Friday, April 29, 2016

Destination - Akita! (part one)

Last weekend we went to Akita to do some sightseeing and spend some time soaking in the hot springs. On the first day we traveled on the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to the historical town of Kakunodate.

The town was established in 1620 and is quite an attractive place to visit.

The streets are lined with old structures. Some are tourist attractions and others are residences.

Since Akita is on the northern end of Honshu island the cherry blossom trees are just know at their peak bloom.

We were not alone in our enjoyment of blossom viewing.

The streets were full of tourists. I always say, "the more the merrier".

We also visited this shop that sold miso paste and soy sauce.

Nice interior.

One of the biggest attractions of Kakunodate is the cherry tree lined path along the Hinokinai river.

It's glorious!



Big groups and small, all gathered for viewing and of course... to party!


There is romance in the air.


At one point along the river bank there was a local festival being held.

We stopped to watch these local girls perform a folk dance.

They must practice a lot because they were very good.



Meet the boys in the band.



This was some terrific entertainment.

Back to the river walk.



There sure are a lot of trees along this river.



I couldn't imagine a nicer day than this.

And, I'm so lucky to have my sweetheart with me to enjoy it.


This would be a good time to recite Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken".

In my next post I'll share images of Akita's Tamagawa Onsen.

Thanks for stopping by!
Mike

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Bessaflex TM Rides Again!

I had so much fun shooting film with the Contax G2 that I decided to break out my old Bessaflex TM camera and take some pictures with it too. All these images were taken with the Bessaflex TM camera, Fujifilm ISO 100 color negative film and three M42 mount Zeiss lenses (25mm, 35mm and 50mm).

So, here we go! The Bessaflex does well with stationary objects.

It's an all manual camera so setting up each shot takes a bit of time.

It's not a good rig for action photography, but it does keep one grounded in the fundamentals of photography.

A scene from the Iseyama shrine on Noge Hill in Yokohama.

The back side of the Yokohama Historical Archive building.

I call this "Rusty Gate".

The azaleas are blooming everywhere.

The tulips are showing no sign of going away.


They've been beaten with high winds, heavy rain and hordes of photographers and they just keep on looking good.





I like the way these are rendered in film. It almost looks like a painting instead of a photo.


I  think that I'll start using the Bessaflex and Zeiss lenses more often. It would be nice to improve my skills or at least my luck with this setup.

I think the tulips are starting to recognize me when I walk by. I could swear they're waving at me.

The Chinese maples are looking beautiful in green.

Like I said, the Bessaflex likes stationary objects.


Hold still while I take your picture!

Me and my Bessa.

Last shot of the day and it's an action shot!

Thanks for stopping by!
Mike