5 MONTHS TO REMEMBER – Part 19

Trying new concept photos is always an interesting experience for me. 

About 2 weeks ago I got an idea of taking photos of water drops. It was known as a quite difficult technique in photography and I did not have experience in taking that kind of photos before so I had to search on the Internet in advance about what to prepare and how to do it. Luckily it was not so complicated!^^

As water has no color, it is necessary to prepare some colored paper for the background. However, I also tried taking photos with white background and the effect after editing was also impressive. Other things we needed to prepare were a tripod, a camera with marco lense, a wireless flashgun, a glass bowl to hold the water, a big tray to hold the glass bowl, any tools that can be used to make water drops and last but not least, some tissue or a towel to clean up water.

The most important thing for taking this kind of photo is to learn how to use the wireless flashgun to help “freeze” the water drops. I’m going to tell you the detailed settings necessary for this. I used the sync shutter speed at 1/200 of a second at 1/128 power. You can try other numbers if you want but it should not be lower than that otherwise you can’t have enough light for your photos.

The wireless flashgun I used at       that time

I had about 30 minutes struggling with this flashgun as it had not worked out the way I wanted. Things would have been more difficult if I hadn’t had a great supporter by my side, Haruka-chan, another intern in Grit. She helped me adjust the flashgun and other things as well. One time while it wasn’t working, she accidentally pressed somewhere and it started to work so we decided immediately to just leave it like that and not to touch it any more (^.^).

Camera settings are also important. With the help of flashgun, I only set the camera shutter speed at 1/125s, ISO 100 and DOF (depth of field) from f10 to f14.

                     My favorite camera, still:)

An ideal lens for this kind of photos

What’s next? Fill the glass bowl with water and put it inside a big tray to avoid making the area around get wet. Now you need something to make the water drops. If you only carry out the photoshoot yourself, it’s better to create a simple system to hold a water bottle, make a tiny hole with a needle and let the water drop slowly. However, I found a medical needle at home so I decided to use it instead of water bottles and Haruka-chan helped me pull the needle. It depends on your own purpose and ideas that you may want to adjust the speed of the waterdrops.

A very important thing is that we must use the Manual mode of the lens because we can adjust the focus to the position where we want the the water to drop down. And also remember not to put your camera too high or too low, I think just a little higher than the surface of the water is ok. Sounds enough, right? Let’s shoot! (^o^)

Drop the water. Shoot. Drop it again. Shoot again. Again and again and again.

It is normal that you may take about 200 – 300 photos and only 10 of them are usable. After shooting comes the editing part. Usually we have to crop the photos to select the best parts and then add some effects if possible. The results may truly surprise you!

Below are some of my photos after editing. This was my first experience in this kind of photos so I will try it again with some changes.

I also try filling a glass with water and dropped fruits inside and it turned out to be my favorite photo^^

Good luck with your experience if you have!^^

 

 

 

5 MONTHS TO REMEMBER – Part 18

Last Monday was a great day.

I spent nearly the whole day with Shiho-san, one of my close friends in GRIT!, and her 13-year-old daughter, Yuna-chan. In the morning, we went to the Tokugawa garden which took about 30 minutes from Nagoya station. I have been always fascinated by traditional Japanese gardens because of their tranquil beauty and luckily, Tokugawa garden did not disappoint me at all.

Actually, the garden was bigger than I thought. We planned to spend only about 1 hour in there but in fact it took us more than 2 hours to enjoy the beauty of every corners and to take a lot of photos as well:) Almost all the trees are still green, some of them have already started to change colours. Just imagine how wonderful it would be when Autumn really comes to Nagoya and paint the city red and yellow and only thinking about that makes me definitely want to come to this place again with my friend for a photo shoot (^o^).

                          Such a poetic scenery!

This green will soon turn into red and yellow

The garden impressed me with its bridges. There are about 5 or 6 ones in total and views from each are really good. The reason why I liked bridges is that they are a symbol of connection and my name, Lien, also has the same meaning (^^).

A kind lady offered to take photos for 3 of us^.^

           Walking on this bridge is really cool

Visitor wandered slowly to enjoy the beauty of nature

                         Good view to the bridge

Tokugawa garden has a quite big lake and the other impressive thing for me is that the carps in a lake are sooo big. When I sat close to the water to watch the fish catching foods from visitors, I was shocked at how large their mouths were. A little bit scary:))

Feeding and watching the fish is a favorite activity of visitors

They look smaller in the photo but trust me they are sooo big!

We walked slowly to enjoy the cool air and beautiful scenery of the garden. Everyone was really in the mood for taking photos in such an ideal place like that.

               Do you want to live near here?^^

The only thing I have to warn you before coming here is the mosquitoes. Remember to prepare anti-mosquitoes spray if you don’t want to get a lot of red spots on your skin:)

After that, we went to an “ankake spaghetti” restaurant for lunch. Well, “ankake spaghetti” is a special food that ony Nagoya has and it’s pretty good to me so I’m always willing to eat it again!^^

                   Looks good, tastes good!^.^

Here we met Shiho-san’s husband and his American friend. They’re poke-tomo (which means they knew each other by playing Pokemon go) and we seperated into 2 groups again after eating:)

Well, I have to say that I was really satisfied with that day and the main reason is that because I could eat many delicious things (^o^). I’m a little pig you know:)

Although we were full after eating a big ankake spaghetti plate, we still headed to Osu street for more. Thanks to Shiho san, now I know the best milk tea shop I could find in Nagoya. The shop’s name is “Quickly” and it totally changed my opinion about Japanese milk tea:)) Besides, I also took Shiho-san and Yuna-chan to my favorite donuts and icecream shop and they also agreed it was a really good one.

                          Best milk tea in town!!!

Must-try donuts and ice-cream in Osu

Before going home, we went to “Alice on Wednesday”, a special accessories shop. If you are a girl, you will love it. For me, everything there was so cute that you can not leave the shop without buying at least one for yourself.

Small wooden door leading to the magical world^^

Well, seems like too many good things happening in one day, right?^.^

See you next time!

 

 

 

5 MONTHS TO REMEMBER – Part 17

Challenges make us grow up. And one thing I like about this internship is that challenges came continuously and I believe they have greatly helped me become a better person.

Last Thursday, I had a task to go to Fukui prefecture to take photos of the staff in two gasoline stations. It took about one hour and a half by shinkansen from Nagoya station and I had to start from home quite early at about 6:30a.m. However, this time there was only me. I had to do the things that Yoshida-san usually did before when we went to somewhere together, from getting the train tickets, finding the correct train platform, going to the place and taking photos. Was it more difficult and tiring? Of course. But everything happens for a reason. And I think it was a really good experience for me.

The first lesson, which is repeated many times, is about preparation. Before that day, Yoshida told me to find examples for each kind of photos we wanted to have such as seriously working poses, friendly and kind poses or team spirit poses, etc. It was very important because it saved me and the staff time to think about different poses and even if I have an idea of a specific pose in my mind, sometimes it is hard to explain it to other people so having a similar photo will help them “act” better.

Other preparations included choosing the camera and lenses to bring along. I picked the Canon 6D, my favorite camera, as usual and three lenses for different purposes. It was also necessary to bring spare batteries and made sure they are full (^.^) as well as a spare memory card.

In addition, I also wrote some notes about what I should do during the shooting time such as “Remember to change lens”, “Observe to choose backgrounds before asking staff to pose”, or even “Remember to smile” (^o^).

However, although I had quite thorough preparation of the equipment and documents needed, I still forgot one thing. A coat. It sounds not really important but in fact, it was very necessary if I want to be able to focus on shooting and not being distracted by the cold weather. I blamed myself right after getting off the train because it was sooo cold and even rain slightly. “This is not good”, I thought. And I was worried about the photo shooting. Therefore, it’s always better to check the weather forecast before going to somewhere and bring along with us a light coat just in case.

The second lesson is about communication. In spite of my limited Japanese, I still tried to talk to the staff at first to be more familiar with them. Luckily, they are all friendly and humorous people so I felt very comfortable among them and even sometimes forgot the cold (^.^). As I have also translated into Japanese what I wanted to talk to them before (most of all were orders for poses), it was much easier for my shooting and the staff didn’t look at me like an alien when I tried to express my thought in Japanese.

Smiling is also another form of communication. I know my face is kind of serious (which my friend’s always call “supervisor’s face”:)) so I have to remind myself all the time to smile when meeting new people, especially during the first few moments so they will not misunderstand my attitude. Actually we had lots of laughs that day. I got the feeling that they truly enjoy their jobs and working together, or in other words, they are happy workers (^.^).

I spent nearly 9 hours taking about 2.000 photos in both gasoline stations and of course was really tired but when looking back, it was a good day for me because thanks to the preparation in advance, the photo shooting ran quite smoothly and I could feel relieved.

About Fukui, I think I like it because I saw many beautiful traditional old houses and was greatly impressed by the paintings and models of dinosaurs in Fukui station. Moreover, the miso ramen I ate for lunch was delicious and it reminded me of Yamagata ramen, which in my opinion is the best ramen I have ever tried in Japan so far.

You can see dinosaurs everywhere in Fukui station

I went back to Nagoya quite late that night and you can guess how deeply I slept then (^.^).

Anyway, mission completed!

 

5 MONTHS TO REMEMBER – Part 16

Hisashiburiii!

To be honest, didn’t even know why my blog writing was delayed in the last 2 weeks. But no problem, I promise to come back from now on.

One evening 2 days ago, I had a really stunning experience with some GRIT! members in a prison-style restaurant near Nagoya station. I read about that restaurant on the Internet before and was aware that it would be very strange but in fact, it was much stranger than I expected. When we arrived at the door, we had to press a butten under a skull and then a staff would come and open the chain for us to get inside. It was a little bit scary already but what happened afterwards was even more interesting.

Felt relieved because it didn’t bite me^^

When the staff came, she asked us to select one member to be hand-cuffed like a prisoner. That person would be led to the room by the staff and the rest of us just followed them. And the room? I like it:)

We looked like monkeys in a cage:)

When we started to order, it was really difficult to choose from so many creative and unusual foods there. Of course they still have some normal foods and drinks but as we had come already so why not trying out the new style, right?(^.^) Fortunately, although they looked toxic and strange, everything was really really tasty and didn’t upset our stomach:)

Do you wanna try this medicine drinks?^^

                             It’s my drink

                             A jelly eye^^

                      Ninja-style salad

          They looked so cute and complete@@

Felt a bit guity to cut them apart but had to:))

      Will you eat these cute octopuses?

Okonomiyaki with lots of garlic to chase the dracula away

The restaurant special dish

At about 9p.m, there was an alarm that everybody should be prepare themselves as the zombies and devils would come in the next 10 minutes. I didn’t think that they could frighten me but in reality, I was scared to death T.T When the time came, all the light were turned off and it was all black in about 30 seconds. After that, gloomy music was played and the room was covered in the colorful flash lights, everyone paid attention to the room door and waited for the devils. My arms started to have goose-bumps but I was still thinking: “Frankly they are just fake devils so maybe they can only frighten some children. Not me:))” Then the horror movie began.

There were 3 zombies and devils coming to our room in total and each time they came, I screamed and hold Ogura-san, the GRIT! member who went with me that night, very tightly to hide my face behind her back. I wanted to see the devils’ face but couldn’t because I was too scared to lift up my head:)) Even one time when I was trying to look at another direction, one zombie kept hitting my head slightly and I really nearly cried 7.7 (or yes, I did cry:))

When the show time was over, the staff began to call out names of the customers who have birthdays in October and congratulated them, including me. I was surprised because I didn’t know that would happen, maybe one member, Shiho-san told them when she reserved the table for us. After that, one special birthday cake was brought to our room. Well yeah, everything in this restaurant is strange so of course the birthday cake could not be normal as well (^.^) But no matter how abnormal it looked, the cake was delicous and I appreciated it very much.

We truly had a wonderful time together with lots of laughs and scary moments. If I have a chance to come to this restaurant again, I will definitely still go.

Happy birthday to me!