inspirational, passionate presenters who all touched on the theme Designing Creativity. Here are a few of my favorite photos. If you’d like to see more images from the event there are 100+ on the TEDx flickr page.

Meddin Studios was the perfect space for the event:

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Some of the presenters:

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A snapshot of the TEDx people (I’m kneeling at the bottom of the frame with white pants):

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More Japan etc. soon!

Japan – Day Five – Tanabe and Kyoto

I really enjoy all the photography I do for clients, but it’s so refreshing to have these travel images to play with (edit in Lightroom and Photoshop) at the end of a work-day. Yes, work and play are the same thing for me when it comes to photography. How great is that? I’ve said it many times before, but I’m so grateful to be doing something that I love. Making a living through the arts can be a huge challenge (no surprise there), but at the end of the day, being able to say “I really love what I do” always makes it worth it.

I’m excited to share these photos from Japan Day Five! I think they make a nice collection. I haven’t done much night photography, but these images make me want to experiment more (and with a tripod). Please let me know what you think! I wish I could head back to Japan right about now for more adventures. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some more international traveling soon.

Japan – Day Five – Tanabe and Kyoto

We started off the day having breakfast at Pyar and Cynthia’s apartment with their neighbor-friend Sawabe (sp?). He came with gifts (a fun part of Japanese culture), a camera, and laughter. He let me create these portraits of him with window light. He is an educator, an architect, a farmer, a father, and somewhat of a comedian as well.

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After hanging out with Sawabe, Pyar drove us out to the Kizetsukyo waterfall. It was a magical place, I loved it. I think I captured a bit of the magic here; I like this photo a lot. I used a rock as a tripod again and shot this at 1/4 of a second.

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We climbed up a hill to see this Buddha carved into the mountainside. It seemed like everywhere we looked there was ethereal beauty to be admired.

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After our adventure at the falls, Pyar, Cynthia, and Paul and I returned to the Akihei Restaurant in Tanabe. We were served delicious Japanese food sitting on the floor of a private room. This woman, Kennis, is a friend of P+C’s and helps run the restaurant. We had the pleasure of talking with her a few times during out stay in Tanabe. She is an intelligent, beautiful woman, a witty jokester, a caring mother and friend, and an amazing cook. Despite being a little self conscious, she was kind enough to pose for some formal portraits, but this candid photo of her is my favorite.

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After our long lunch in Tanabe, Paul and I parted ways with our amazing hosts/family/friends and he and I got a train to Kyoto! After checking in to a Kyoto hostel, it was nightfall and a perfect time to explore the Gion district.

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Kyoto was pleasantly lively at night, which was fun to see after exploring in the daytime a few days prior.

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While walking around the Gion district, we accidently stumbled upon this hauntingly beautiful place, the Kyoto-Gion Lamp Museum. I really love this photograph. It shows the power of timing. I had set my camera up on some steps and was taking a few long exposures of the scene. This couple walked through at the perfect instant, adding perspective and making the image so much more interesting and alive than the frames prior that didn’t have people in them.

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Something similar happened as I stood hand-holding some frames of these lanterns. A young boy in white robes suddenly came running through the temple area.

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I took one more frame, and then he was gone.

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We stayed awhile, meandering through the temple area and gawking at the lanterns.

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It was a beautiful night.

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We walked through a maze of narrow allies on our way back to the hostel at the end of the night.

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Japan – Day Four – Kumano Kodo

Yesterday I photographed the all-day TEDx Creative Coast event. It was an amazing collection of talks on designing creativity. Photos will be posted from that soon as well as some images from recent portrait sessions. In the meantime, more Japan!

Japan – Day Four – Kumano Kodo area

Pyar and Paul and I rented a little car and explored the Kumano Kodo area around Tanabe (and drove on the wrond side of the road).

Spider and shrine.

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One of the hundreds (thousands?) of rice fields we saw during the trip. This one was near the huge tori Oyunahara.

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Frog by the river.

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We walked by his backporch and instantly fell in love with this pooch, whom we played with for a little while. I want a Shibu Inu puppy now!

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The little pool in the gravel on the right side of this image is the glorious Kawayu Onsen (hotspring). We stayed here for awhile soaking and jumping into the ice-cold river. It was amazingly rejuvenating.

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After driving around for awhile, our hosts made us a delicious dinner with ingredients from their porch-garden, and we headed over to Pyar’s weekly Judo class at the Kozanji temple.

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Mori Sensei druing a break.

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Takumi listening.

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After the lesson, I took portraits of the four people who participated in class that night. Below: my brother Pyar, Second Degree Brown Belt.

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Takumi, White Belt.

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Inagaki Sensei.  He’s a Yon Dan (Fourth Level) Black Belt.

Inagaki Sensei, Yon Dan (Fourth Level) Black Belt.

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Mori Sensei, Roku Dan (Sixth Level) Black Belt.

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After the Judo class we walked out of the dojo and right into the Kozanji temple. It was beautiful at night. This is a six second exposure (with a rock for a tripod).

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Another frog, with a flashlight shining on him.

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Japan — Days One, Two, and Three

Japan — Days One, Two, and Three — Osaka, Kyoto, and Tanabe

I recently spent an amazing two weeks traveling through Japan. I’ll be sharing photos from the trip in a handful of blog post installments. Some will be fine art prints, some are quick snaps. I shot 1,000+ RAW photos (30+ gigabytes)! I almost always shoot in RAW, which is a type of file (like JPG) that allows photographers to really develop the image as if it were a piece of film. The major benefit of RAW is that you have much more control over the image than you would otherwise. The downside is that it’s time consuming to “develop” the files in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Of course I have to prioritize my clients over everything else, so developing all my Japan photos might take a little while. Please be patient and keep checking back for more images of Japan, and please share your thoughts! No account is necessary to comment here and I always enjoy hearing what you like and dislike.

Day One — Osaka. My brother Pyar and his wife Cynthia met us at the airport the afternoon that my boyfriend Paul and I arrived in Japan. We hit up the ATM and got on a train to the downtown area. That evening we explored Osaka by subway and by foot, and we filled ourselves with some tasty veggie tempura. This was one of the first photos I took in Japan, on the train to our hotel.

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Day Two — Kyoto. Pyar, Cynthia, and Paul and I got an early train to Kyoto and spent the day exploring by foot and taxi. We saw the Toji Temple with breathtaking buddha sculptures, the Nijo castle with creaky nightingale floors, and the crazy, aromatic Nishiki-Koji street market. Sadly though, there was a lot of rain that day so I kept my camera safe and dry in a locker at the train station. I took these three photos below on the train as we left Kyoto that evening.

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Day Three — Tanabe. We spent the day with Pyar and Cynthia exploring the town that they now call home.

Since their apartment is little, Paul and I stayed at a small 2-room guesthouse in town. It was our first time sleeping on tatami floors. I’m not sure if it’s because of the catchlights, the rice-paper door in the background, the early morning quiet, or the fact that I’m in love with the subject, but I really, really like this photo.

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We spent the day with Pyar walking around Tanabe. We started off taking photos at the Tokae-jinja temple a few blocks from Pyar and Cynthia’s apartment.

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A tiny, winding ally only wide enough for one person to walk through at a time.

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Noisy, colorful arcades seemed to be a popular hang-out spot in Japan.

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Baby Gods at the Kozanji temple, where Pyar practices Judo.

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The beginning of many, many miles walked in our two weeks.

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Tanabe.

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After walking all day, we moved to a hotel in the next town over, Shirahama. Our deck overlooked a zoo with lions and other animals. Cool! We gawked at them for awhile.

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We ended the evening by going to an ocean-side Onsen (hotspring). We watched the sun set and soaked our feet. Here are our amazing family, friends, and hosts Pyar and Cynthia.

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Our view from the hot-springs.

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