Our online gallery’s new look and features

Our online photo gallery at PHOTOGUIDE.JP/pix/ has undergone a major makeover upon the major upgrade of the software that runs it. It now has a new look and feel while most things remain familiar.

And it’s not just a cosmetic upgrade. New features also make it easier to use and more friendly:

  • YouTube videos are now embedded right inside our photo gallery. You no longer have to leave the site and go to YouTube in order to watch our videos. When you see the YouTube Embedded Video thumbnail image above, you can click on it to see the video within our photo gallery. (I’ve waited for this feature a long, long time.)
  • The single-image (full-size) display page now has a filmstrip below it, showing clickable thumbnails of adjacent images. It makes navigation easier and faster to view another image.
  • Commenting system has been incorporated, one that uses captcha to prevent spamming robots. You can now insert comments for any picture. (All comments are subject to approval before they appear.)
  • Go ahead and look at PHOTOGUIDE.JP/pix/ and see the improvements for yourself.

    New Facebook Group

    I’ve just created a new Facebook Group called Photographers Japan for imaging professionals in Japan.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=107783882597033

    If you’re a professional photographer, videographer, or working in a related field (writers, editors, art directors, gallery owners, etc.) in Japan, I invite you to join the group.

    Networking, information sharing, self-promotion, and as well as making it easier for potential clients to find and hire a pro photographer in Japan are the main purpose of the group.

    Anybody can join the group, but I would allow only relevant professionals to start discussion board threads to promote themselves and their activities. Amateurs and people in unrelated occupations should remain read-only members.

    PhotoWho’sWho moved

    My collection of biographies of Japanese photographers called PhotoWho’sWho has been completely transferred to a new URL at:
    http://photoguide.jp/txt/Category:Japanese_Photographers

    This transfer was in the works off and on for 3 years. The transfer of all 200 bios was finally completed in April 2010. Note that the bios have not been updated, it was mainly a copy-and-paste operation with almost no new information added in the process. A few broken links have been fixed, but that’s about it.

    The transfer was made because PhotoWho’sWho was previously run by a software system (the now-defunct Post-Nuke) not geared for search engine optimization. The URLs were terribly long and cryptic. The new software system at PHOTOGUIDE.JP uses the same search engine-optimized system running Wikipedia.

    PhotoRepairs updated

    My list of camera service/repair centers in Japan for all major manufacturers has been totally updated. It also has a new URL:
    http://photojpn.org/news/category/repairs/

    I found that only Nikon and Pentax has an English list of camera repair centers in Japan. Bravo to them. I provide direct links to their repair center list in English.

    Otherwise, I have translated the addresses, etc., for the repair centers of other major camera equipment makers in Japan.

    Summer 2009 festivals

    I got a lot of summer festival videos online at YouTube, especially awa odori:

    Koenji Awa Odori 2009 1/3
    Koenji Awa Odori 2009 2/3
    Koenji Awa Odori 2009 3/3
    Minami-Koshigaya Awa Odori 1/2
    Minami-Koshigaya Awa Odori 2/2
    Aoishin-ren at Minami-Koshigaya Awa Odori
    Mitaka Awa Odori 1/2
    Mitaka Awa Odori 2/2
    Nakamurabashi Awa Odori 1/5
    Nakamurabashi Awa Odori 2/5
    Nakamurabashi Awa Odori 3/5
    Nakamurabashi Awa Odori 4/5
    Nakamurabashi Awa Odori 5/5
    Kita-Urawa Awa Odori 1/3
    Kita-Urawa Awa Odori 2/3
    Kita-Urawa Awa Odori 3/3
    Otsuka Awa Odori, Tokyo
    Matsuri Tsukuba and Nebuta Parade
    Sendai Tanabata Matsuri 2009 1/3
    Sendai Tanabata Matsuri 2009 2/3
    Sendai Tanabata Matsuri 2009 3/3
    Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri 2009
    Fukushima Waraji Matsuri 1/2
    Fukushima Waraji Matsuri 2/2
    Asakusa Samba Carnival 2009
    Hachioji Matsuri, Tokyo
    Yokohama Port Opening Expo
    Kanko Maru Yokohama cruise
    Yokota Air Base Japanese-American Friendship Festival 2009
    Fussa Tanabata Star Festival
    Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri

    Here are the photos:
    Koenji Awa Odori 2009
    Minami-Koshigaya Awa Odori
    Mitaka Awa Odori
    Kita-Urawa Awa Odori, Saitama
    Nakamurabashi Awa Odori 2009, Nerima
    Otsuka Awa Odori, Tokyo
    Matsuri Tsukuba and Nebuta Parade
    Kaminoyama Castle, Yamagata
    Yokota Air Base Japanese-American Friendship Festival 2009
    Fussa Tanabata Star Festival
    Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri
    Fukushima Tanabata
    Hachioji Matsuri, Tokyo
    EXPO Y150: Yokohama Port Opening 150th
    Edogawa Fireworks

    Tohoku summer festivals in Sendai, Yamagata, and Fukushima

    I finally revisited Sendai during Aug. 6-8 to see the famous Tanabata Festival, the grand daddy of all Tanabata Matsuris in Japan. I was not disappointed. Sendai’s Tanabata is definitely a few notches above any other Tanabata in Japan. Most of the streamers are made of paper instead of plastic. And all those origami paper cranes. I shudder to think how many man-hours were spent to make them. Click on the image to see more photos.

    From Sendai, I took a day trip to neighboring Yamagata to see the Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri, an evening parade of dancers wearing a flower hat.

    On the way back to Tokyo, I stopped by Fukushima to see the Fukushima Waraji Matsuri Festival which is another evening dance parade with a twist. Sometimes you see dancers wear waraji straw sandals.

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