Anpanman on the street, twin flowers and ravine attempts

Today was more black and white photography fun! What I’m really saying is that amongst the many, many over or underexposed, blurry and blah sprouted a few that I’m happy with.

My problem yesterday was discovering that the auto focus on the lens was no longer working. I thought it might have been related to the newly discovered monochrome setting. Alas, no. It was all me. At some point, I changed the focus settings to manual. I have no recollection of this and no reason to do so. Then again, I inexplicably put my toddler’s diaper on inside out this morning. Yes, inside out. And I was awake. Really. Too bad the diaper companies haven’t made one that absorbs both directions.

Anpanman in suburbia

Since I live in a relatively off the beaten path neighborhood, life is reaaaaaally quiet. Luckily, Anpanman was out and about in his corncob car and offered to be my subject for the street themed photo from day 2.

Anpanman cruising in his corn cob car

going for a sidewalk cruise

Anpanman is a very popular character from Japan, usually with the under 6 year old set. He is a big hero, saving his friends from the antics of Baikinman aka Virus Man. When Virus Man dumps water on Anpanman though (or any other foolishness), Anpanman’s powers are gone and he must return to the bakery to get a new head. You see, his head is bread and filled with red bean paste.


While there is a gorgeous ravine with a lovely stream nearby, babes and I weren’t able to make it down there before lunch and nap time. Maybe tomorrow.

As a water replacement, I chose a vase with two flowers still firmly holding in there since Mother’s Day way back in mid-May. It reminds me that water sustains in a variety of ways.

two flowers in a vase on a windowsill

water sustains

Questions from today

I tried to take photos of the gorgeous tunnel of trees leading down to the ravine but all looked disappointing. I wonder if wearing sunglasses while I’m trying to “see” my world in black and white is a bad idea. I’ll try tomorrow without and see if it makes any difference. One of my goals is to get lovely pictures of the sloping ravine path with its canopy of trees by the end of the month. Here’s the best of the worst.

path winding down into a ravine

into the ravine – a benchmark for improvement!

It’s Wednesday! Did you know that the main Japanese Kanji in Wednesday is water? Have a great one!

8 thoughts on “Anpanman on the street, twin flowers and ravine attempts

  1. I take back my comment yesterday about BW photo’s & nature…those flowers look amazing in BW! I love how BW emphasizes each petal.

    And I actually also like the last photo,I love the shadows and the how the light on one side seems to lead you into this tunnel created by nature, almost like taking you into a fairy tale…

    • Thanks! I love the flower one, too. Glad to hear your comments on the last photo. I’m still struggling seeing anything nice about it but that’s the thing with photography… it’s like music or food and what I think is junk may not be so to someone else. 😀

    • Ha ha! Thanks for checking out my pics! I need to wander over to see yours, too. By the way… did I mention that I love that you are doing Japanese sweets? I told my hubby about this. I think it’s unique!

  2. Hi Hilary, I’m enjoying to follow your BW adventure. Lots of dedication and determination. Go girl! If you allow me, I’ll give you my 2 cents comments. Let me know if you don’t like it. And apologies in advance.
    The last photo is great. The composition is very good and the shadows are the centerpiece that makes the photo powerful.
    The second one is very beautiful and with good light and contrast but perhaps you could have brought the vase stronger as the subject, by using depth of field. If you had bokeh (boke in Japanese) or blur in the background instead of having all in focus.
    The first image is good and could have had more contrast.
    Well done! And hey don’t take too seriously as I’m just an amateur.

    • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Lucile! I do so very much appreciate your wise eye. Like I was commenting to another poster, I’m not yet confident in my eyes to see “good” b&w, even though I think there is a degree of subjectivity. I’m not sure what to look for or how to distinguish. I adore Ansel Adam’s work but what is it that I love and how can I replicate that? The same goes for your portraits.

      I took your advice the next day and started adjusting only the shutter speed to start to see how the contrast changed. With more practice, I think I will start to develop a feel of the balance needed between slightly overblown and slighty too dark. I sense there is a balance there but I’m not sure yet how to get it.

      I’m going to go back over these photos and see if I can adjust contrast more with editing. I was definitely struggling to find the right balance that I was mentioning before! Thanks again for your comments! They are very helpful.

  3. These are good. The flowers are especially lovely. Yes I find sunnies to be a hindrance to shooting. You might have a “quick change” button on your camera which switches from auto focus to manual. You can usual assign “function” or “fn” buttons to do something specific so that you don’t have to head through all the settings to get to it. I have one such button on my camera which switches between auto and manual focus. Also your lens may have a focus ring that can switch it to manual when you push the ring out to engage it. Yes I’ve made both of these mistakes and took me ages to figure out what was going on LOL 😊

    • Thank you! Oh noooooo…. the P setting. Ha ha! I haven’t even ventured there yet but you give me courage to try! 😀 Yes! That was what was so weird about my lens! The lens can easily switch from A to M but I discovered the body settings can override that. Hmmm… I’m going to go have a good look at the lens again. Oops! Baby is crying! Must dash!

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