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Video: ups and downs – How I Joined a Japanese Choir

It’s been many months and summer is almost here. Cherry blossoms have bloomed and fallen. During the holidays and into the spring, a few bumps along the way led to headaches and delays. Beneath all that however were the trips, festivals, and most importantly the people there to push you through those times. In Nagasaki, one such group does that through the magic of music.

A special thanks to The Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Glee Club. I love you all and couldn’t have done this without you!

Sorry for the delay. Had to borrow a friend’s computer to do this! Thanks so much Matt!

Music:
Hold Me Down – Foreign Fields
いざ起て戦人よ – Sung by the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Glee Club
ふるさと – Sung by the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Glee Club

 

For camera nerds:

Sony a6000

Sony 50mm F1.8 (most used in this video)

Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6

Rokinon 12mm F2.0

Premiere Pro CC 2015

Check out my previous episode on traveling to Yakushima and Tanegashima, and taking video of the stars above Japan.

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Video: under the stars – Filming the Night Skies of Japan

A trip to the islands of Yakushima and Tanegashima at the beginning of fall provided an opportunity to visit one of the most picturesque landscapes Japan has to offer. My favourite photos however whether back home in Canada or in Japan, are taken simply by pointing my camera up into the night sky.

My longest video thus far with over 1500 km driven for footage around Kyushu and about 2 months to film everything, hope you enjoy!

For camera nerds:

Sony a6000

Sony 50mm F1.8

Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6

Rokinon 12mm F2.0 (most used in this video)

Premiere Pro CS6

Check out my previous episode on Nagasaki and my summer adventures.

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Video: summer lights – The Highlights of Summer in Japan

Summer is over and school is starting again. Here are a few of the highlights experienced during the last 2 months.

This video definitely took a bit longer to make than I hoped. School starting up and just generally being busy has made it especially difficult to find time to simply sit down and edit. Hopefully it’s entertaining and stay tuned for the next episode which I assure you will be filled with a few surprises 😉

For camera nerds:

Sony a6000

Sony 50mm F1.8

Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 (most used in this video)

Rokinon 12mm F2.0

Premiere Pro CS6

Check out my previous episode on Omura and first moving in.

Summer in Japan

Glimpses of Summer in Japan

If you’ve ever watched an anime you might feel well acquainted with summer in Japan even if you’ve never been here. Indeed, it is an unspoken rule of ‘slice of life’ anime that, if you’re on the air long enough, you must have a lackadaisical episode where the characters go to a festival, wear yukata, and see fireworks. It’s actually enshrined in Japanese law.

However, it’s one thing to be familiar with summer in Japan, and another to experience it. Of course, there are some not-so-welcomed ‘summer in Japan’ realizations like the screeches of the cicadas waking you up at 5 AM, your food going bad at 10 times the regular rate,  and being constantly drenched in an endless pool of sweat. But, to make up for it, there are also an incredible amount of great places to see and things to experience in the summer.

Last summer, I got to experience a handful of the best. I made a short video (viewable below) that gives you a glimpse of one of the best summers I’ve ever had. I was lucky to hit up thirteen prefectures in the month of August alone: Fukushima, Iwate, Aomori, Akita, Yamagata, Miyagi, Kanagawa, Niigata, Shizuoka, Gifu, Toyama, Kagawa, and Tokushima. In the process, I got to view and/or participate in some of Japan’s best festivals including Nebuta, Awa Odori, and Kanto.

This video was captured purely on an iPhone 5, and has subsequently inspired me to up my video editing game. Indeed, I have already made strides to improve with my ‘Welcome to My Japan’ video, but still, I think this video serves its purpose of giving you a good taste of what summer in Japan has to offer.

In the next couple weeks, I’ll be writing about the Tohoku summer festival circuit which I have dubbed ‘The Tohoku Roku’: 6 festivals in 6 prefectures in 6 days. This is the best hidden week-long trip in Japan and some people have told me they are interested in hearing more information. You can actually get a little preview of ‘The Tohoku Roku’ in this very video as it was the first half of my trip. Check it out, and stay tuned for more!