I have always worked with Canon equipment. I have been very pleased with the quality that Canon produces. I have also been fortunate to be able to purchase some professional bodies and lenses. 

My current equipment includes the following.

  1. EOS R5 Mirror-less body
  2. EOS 1D Mark III
  3. iPhone 14 Pro 

The last of these six pictures is a shot taken at the top of the hill in Sengenyama Park, the closest park to our house. So cool to get a great workout and then finish at that display! The other pictures were taken at the Tamacho Cemetery. The Japanese sure know how to make their cemeteries look good!

If you have looked at many of my pictures, you may have noticed that I rarely put the subject right in the middle of the picture. Generally speaking, our eyes prefer to see the subject just to the left or to the right of center. More specifically, if we divide the photo into thirds, the eye wants to see the subject on one of those lines that divides the photo in thirds. 

In addition, many photos are more interesting when taken from an angle rather than being taken from a position standing directly in front of the object or person. 

I always appreciate feedback, so please let me know what you think!



These were all taken at the Kyodo Museum and Park. The Museum is gorgeous! Waterfalls and streams and lots of greenery. It does not get much better than that!

What can get better is my photography! What you do not see are all the bad photos! I rode my bike and transported my professional gear. However, I did not bring my tripod as that would have been too much. I did not do a very good job of getting the water shots in focus, so most of the shots taken with the pro gear did not turn out well. However, fortunately, the first and eighth shots are the exception. I did do quite a bit of editing on both those shots. With that in mind, I think those two turned out very well.

All the other shots were taken with my iPhone 14 Pro. What a camera that phone has! 

I wanted to take some Lilly shots but my 100-400 lens did not have enough focal length to bring the Lilly up to a decent size. Next time, I am going to take my EOS R5 mirror-less camera and the 800 lens. I should then have plenty of lens focal length and power!



So sorry to be out of touch! My last post was on September 14th. How time flies when you are having fun! And boy oh boy, I have been having fun!

Let's start with the good fortune! A very nice friend recommended that I go to the Nogawa Park Nature Observation Garden. When I told her I would probably go next week, she said that the flowers may be out of bloom by then. I am very glad that I went today! Thanks so much to my friend!

All three pictures are from that Garden. Believe it or not, I took 2000+ pictures in 3.5 hours! I was a busy boy! The bird pictured is a Kingfisher. That is definitely my good luck bird! Here is the story. My previous trip to Japan was in 2007. I had the opportunity to do some bird photography close to the same spot as I went to today. Lo and behold, back 16 years ago, there was a Kingfisher that was the star of the photography party. The area was full of those big long lenses! Unfortunately, the shots I took were not that good. I guess I must be doing something right as I really nailed the photo this time around!

Now let's talk about another of my favorite topics, that of exercise! My three favorite machines include the back extension machine, the leg raise machine, and the leg press machine. We now have the first two machines, but the third is expensive and too big for our house. I recently discovered the "sissy squat" machines! These machines are definitely not for those with a fear of a good leg workout! I purchased an inexpensive version of this machine. The link is below. Make sure you check out the inspiring video. If only I could have muscles like those!

 And now let's talk about good service! For those who think that good manners and good deeds are a thing of the past, think again.  I have included below the link for this wonderful piece of inspiration! Some very thoughtful genius came up with the clever idea of starting a cafe that uses workers who are struggling with dementia. The cafe also employs support workers. My favorite line in the article? "At Japan's dementia cafes, forgotten orders are all part of the service." Just how cool is that? Now if I could just get going with learning the Japanese language, I could volunteer for them. Happiness personified!

All the best to you and your families,



These were all taken at an absolutely beautiful garden we visited in Yokohama. It was a bit dark and I was hand-holding my camera with my chest harness. As a result, a lot of the pictures were quite blurry. But, as I have said to many people, bird photography is partly a numbers game. Take enough pictures and you are bound to get some good ones!

I recorded "A Time For Us" on my Yamaha P-515. Many people know that song as the love theme from "Romeo and Juliet." Another classic song recorded by Andy Williams!

I wanted to share with you some information on a new tool I just purchased, the ShiftCam ProGrip. Here is the link to the web site:

I discovered this wonderful accessory after coming back from our trip to Yokohama. With the exception of the bird photography, all of the photos from that trip were taken with my iPhone 15 Pro Max. As I was doing all that photography, it occurred to me how easy it would be to accidentally drop that expensive phone while photographing! These phones are definitely not designed for the kind of secure hand-holding we get with traditional cameras. 

I found this product on the Apple web site. Given the trust that I have for Apple products, I thought it would be a good investment. The reviews I found were very positive. While it is pretty expensive, I think it is worth every penny for those of us who are using our phones consistently for photography! 

Here are the key components.

  1. It has a clamp system that can securely hold any phone.
  2. It can be easily rotated from landscape to portrait mode.
  3. The ProGrip can be put on a desk in a self-standing position. This is great for viewing purposes.
  4. This mechanism has Bluetooth that is easy to set up. A person can then use the ProGrip shutter button to take pictures. 
  5. This tool is able to wirelessly charge the phone while it is connected with Bluetooth.
  6. This tool can be charged with a USB "C" cable. 
  7. The tool has a hand-strap that can be adjusted for length. Using the hand-strap and the grip provide for a very secure and firm holding position for taking pictures. 
  8. The grip enables a person to easily avoid having any fingers in front of the lens. 

In short, I think this is a fabulous tool that will make it easier to take photos with any phone while also providing improved protection. It is equipment like this that is pushing me to take more and more photos with a phone rather than with a regular camera.

The joys of modern technology! 

Happy Holidays!



Happy Holidays!

I made this recording of "The Impossible Dream" back in 2011. That song has always been one of my favorites as it beautifully captures my life philosophy. In addition, I sang that song at my dad's funeral service. I miss you dad!

A big thank-you to Tai, one of our wonderful employees at the American School. He warned us about some road closures due to an upcoming bicycle race. I had heard about that race but did not know any of the details. Thanks to the heads-up from Tai, I photographed the race and had a great time! 

I am so fortunate as the race passed within a mile or so of our house. How convenient! The first two pictures of the tandem racers were taken with my professional gear and the rest were taken with my iPhone 15 Pro Max. I still cannot believe the capabilities of that iPhone camera!

Speaking of not believing, it was incredible to me that as best as I could tell, the course set-up work was all done the morning of the race. That is an incredible amount of work to be done in such a short period of time!

As seems to be a Japanese tradition, there were hordes of workers monitoring the race course. Heaven help anyone who got on that course! 

As a serious cyclist, it was so inspiring for me to see these expert riders in action. In particular, the tandem riders were competing in the "Para" event, an event for those with a visual impairment. How cool is that! What an exciting but scary thrill it must be to ride 20-40 miles per hour with little or no eye sight! I guess you hope the rider in front is really paying attention!

I can hardly wait for my next ride!

All the best,

Bob Reed


Happy Holidays!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! I made the recording of "With You I'm Born Again" back in 2011 on the grand piano we had in Oregon. What a beautiful song!

I finally got my first group of nice pictures of Mt. Fuji! What a thrill! My friend Stuart and I did a wonderful hike to the top of Mt. Takao. I will never forget when we came through the trees and walked out into the observation area and were presented with this memorable view. What a treat! 

While I have had some nice views of Mt. Fuji, this was the first time I had my professional equipment. Nothing like that zoom telephoto lens! I am definitely convinced that I can get better photos with that professional gear. I also just purchased a lightweight tripod for hiking. Using that helped me get the clarity in these photos.

Inspiration is a big part of my life! It is interesting to me how that inspiration shows up. I remember when I was thinking about doing my last blog update. I was tired and really not in the mood to work. However, I then thought about how I had promised a friend that I would get the cycling photos on the blog as soon as possible. That thought then inspired me to get the job done. In the process, I totally forgot about how tired I was. Thank you to all of you for inspiring me!

Marcel Schwantes makes this point in a different way in the article, "The Ultimate Measure of Success Comes Down to a Few Simple Words."  The web site address for the article is below.

What are those words?

"Your success depends on the cycle of caring. When you practice care, kindness, and generosity throughout life, it comes back to you ten-fold."

I love those words! One of the commitments  I made when moving to Japan was to put more time and energy into developing and maintaining friendships. I realize now that due to how busy I was, that was not a priority for me when I lived in Oregon. With that said, I do feel like I have always done my best to be a caring and kind human being. Ongoing work in progress! 

All the best to you and your family and friends,

Bob Reed 

I made this recording of Let It Be on my Yamaha P-515. Now if I could only more consistently follow that advice!

This was the trip of many firsts!

  • This was my first major attempt to focus on Mt. Fuji. What a gorgeous sight it is! I went to the 5 Lakes area and spent 4 days photographing Mt. Fuji. 1500 photos!
  • I cannot ever remember missing a bus for a major trip! I went to the bus stop an hour early. The sign said that the bus stop was "across the street." Given that I was standing "across the street," I thought I was in the right place. However, upon further investigation, what the sign neglected to say was that the bus stop was the other side of the overpass and up the stairs! By then the bus was long gone! Fortunately, Setsuko was able to get me on a later bus.
  • This was my first major Japan trip by myself. Quite the adventure when it came to ordering food!
  • This was my first major photography trip with a bicycle as transportation. Except for the fact that this mountain bike rental desperately needed a tune-up, the cycling all went well!
  • This was my first photo/hiking trip on which I suffered a pretty tough injury. I was almost at the end of a rugged hike on the second day. I was not paying close enough attention and I slipped on a strip of slippery mud. I was wearing running shoes, which did not help. I fell backwards and landed on my photo backpack and my bike helmet. I felt a sharp pain and immediately thought I had ruptured a disk. Alas, it was a bad muscle bruise. I was stiff and sore for the rest of the trip, but still managed to do the photography I wanted to do.
  • This was my first time getting kicked off a bus! When I tried to get on the bus to go home, the driver asked for my seat number. Given that my ticket was written in Japanese, I had no idea. The driver then told me to get off the bus! I tried to show him my electronic ticket, but he was adamant! Fortunately, after I left the bus, I found a worker who found my seat number. Homeward bound!
  • This was the first time a hotel worker asked to take my picture. I stayed at the Hotel Camelot, an older place with a first floor devoted to music rooms and studios. The customer service was out of this world! As I was getting ready to leave, the hotel front desk worker asked if they could take my picture. Three staff members and the owner then joined in for the picture. Very touching!

Happy New Year to all!


I just made this new recording of Moon River on my Yamaha P 515. I hope you enjoy it!

For the last three years or so, I have been using the Canon R5 mirror-less camera with the 800 lens. While that has been a wonderful combination, it has not been ideal for small bird photography. With that in mind, I was fortunate to be able to purchase the Canon 100-500 RF lens. I had previously purchased the 2X RF extender. That extender doubles the longest focal distance from 500 to 1000.
I put this combination to the test last week. I first went to a small park that is a two minute walk from our house. That is where I photographed the small yellow birds that are appropriately called the Japanese White Eye. 
I then went to the Tama Cemetery, which is also where I was able to photograph the other birds. That location is also very close to our house.
The other change I made was to follow the advice of an experienced bird photographer. I set up two "pre-sets,"  one of which is for eye detection. I could not be more pleased with the results as you can clearly see the bright spots in the eyes for each of these birds.

Without a doubt, this was one of the highest quality bird photography sessions I have ever experienced. Yes, we are talking some serious numbers, as I took almost 2000 photos in three hours! However, I ended up with 66 photos that I am super pleased with. 

I would like to end with a big thank you. I was emailing one of my former tennis students. She said she was following my blog. It occurred to me that I have had no idea of how many views my blog has had. For the first time, I checked that number. I was shocked to find that I have had more than 8000 views! Wow, that is amazing! Thank you for your views and support!

All the best and Happy Spring!
Bring on the Guitar and Let's Sing!

Happy Spring!

Sorry to be out of touch! It has been a busy spring! Several people have asked me to record my singing. Here we go! Although I certainly am no pro, I have really enjoyed working on my guitar and singing skills. More to come!

The cherry season has come and gone in our area. However, the good news is that I was able to capture some of the incredible beauty of the cherry blossoms. What a treat! 

The top photo was taken at Rikugien Garden, a gorgeous garden in the Tokyo area. 

The second photo from the top was taken from the entrance to the American School, the school where I work.

The third and fourth photos from the top were taken in the Tama Cemetery.  I have the good fortune of walking through that cemetery on my way to work. A real joy!

The three photos at the bottom were taken at the Jindai Botanical Garden, one of my favorite gardens close to our house.

I hope you enjoy the music and the photos.

All the best,







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