A third year in Japan

This week marks the beginning of our third year living and working in Japan.  Thanks, Louise, for pushing me to leave Minneapolis for a while.  The last two years have been gratifying, tremendously delicious, educational, routine, and … aw, enough of the adjective festival.  Many thanks, Uncle Basho, for sending us here and giving me and opportunity to work with amazing people!

I’ve got a lot of wish list items added to my “todo before leaving Japan” list. (It just keeps getting longer and longer….)  One that hopped to the top of the list has been a deeper exploration of hobby photography.  Let me digress for a moment.

Scott’s new camera: Olympus and Micro Four Thirds

With the help of Louise and lots of input from cousin Mark, I’ve adopted a new personal camera, an Olympus PEN E-P5.  My colleague Kota has predicted that I’ll regret the decision in a year.  He’s probably right, though not for the reasons that he gave.

Louise is also looking for a new camera, something with much better image quality than her current Canon Rebel SLR and also something smaller & lighter weight.  I was hoping that Louise might choose a Micro Four Thirds system camera.  Then we wouldn’t mind carrying lenses for each others cameras — we could share/borrow/steal lenses at will.

At the moment, that hope is fading.  Louise will probably end up going with a Sony A7 series camera.  Odds are the A7 line will make my new Olympus’s image quality look like a 1904 pinhole camera.  That’s ok, I’m alright with that.  I am really, really enjoying the PEN E-P5.  In hand, it has a very similar feel to my first SLR and 35mm camera, a Pentax ME Super.  Size, appearance, weight & balance, controls (for the ones that they do have in common).

It … just … reminds me of that earlier, happy time.  That may not be a great technical reason for choosing a camera.  As my cousin Mark wrote last month, the experience of and feeling of using a tool is becoming more important and more motivating for actually using that tool.  Silly us, in the world of computer programming, we act on that opinion every day.  What language is fun? Which is effective? Which makes us feel like wallowing in a hog trough?

Indeed, I’m happy.  And if Louise ends up being anywhere near this happy with her new camera, Sony or Canon or other, then … it’s going to be a fantastic third year in Tokyo and in Japan.  And who knows, I may decide that the Olympus ought to go to a nephew or niece, and then I join with whatever system Louise chooses.  Hrrrrm.

Scott’s new gallery of new camera images

Of course, I’ve been taking a few photos with my point-and-shoot Canon and with my iPhone.  I don’t have any of them yet in this new gallery.  But for some first results, still learning & studying this new camera thingie, I’ve decided to use SmugMug to share them with friends & family.

The new gallery is at http://slfritchie.smugmug.com

Love it, hate it, what the !@#$!, give a shout, y’hear?

New tools, new year, new adventure

We hope to have my mother visit us in Japan this autumn.  Louise’s brother, yup, coming up in a couple of months.  Cousins from Minnesota, maybe?  Cousins from Baltimore, likely.  Step-siblings, I sure hope so!  Cousins from Texas, hey, it’s a long shot.

It’s always been my hope that we can give back to Japan some small fraction of the wonder and graciousness that it has given us.  We strive to do so with everyone we meet, work with, and play with. Gambatte/がんばって!Onward!

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