Four meadow buntings – three females and a male.  This was taken using a 200m Canon FD lens which I found for ¥500 in a junk box at a local re-cycle shop.  Everything came together for a final split second.  1) The sun disappeared  reducing the chronic chromatic aberration that occurs when this pin-sharp lens is attached to the cheap converter needed to convert FD lenses to an EOS body.  2) The birds were lined up parallel to me which got them all in focus.  3) They waited for me to focus the heavy manual lens.  4) They all gave a nice pose – almost as though they knew what was happening, and were totally up for a little portrait session.  Sadly, things didn’t go so well after that.  This scrub and the trees behind have since been bulldozed and felled to be replaced by the New Tomei expressway, work on which gathers pace.  Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?

Hadano, Japan




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Quintessentially Japanese.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the idea of putting the white roadside guard-rails alongside large roads and small lanes in towns and villages throughout the land was the brainwave of a forward thinking bureaucrat who just didn’t really do ‘quaint’, ‘traditional’ or ‘nice’.  Although, in his defense, drink driving laws in those days were pretty much non-existant.  And along with the wires and breeze block walls, they’re so ubiquitous that you just don’t notice them after a while – unless you’re a foreign tourist.

Hadano, Japan (where else!)

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Wintery waterfalls #2 – Another great day spent exploring a river in east Tanzawa with my good friend Sam.    Two things were evident – the first being the beauty of the river, and the second the absence of people in this much less visited part of the national park.  I’m all for sharing, but today that suited me just fine!


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An early December evening on the Japanese mountainside.   You’re never far from an Acer in a Japanese forest.  They’re one of the last trees to turn, producing a spectacle which fills the trekking paths with the sound of footsteps, laughter, camera shutters and bear bells.   It’s everyone’s image of the Japanese autumn, but it’s actually early winter by the time the maples turn here on the Pacific coast of central Honshu.  That means bright, sunny days and cold, starry nights.  All that sunshine means things move pretty fast – the buds of plum blossom are already developing, and a warm day in January (or even late December) will see a light splash of pink, before a cold snap puts thing on hold.

Tanzawa, Japan (December 2017)