We had a great turnout for our first Mirai Photo Walk which was held in Tokyo on Feb 15th 2015. Despite the short 2 day notice, 30 people turned up for the networking event where we walked around to take photos, exchange ideas and contact details too.
Folks from all corners of the world joined us including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, England, Germany, France, US, Brazil, Malaysia and a few other locations which I forgot ><
I also mentioned that I was looking to fill the following positions and that folks interested should come along.
#Smart Doll production staff
During the walk I managed to get time to speak to all who came and by the end of the walk I filled two positions and am in talks with another two members of the walk who I also hope to hire. Its incredible how the Internets could bring so much talent together in one place ><
I will also be setting up a Smart Doll production workshop next week for those who came and are keen on working for us full or part time - if you are interested then make sure you sent me mail.
This first photo is the group shot taken outside the starting point which was the renovated Tokyo Station Marunouchi Chuo Exit.
The tall glass building in the middle of the photo is the renovated Tokyo Central Post Office - the modern part above is office space called JP Tower and the bottom part is called Kitte filled with restaurants and shops
Some folks didn't bring name cards - while they did manage to have chit chat with folks, they didn't get to exchange contact info which makes it difficult to connect - always make sure to carry name cards with you at all times!
I made some free name card templates a while ago - the designs are a wee bit old so I will be updating them when I get time but should be good for emergency use.
Mirai with the Frill T-shirt available now for all Smart Doll owners - the grey cardigan and beanie available in April.
The fully restored dome inside Tokyo Station.
Most of these photos are taken on my Sony A7II - many of them shot in RAW and color tweaked a wee bit in Adobe Lightroom. RAW photos are inherently dark and not as sharp as JPEGS which is why tweaking is necessary.
I personally tweak so that the photo is bright enough to see what's going on and try to avoid over tweaking which makes the shot look unnatural.
My first time inside Kitte - these photo walks are great for getting me outdoors! In Japan I'm usually either in the office or at home - the only time I get to go out n about has been when I'm outside of Japan on business trips ><
Ever since my company started to pick up, its been difficult to make time to get out as I want to make sure what I've spent years building up to this point continues to do well.
Occasionally, I would take photos that had over exposed areas which I would try to fix in Lightroom but then realised that I could only tweak a JPEG photo to a certain extent - this is because of the way a JPEG is saved.
Generally, JPEGs are saved in a way which enables you use the photo straight away - sending by email or sharing on a website or SNS. This means that information that is not needed is discarded and the JPEG is flatted.
RAW however contains a whole lot more information which enables you to tweak the photo with much more freedom - think of RAW as being like a layered Photoshop file (which you can edit freely) and think of JPEG as a flatted exported Photoshop file (which is difficult to edit freely). Another thing about RAW is that you can adjust the white balance *after* the photo is taken while JPEG will use the current white balance setting and flatten the photo with it.
You can still change white balance in JPEG with the color picker but it will be difficult to get accurate settings compared to RAW.
As I have just started to shoot RAW, I set my camera to shoot RAW+JPEG at the same time because I'm not so comfortable with just RAW and still need to work it into my workflow which has been JPEG for over 10 years.
Some of the lads with their imaging weapons of choice.
After taking snaps around Tokyo Station, we headed towards Tokyo International Forum - a fancy art and convention center located by Yurakucho station.
There we discovered an antique flea market filled with various knicks n knacks.
It was a really nice sunny day for a Photo Walk - but very cold ><
The red round thing is a Daruma - one eye is painted when a mission is begun and the other eye is painted when the mission is complete.
Inside the Tokyo International Forum building.
I cant remember which floor (7 I think) but you can go and walk on the walkways above to take photos. Its free to get in.
Mirai was happy to meet many new comrades on the walk.
Now we have arrived at Ginza to take a walk down Chuo Dori Street. On a Sundays this main road is pedestrianised and there are chairs dotted around for tired shoppers to relax and take a break.
I will continue to arrange these walks in and out of Japan but wont give too much warning as too much notice means larger attendees which is challenging to manage - its difficult to get time to talk with everybody when there are large numbers. Keep an eye on my Twitter to find out when the next walk is.
Most folks were using Canon DSLRs - what is your current main camera?
Pedestrianised means no bicycles - something which a few folks seem to forget which is why the sign is brought out.
A chap who used to work at Ubisoft joined us. Speaking of Ubisoft, how many of you playing Child of Light? I recently discovered it on my new PS4 ^^
Our new Creative Director from Singapore is a Kizunite. Do you prefer Kizuna or Mirai?
And here is an example of the FE 4/24-70mm used in Smart Doll photography - a really nice bokeh shot that I would previously only use the Sony RX1 to take. But this 24 - 70mm allows me to get those street snaps too which is just great ^^
Many buildings in Japan look like this with a thin gap in between them. We have laws here to prevent a land owner to build right up to the edge of his or her land.
On our photowalks, folks can join and leave anytime. This group snap taken at the end of our walk at Shinagawa Station with those who stayed on.
I give my name card out to all who join and for those who contact me back, they get automatically added to the Mirai Photo Walk mailing list.
I will announce soon when I plan another photo walk in another part of Tokyo.
Came across this cutie on the way home.
In my neck of the woods around Nishikoyama Station.
Ramen for dindins.
And here is my camera armory which I should really review soon ><