Those of you with eagle eyes may have already noticed I’ve got a new photo at the top of my blog. (If you hadn’t before, you have now.) Let’s call this #1. To refresh your memory, this is the original photo:
To be honest, the photo wasn’t anything I put any thought into. I needed a “featured photo,” in WordPress-speak, and used what I happened to have, which was a video grab from a program I made for NHK World back in 2009. It had potential — nice color, pretty Japanese setting, taken with a good camera — but because I don’t know diddly about photos, it got posted as a pixelated mess.
Over the years, a few readers complained about it. One, upon meeting me in person for the first time, commented: “Don’t take this the wrong way but you’re better looking than the photo on your blog would suggest.” Not long after, another long-time reader,
Jeffrey Friedl, who contributed some very snazzy photos for an article about Japanese candles for my column in The Japan Times, said he found the pixelated photo so grating that he’d happily take a new one for me, if only I’d get myself down to where he lives. (Kyoto? Twist my arm.)
I did, and we had a lot of fun doing a shoot together. To hear Jeffrey’s side of the story, and see more of the photos he so kindly and skillfully produced, check out his account of the photo shoot. We’ve selected a few of those photos to present here, in the ridiculously long and skinny shape WordPress demands: