Sunday, 12 January 2014

Matcha zenzai

The matcha zenzai is a traditional Japanese sweet dish made with anko (azuki beans marmelade), mochi (mashed rice) grilled, and creamy matcha (green tea powder) to be eaten warm to keep the mochi soft, very chewy, that's why is a Winter speciality. Photographed in a laquered bowl on a laquered tray, taken with 105 mm. lens and tungsten spotlight with a cotton lint diffuser.


Ochoko are wooden laquered little cups for sake. These come from AizuWakamazu, Fukushima Prefecture, renowned for the laquer tradition. Also the black rough tray is laquer from Aizu, very interesting texture for photography. I used the 105 mm. Nicro Nikkor lens fully opened and strobe light wit a diffuser and white reflecting boards.

Tempura soba

Tempura soba is a lovely Winter Japanese dish, in this variation recepie Emiko used rucola, a bitter salad and little dried prwns for the tempura (deep fried) to put on top of the soba, buckwheat noodles in soy broth. The nice bowl is a Aizu-nuri, laquer from AizuWakamatsu, hand made black with a great red spiral. For both pictures I used the 105 mm. Micro Nikkor fully opened at f 3 (at short focus distance) for a bokeh effect, a tungsten spotlight soften by a canvas on a frame.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Okame masks

Japanese traditional masks made of papier mache and hand painted: Hyottoko, the man and Okame, the woman. Are grotesque characters and the masks are used for dance during festivals or exhibited in rooms to bring cheerfulness in the house. I shoot the pictures with the 105 mm. Micro Nikkor fully opened and a tungsten spot light.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

AkaRaku chawan with a crane

Aka raku chawan, a cup for the Tea Ceremony in red raku with a crane painted on it. For this photo I used the Nikon 180 mm. plus the extension tube PK 12 to get a close up. I must say, I prefer the 105 mm Micro Nikkor, has a better boken effect, means it blur more dramatically the picture. I bachlit the image with a strobe light to have a short exposure time.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Tokyo underground

Stolen moments on the Tokyo underground.

Sake from AizuWakamatsu

The old piano teacher of my wife give us this nice sake from AizuWakamatsu, in the Fukushima Prefecture, made for a very old ryokan owned by her family in Aizu as well. The wooden laquered cup are from AizuWakamatsu, the town is famouse for the laquer tradition and for a big castle and samurai tradition too! It was very good, thank you! I shoot the photos at home in natural light with the 105 mm Micro Nikkor lens, fully opened at f 3

Osechi ryori

For new year's day, my wife prepared a real Japanese meal, thank you so much! From top: datemaki, the rolled omelette lightly sweet. In the yellow square dish kuro-mame, black soy beans cooked with some sugar, in the wooden laquered bowl miso soup with moci (kind of rice cake) special for the new year. At last but not least the osechi in the laquered box, containing many delicacy: prowns, chiken meat, daikon, gobou (root), in tge orange skin slices of dried squid and kombu. All food have a symbolic meaning, to wish healt, happyness, work and longevity. This is a traditional Japanese food and is perfect accompained by sake! For all photos I used the 105 mm Micro Nikkor lens fully opened at f 3 using natural light from a windows and some reflectors.

New year photo

The first picture of new year, to wish happiness and harmony to all my friends!

Last picture

Before the end of the year I like to take one more picture, a simple chabana (like) still life. I used the 105 mm Micro nikkor lens open at f 3 ( fully opened) and backlit with a neon tube lights, behind the little glass (sake) jar. The camera white balance was on fluorescent, I like the bluish tones and I did not correct it.

Happy new year!