Jewel Imaging Blog bio picture
  • Hello. Welcome to my blog!

    Please check out our new fine art photography and graphic design business!

    This blog is no longer active but it is a great chronicle through my initial first few years as a photographer.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: July 2010

Japan – Day Thirteen and Fourteen – Tokyo

After a few glorious days in Nikko, we headed to Tokyo as our final destination on the trip. Having become used to the clean mountain air and quiet town ambience, it was a bit of a shock entering the big city. Although I enjoyed experiencing Tokyo, to me it seemed very similar to New York City and many other large cities. We stayed in a great hostel, walked many, many miles, ate even more delicious Indian feasts, and drank milk-tea.

Day Thirteen – Tokyo

In the Imperial Palace Gardens.



In the Minato area.





A capsule hotel!







The Tokyo tower (pictures from the top a little further down).




Our Bible for the trip, Lonely Planet Japan. The LP books are full of invaluable information.


We stumbled upon the Zozo-Ji Temple and more Jizos (baby gods).



Paul and more baby gods.




A few views from atop the Tokyo Tower. I set my camera on a handrail for long exposures, but tourists kept on bumping into the rail, so none of these shots are super clear, but still neat.




Day Fourteen – Tokyo (our last day in Japan!)

We spent the day in Subways and on our feet, randomly exploring the city. While in the Harajuku area, we were shocked to find a stable smack dab in the center of the city chaos.



Loved the lines (power and clothes) every time I looked up.


We accidently stumbled upon this lovely temple too.




A little residential area.


This is one of the last frames I took while in Japan.


Well, this concludes my posts of our daily adventures in Japan! Although this day-by-day series is over, I will undoubtedly share more Japan images later on and will be selling some fine art prints. Thank you for viewing these images, and for your comments and encouragement. Traveling and documenting my experiences while in Japan was an incredible experience. I can’t wait for the opportunity to do more travel photography, hopefully in the not so distant future.

Japan – Day Twelve – Nikkō

Day Twelve – Nikkō

Before heading to Tokyo in the afternoon, we got to see a little bit more of Nikko.

We took the bus up the very windy hill again to ride a cable car.






We got off at the top of the lift to admire a different view of Kegon falls (also pictured in the previous post). Apparently the falls are infamous for suicides…



We tried several times to get the waterfall between our heads, but with no luck. Arms-length photos are tricky business.


We walked up a small trail for another view.




After riding the gondola lift back down, we went to the lake Chūzenji.






Soon we began our train trip to Tokyo, our last stop on the trip. We spent two days in Tokyo before flying home, so I only have one or two more Japan posts to share! Kind of sad.

Japan – Day Eleven – Nikkō

Day Elelven – Nikkō

One of my favorite days in Japan! There were so many interesting places to explore in the little town of Nikkō. It was hard narrowing down this selection since I took a few hundred photos that day.

We started the day exploring little, empty shrines in the national park.




Rinno-Ji gardens.


A couple feeding the koi.


We bought fish food for a few cents and fed the hungry, fearless creatures too.




We explored the Futarasan-Jinja and Taiyuin-Byo shrines. Love prayers.








I loved the quality of light coming in through the trees.


After walking around the shrines for a few hours, we hopped a bus up an incredibly windy hill to see the beautiful Kegon Falls.



In order to get the silky look in the water, I had to set my camera on the ledge and take long exposures. Paul took this of me while I was photographing the fall. Traveling light meant no tripod.


When we got back into town from the falls, we took a walk through Nikkō before the sunset. This is the legendary Shin-Kyo bridge.



Road through Nikkō.



We walked to the Gamman-Ga-Fuchi Abyss, a collecton of jizo (baby god) statues. It is said that there are so many that they are uncountable. The grounds were eerily beautiful and we were the only people there.


Paul and baby gods.








We ended the day with an Indian feast and a soak in the Onsen we had all to ourselves. Perfect.

Japan – Day Ten – Nikkō

Back to the Japan story! After leaving the Nagoya area, we traveled to the mountain town of Nikkō. It was our favorite town in Japan. It was off season there, so we had a lovely Ryokan (guest house) all to ourselves, including the Onsen (hot-springs). The clean, cool mountain air seemed magical.

Day Ten – Nikkō

One of the only Japanese restaurants we found that served vegetarian-friendly food. The place had friendly staff, only three tables, and delicious food. People from all over the world showed their appreciation on the walls. We dined there several times during our few days in town.



Dragon fountains like this were a common sight throughout the country.


Paul and I spent the day walking around Nikko.


We spent a few hours in Tosho-Gu, an ancient Shinto shrine. The grounds of the shrine were dramatically beautiful, vast and multi-leveled.













As you can tell, I was enamored with the rooflines and greenery.



We spent a two more days in Nikko. Check back soon for more! Feel free to share your thoughts on these images, I always appreciate feedback.

Savannah and Tybee Island fun, Georgia

Last week one of my friends from high-school came and stayed with me in Savannah! We went to school together in Oregon and it was her very first time on the East Coast and in the South. I had fun playing tour guide and reminiscing with her. Here are some photos from our adventures.

We went to the Wormsloe historic site one afternoon. It’s one of my favorite places in Savannah; as soon as I step through the gates I feel like I’m in a fairy-tale.


I knew that I would love this frame immediately after taking it. It’s awesome when you get exactly what you want in-camera.


We ventured out to Tybee Island a few times during her stay. We decided to try out Captain Mike’s “dolphin” tour. It was pretty fun, and it was nice to get up close and personal with some marine mammals. I definitely miss my job as a Dolphin Research Center photographer sometimes, so I went a little nuts with the picture taking. This month I’m going to train to be a volunteer photographer for The Dolphin Project here in Georgia!






I did it! Finally got the timing right to capture a dorsal fin in front of the lighthouse and the fort.






Although this situation led to some interesting photos, it is illegal to feed wild dolphins. It’s incredibly bad for their health since they are sometimes fed things they shouldn’t eat, and often mothers don’t teach their calfs how to hunt because they have someone feeding them.



You can see the fish dropping mid-air in this one.


Reel Em N.


Looks relaxing.


I love the reflections in Morgan’s glasses and her hair in the breeze.


Savannah Family Portraits – Pulaski Square

This family is joyful, talented, hilarious, and amazingly kind. I feel honored and blessed to call them my friends. We did this shoot recently, right after the youngest son’s high school graduation. We created the photos in one of Savannah’s gorgeous squares. I’ve been given a weekend at their lovely beach-house in exchange for this photo-session, how awesome is that?

I’ve been keeping busy. Tomorrow I’ll be doing some editorial beauty shoots for South Magazine that I’m excited about! Check back soon for more blog posts (portraits, Japan, Savannah etc.). In the mean time, here are my favorite photos of this sweet family.

Just the four of them.


The boys.






Just the two of them.



Japan – Day Nine – Nagoya Area

Day Nine – Nagoya area

After leaving Nara, we traveled to Nagoya and checked into a Ryokan. It seemed like there wasn’t much to do in the city, so we spent the day navigating a subway maze to a little village outside of Inuyama, where we walked to a hill-top shrine. It wasn’t the most dramatic or scenic place we visited during our trip, but I loved going to a place where we were the only foreign tourists.

Orchard cat.


Once we got to the shrine, we spent awhile admiring all of the koi.




The shrine we visited is called the Ogata-jinja. It’s 2,000 years old and dedicated to a Shinto female deity. Women travel there who are seeking marriage or fertility.


I saw some girls wiggle through this tiny tori, probably as some sort of fertility ritual. I said, “what the heck” and followed suit while Paul took photos.


We meandered around the small but beautiful shrine grounds.




I wish I would have been able to pack my macro lens! Though, the one lens I did bring (my 24-105) has amazing range.


I love lens flare. I took this photo as we were leaving the shrine to walk back to the train station.


The road through town.


This nice man was sitting near the side of the road, and he was kind enough to let me take some photos of him and his Shibu-Inu puppy! I really like this photo.


I was fascinated by all of the lines as we waited for our train back to Nagoya.


The colors and shadows were interesting too.


We explored the city of Nagoya that night, and in the morning we headed to the gorgeous mountain-town of Nikko. Check back soon for more Japan!

Japan – Day Eight – Nara

This week I had an old friend visiting me here in Savannah! I’ll post some photos from our adventures soon. She left this morning and it’s back to work for me, starting with photographing a toddler’s birthday party this afternoon (always exciting). For now, check out the next Japan installment!

Day Eight – Nara

After leaving Kyoto, we traveled to Nara, Japan’s first (permanent) capital city. When we arrived, we soaked in the hotel’s glorious Onsen, and explored by foot the following day. Kofuku-Ji five-storied pagoda.


Thousands of friendly deer live in Nara! In pre-Buddhist times they were considered messengers of the gods, and today they are National Treasures.


Vendors on every corner of the park area sell deer cakes. They must get pretty overfed.




I thought it was sad how the deer would get totally surrounded by curious tourists, but they didn’t really seem to mind.


A little girl in front of the Daibutsu-den Hall.


Photo opp…


I wouldn’t doubt the messenger of the gods legend; the deer were majestic.




Majestic, but also kind of silly!


At one point we made the mistake of eating a snack (Ritz). We had to share. A big buck even tried to eat Paul’s street map.


Kasuga Taisha.


After two nights and one long day in Nara, we left for the Nagoya area. Check back soon for Day Nine+!