Thursday, October 12, 2017

My new Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 Macro Lens

I wanted an all purpose zoom lens to use when I travel, for walking the streets and for macro images; and, it had to be a Sigma lens so I could use it on my Sd Quattro cameras.  Enter the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 Macro "Contemporary" lens. Sigma web page for this lens

So, this is my first outing with my new toy. Let's go for a walk!

Shooting it wide along the Ookagawa river in Yokohama

The cherry blossom trees that line the Ookagawa river seem to be the first to show signs of autumn.

In Japan one never says "where's a taxi when you need one?"

Thursday morning and all is well along the Nihon-Odori avenue.

Men on the move.

A sea worthy vessel moored at the Oosanbashi pier.

On the other side of the pier is the cruise ship Asuka II.
https://www.asukacruise.co.jp/english/

No better place to test a new lens than Yamashita park.

I don't think that couples holding hands will ever go out of style.

Of course looking for a hand to hold will always be a part of life too.

The rose garden in Yamashita park is a great place to check out this lens's macro feature.

Works for me.


I'm seeing red!

So far so good.

Taking the lens to the street for a high speed run through China Town via Park Avenue.

Welcome to China Town!

Retirees cruising the streets looking for a good time!

His white coat is spotless, he must be the boss.

Looking for a good place to eat lunch.

Chowing down on a fresh steamed bun.

China town is happy town.

Taking in the sights and sounds.

Outside the China town limits I encountered a stream of ladies dressed in Kimonos. Who are they? Where are they going? And, why are they looking so happy??? Mysteries that won't be solved.

There are a lot of old stone buildings in Yokohama. The architecture is impressive.

Hey! We forgot our neck ties!

Nice sidewalks around here.

Passing through the Kannai district.

Now passing through the Bashamichi district (I get around).

I think the one piece dress is classy.

No matter where one goes in the world one is never too far from the Colonel.

I know what she's thinking:
Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive and the world it's turning inside out Yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now don't stop me
'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time
-- Freddie Mercury

More Freddie
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

It's been a long day, time to go home. I love public transportation.
All in all I'm very pleased with my new lens.

Thanks for stopping by!
Mike

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Grey Skies Over Jogashima Island

Of course I'd love to have beautiful blue skies whenever I go out to take pictures but that's not possible. So, what I've learned is to embrace bad weather and grey skies and try and use them to enhance the images I make. With that in mind I headed to the island of Jogashima on a seemingly bad day.

The way I get to the island is by bus; this bus. This is the Jogashima bus stop located at the far end of the island.

There are several seafood restaurants in the surrounding area.

Many of the shops and restaurants are closed during the work week. However, a few were open for business when I visited.

The exteriors  are a bit weather worn but they look warm and inviting on the inside.

Looking seaward at the entrance of the channel that divides the island and the mainland.

Most of the island coast is rugged and rocky.

One can see Mt. Fuji in the distance. Hard to see but it's there.

This is the "Jogashima Keikyu Hotel".
http://www.keikyu-travel.com/inb/hotels/Kanto/jogashimakq.htm
Just behind the hotel is the Jogashima Lighthouse.

How soon the Summer fades and the Fall colors move in.

A group of students on a field trip.

These weeds are beautiful.

On top of the bluff there is an easy walking path.

The path leads to may nice sights such as this rocky formation with holes in it.

This place is called Umanose-doumon.

There's a nice sandy beach here and a lot of tidal pools for those people interested in poking around tidal pools.


The view from the top of the trail leading down to Umanose-doumon

 Farther down the trail is this large protrusion that is a bird sanctuary for Sea Cormorants

Nothing but grey skies do I see. This is a view from one of the observation platforms.

Another view from the same platform.

At this end of the island there are steep trails that lead down to the sea.

There's also a lot of scenic view points.

One feature of the island is that there are a lot of wild cats here. They are not the kind of cats that one should be petting.

This end of the island is a a well maintained park called "Jogashima Park". There are clean (I mean very clean) restrooms in the park.

Lots of benches and picnic tables.

It's just beautiful out here.

Tree lined walking tails...

What more could one want?

...perhaps another lighthouse I guess. This is Awazaki lighthouse.

And, suddenly I was swarmed by a group of female high school students. Well, actually they just happened to come to the same area I was in; I don't think they noticed me.

Moving on I spot another photographer on top of the rocky coastline.

Sightseer seeing sights.

The going is getting a little tougher as I walk the coast. This is no place for wearing flip-flops.

Same photographer as before. He looked pretty serious but when I greeted him he broke into a big smile and returned the greeting.

Unable to proceed along the coast any further it was time to head up and work my way back to the bus stop.

Heading back along the trail and looking back at Umanose-doumon

The lighthouse is in sight! I'm as good as gone!
Jogashima is a great little island to visit. Easy walking trails, clean public rest rooms, picnic areas, plenty of pay parking for those that come here by car and easy access by bus from the Misakiguchi train station. Bring the family and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by!
Mike