Sunday, March 14, 2010

a sign of spring

ume blossoms

I had fully intended to write up a Sunday Salon post today, and reply to comments, but we've finally had some nice, spring-like weather this weekend so we spent the afternoon at the huge park that is Showa Kinen Koen. Most of the trees are still pretty bare, but there were some ume (Japanese plum) blossoms here and there. Hard to believe we actually had snow last week! It also gave me a chance to try out our new toy, the new Olympus PEN Lite. It's a micro four thirds digital SLR camera with some nice features. I had fun playing with the art filters (I love the pinhole effect!), and image sizes as you can see in the square photo above. Best of all it's small and light, not to mention cute, so it'll be much easier to pop in a bag for those days I don't want to lug around my "proper" camera with the heavy lenses. So hopefully I'll be taking more photos to share with you this year. But enough gushing. New toy or not, it was great to finally spend some time outdoors after the unusually cold, wet winter.

How was your weekend? Is it looking like spring yet where you are?


  1. What a lovely picture! It definitely sounds like spending time outdoors was the right choice. Also, I wanted to tell you I LOVE the blog's new look! Apologies if you've had it for a while - I've been hopelessly behind in reading my favourite blogs :(

  2. Mmm interesting camera! I wonder if it's available overseas too. I have DSLR and pocket camera but this seems to be great alternative for something in between. Argh I'm so tempted now.

    ps: Just saw your Recent Posts format on the sidebar. I love it! Might steal your idea if it's ok (and if I have time to incorporate that into my own blog :).

  3. Love the new look! Your camera sounds so great! It's starting to look like spring just a little here in California. Though the sun is always out it's still cold. Have a great week.

  4. Lenore - It is indeed! I love sakura season.

    Amanda - Thanks. It was nice to see some colour in the trees after the strange winter we've had.

    Nymeth - Thanks! It hasn't been too long, and no worries. I'm hopelessly behind myself, so no need to apologize. :)

    mee - The new camera is a lot of fun. It's exactly as you say, a great middle ground between a big SLR and a small pocket camera. The new Lite model that we got just came out at the beginning of March here in Japan but it'll most likely be available overseas later this year. The previous two models, with higher specs, and a higher price tag, are already available globally.

    And sure, the Recent Posts is a widget I found so I can't claim any credit for it. Steal away! :)

    Vasilly - Thanks. I still have a couple odd little bugs to work out but otherwise I'm pretty happy with the new look. Winter in Tokyo is usually pretty dry, cold and sunny but this year has been quite wet and grey. So nice that spring will soon be here.

  5. First things first - I love your new header!! And your layout looks so sharp and fresh. Very nice, Nat!

    Your new camera is making me drool with envy. I used to have a small Olympus (way, way back in the early '80s) that was perfect for ski trips and tossing in a jacket pocket. This looks like a great compromise to our big bulky "proper" cameras. I can't wait to see more of your pix. I've been hibernating all winter (5 months!!) and have hardly touched my camera. I'm ready to move to Tahiti. I HATE WINTERS!! ;)

  6. Les - Thank you. My husband helped out with the layout quite a bit for which I'm very grateful.

    I actually thought of you since I know you're a fellow Olympus user. :) The new camera really is a lot of fun and so much more portable but still with a lot of the same, or better, quality and specs as the bigger SLRs. You can use the same lenses, with an adapter, but with the smaller body it's not really suited to the bigger lenses like long zoom and whatnot. I tried it with my regular macro lens and it worked quite well though. I know I'll still use my regular camera for specific photo outings but I often hesitated to take it out with me if I wasn't sure I'd get a chance to use it since it can get pretty heavy, so hopefully this new one will give me more opportunity for random snapshots.

    I've been a hibernating homebody for the last few months too so I'm quite looking forward to getting out to take photos more often. Yay for spring! :)


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