Japanese Twitter Users’ Creative Anti-Theft Measures

But there are still minor cases of theft that bug the local residents, especially when the rainy season comes showering by. Instead of expensive items such as wallets and cars, what’s getting taken are things such as umbrellas, which are inexpensive but highly valuable when it is raining cats and dogs. To fight such petty crime, the citizens of Japan have come up with their own unique ways of fending off such petty thieves

My solution to combat Japan’s high umbrella-​​theft rate has been to buy a handful at a time at the ¥100 store and just use them until they are gone, then repeat. Yes, they are kind of crappy umbrellas, but they disappear so fast it doesn’t matter. I may try this Japanese Twitter idea instead going forward!

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015

Adobe announced a major update to its Creative Cloud subscription service today, bringing a large number of improvements to the entire Adobe family of 15 CC desktop apps. Here’s a look at what’s new for photographers in Creative Cloud 2015.

Calling it a major update seems a stretch, but it is another solid update. Be sure to watch the video to get a nice overview.

Tilting The Streets Of San Francisco

A cool video by Ross Ching & Karen X. Cheng using some clever tricks to pull off a neat illusion.

The hardest part was coming up with ideas that made the gravity illusion look good — we tried lots of stuff that we thought would look good but didn’t work for various reasons (balloons got blown away, pouring water wasn’t visible enough on camera, moonwalking looked weird at an angle). Our favorite effect is the pendulum!

From The Archives: Orange Sky Over Busy Street

Back when I first posted this photo, I wondered if the orange sky was caused by more water in the air than normal. Since that time, I have received a few emails suggesting that the true cause might be air pollution. Oh… swell.

Vending Machines

Vending machines seem to be everywhere in Japan, where they account for more than ¥5 trillion of sales each year. Because they are rarely vandalized or broken into, they are seen by some as a symbol of the country’s safety.

If you are interested by the vending machines that are everywhere in Japan, this is a good overview.

Japan's 1,300 Year Old Business

Houshi Ryokan was founded around 1,300 years ago and it has always been managed by the same family since then. 
It is the oldest still running family business in the world.

This ryokan (a traditional japanese style hotel) was built over a natural hot spring in Awazu in central Japan in the year 718. Until 2011, it held the record for being the oldest hotel in the world. 
 Houshi Ryokan has been visited by the Japanese Imperial Family and countless great artists over the centuries. Its buildings were destroyed by natural disasters many times, but the family has always rebuilt. The garden as well as some parts of the hotel are over 400 years old.

Houshi (法師) means buddhist priest. It is the name of the family as well as of the hotel.

A business that’s been around 1300 years… boggles the mind.

From The Archives: Mount Fuji

This was from a distance, obviously. What is not so obvious is that it was taken from inside the Shinkansen[1]. Taking the Shinkansen from Nagoya to Tokyo, the mountain is usually easy to see, but often it is half hidden in clouds. Luck was with me on this particular trip and the mountain was completely clear. Just to be different from the many many photos of Mt Fuji on the internet, I decided on the texture. Looking back on this old photo, I still think that was the right move.


  1. That is, the bullet train.  ↩

Why Android Camera Phones Still Suck

Evan Rodgers:

Android phones do have good cameras, but what we need is better software. RAW support allows us to see what these cameras are technically capable of, but until we can trust phone makers to invest in quality processing algorithms, Android cameras will continue to lag behind Apple and Microsoft’s.

The key point is that the cameras on Android phones don’t suck and are actually pretty good; however, the software that converts the photos to jpg doesn’t do a good job. The lesson for all you Android users is to shoot RAW if you care about your photos.

Writing Kanji In English Is Art

Adam from Japanese Level Up introduces a unique project from Japanese artist Tomomi Kunishige:

She takes kanji and makes them look like the English word that the kanji actually mean. She writes them in Japanese calligraphy style (which allow for a bit of an abstract nature).

I can only see a few of these working. Smile works, as does moon. I can’t see the rest. But they are all beautifully written.