Tag Archives: Gallery

Gallery back online


The gallery is back online. There was a server-side problem with one of the database tables being crashed, though I just realized it today. I suppose it may have been down for several weeks. Ideally, I’d like to receive some automated notice when it goes down…hmm. Anyway, sorry for the trouble, if you have trouble getting into the gallery or the random image on the sidebar again, I’d appreciate it if you let me know. Thanks.


WordPress has been updated to 2.6.3. Maybe now WPG2 will actually work so I can stop making custom-sized images for posts with Gallery content. [Notice the sidebar image block is NOT working anymore…sigh.]


Inside the light, into the blue

There are a number of train stations scattered on the outskirts of central Tokyo, at one time probably unique but now more or less all convenient, well-lit clones of one another. Kawasaki. Omiya. Tachikawa. To the south, to the north, to the west.

This weekend I went to my third Gentenkaiki at Tamagawa Camp Village just inside of Yamanashi near Sagamiko. Recently I was talking about the evolution of raving from a challenge to a pasttime. These days I don’t fend off overly amorous advances from fellow man so much share handshakes and nods on the way in and out. Dancing is less of a tense, grinding shudder and more a coarsing river stalled on the occasional break of rocks when I stop to think about the now I foolishly believe in.

I look for something unique and burn through the cliche’, devouring the unfamiliar in short order, separating custom while at the same time absorbing it. The beats, pauses, breaks, and glides assemble themselves fifteen feet ahead of my soul, an organic glass driveway crystallizing through space. The smiles come easier, I wean myself from the supplements, and fabricate karma just inside my left breast. The highs are longer and sustained, not a personal side effect but an on-ramp springboard into the stream. We manifest the fever in different ways, but unmistakably it boils through every crevice between our teeth.

A few more testaments to the fidelity of Portra and Super Presto are up in Gallery (the feedback loop is shrinking, mhmm, yes…).

This is the road I was born off of and migrated onto with manhood. Never alone, I’m always moving forward, slip like fish in a school on into the blue.

A growing panolpy of film

Recently, every time it’s been sunny outside I’ve had the almost overpowering urge to climb on the Enjoy, ride around with a couple of rolls of Super Gold, and get a crackle-cold bin beer at the peak of my adventure. This is most assuredly the natural romantic in me augmented by my swollen loathing of computers. However, as nice as it generating gigabytes of data to archive, it creates a disproportional amount of back stock which may never see the light of day.

You are probably thinking, “Rusty, I haven’t gotten any pings from your Gallery RSS in months. I see a fair number of shots in your blog, but it’s just a tiny sliver from what you’ve been up to with little frame of reference.”

Yes, yes, you’re right. If I don’t improve my skills on the post-shutter click side of things, I’ll never get anything better for the shows. The truth is, I have enough material to produce years’ worth of similarly-assembled appearances at Geisai and Design Festa. But, there are three major problems with it all:

1) it’s unprocessed
2) it’s all unrelated (aside from the relation of my mundane current style, which draws jaded criticism in its own right)
3) the presentation medium is sparse, fragmented, and high school level

So, today despite it being one of the last few hot glorious days of summer, I stayed in this morning and put together two new albums for Gallery. One is touristy (thusly in Travel), and another slightly more artistic (in Tokyo Bicycle Wanderings).

The former is my trip to Seoul which happened only three weeks ago! That’s a pretty good turnaround for me. The latter is a trip to the Arakawa in July. Of particular interest to shutterbugs is that this set is a mix of the A-1 and 5D, and some similar shots are set up around the river, so you can see the differences in the medium and my current mastery of the formats. It’s not very scientific, the comparison factor was probably just in the back of my mind. So keeping this in mind, Ken, have a look and let me know what you think (provided I ever get the damn comments working again.)

Ochitsuita. Kamo.

So, anyone bored of the past week looking for us has most certainly noticed that at, as well as the gallery, have been offline. This is what non-dedicated hosting gets you, I suppose. I’ve been with iPowerWeb for a little over two years and have been moved to a different server once every seven months or so; sometimes with warning, sometimes without. At all times data has fallen on the floor someplace and mail has gone out for a while. However, as far as I can tell, this time the only thing not working right now is the gallery (which I hope to have working before bed).

I don’t know how long it’ll last, but this should remedy the MySql timeout problems for a while; at least until this server fills up with 566 other accounts who hammer the query proxy a lot rougher than we do. And then?

I picked up a guitar for the first time in ten years last weekend. I played “Country Roads” and remembered how much beginners hate F. I wish I had my own house with thick walls, but I don’t, so I need to hang out in the park during odd hours of the week. Like I said when I borrowed the dusty Takamine, “Nothing will come of it.” But still, it felt good, if just for a moment. Last weekend was a strange rosary made from calming moments of transparent enjoyment.



とにかく、早朝起きて、色々なことを出来ました。作品としてあまり新しくないけど、写真棚卸をした時に、一番古いデジカメ写真を見つかりました。2002年の夏に秋葉でCasio EXILIMを買って、魅力的で新規(私には初めて)日本を撮りました。映像質はかなり低いですが、色が濃くて感動的と思います。この写真はトップページの「フォトグラフィー」したに載っていますが、ちょっと小さいから、GALLERYで是非ご覧下さい

I have a lot of goals to accomplish by the end of May, but I’m not going to accomplish very many if I don’t first succeed in managing my time well. I’m shooting for getting out of bed between 6:00 and 6:30 each day. Last night I was motivated to keep messing around at 12:30, but instead I was a good boy and climbed up into the loft and actually took a little while getting to sleep. Suprisingly, I woke up on my own at six after having some sort of dream about participating in some traditional coming of age ceremony. I was also hungry immediately after waking up, which is even weirder, since it always takes me about an hour to “wake up” and stop feeling groggy/queasy enough to feel hungry.

In any case, I woke up in a good mood and got a bunch of things done. I didn’t really make anything new, but while digging through my photo archive I decided to make a collection out of my summer 2002 photos. These are my first shots from a digital camera, and first work with Photoshop. When I first came to Japan four years ago, I bought a little camera in Akihabara and spent the summer in awe taking pictures of an incredibly new and intense country. The image quality is pretty bad, but the colors are thick and punchy; I think you may get some idea of the way I felt when I first got here. Small samples have always lived on my top site on the “Photography” page, but these may be a little easier to appreciate.








First throwback collection up

Tonight I didn’t get started on processing as early as I hoped, but I managed to get one old collection into Gallery.

Though in preparing my website for graduation from Carnegie Mellon (and thus some sort of recruitment), I had prepared a small photo page off of my site, I had never really assembled decent-sized photographs for the web. Using my primitive Casio EXILIM and a copy of Photoshop 7, I put together some heavily processed shots of Tokyo. Though the primary motivation for using heavy filtering and color balancing was to reduce the effect of CCD noise, it ended up providing some interesting results. In comparing this with the 31 days of snapshots that I just finished last December, the core elements of my style stand out, but the photographs are about as different as day and night.

The original collection complete with hackneyed rollover images can still be viewed here.

Back in force

Around the end of February it seems that iPowerWeb decided to move my account to a different server. This caused all sorts of problems, as you have most certainly noticed, among them bounced mail to ichigoichie.org, ftp server troubles, and last week autumn tactics was knocked out of service (this seems to be a MySQL problem).

I’ve been running WordPress for three months now, and the mix of pros and cons hasn’t made me a fanatic yet, but with my slowly improving understanding of the system, I’m feeling more comfortable about it. I’m not sure what script generated over 50000 queries in an hour, but traffic was up recently and something did, and that’s what brought everything down. I know the sidebar is slow, I mean to look into it, but as you know I still haven’t updated the single post archive or the search functionality yet. Anything other than the top page is broken, and even that doesn’t look right as tabled and linked images don’t align or display borders properly. But, these are the things one has to deal with for increased configurability. I still don’t have a grasp on the concert of CSS and php, and I’m sorry that I haven’t fixed these things yet.

Gallery on the otherhand, is at first less configurable but far easier to use. I realized last weekend that my Gallery page was down, this is the result of the unannounced server move. However, I don’t think anyone really visited it that much so I suppose it’s not that big of a deal. However, I have since installed Gallery 2, which is much slicker looking and easier to use. I got it installed and imported my old albums in just over an hour.

I’ve been meaning to create photo collection pages for GEISAI 10 and the thirty-one days of photography from December, but obviously I’ve failed miserably on getting either of those up in any sort of timely manner. I have a Photoshop file for the Geisai site that I’ve been working with on and off since the move, but my technical skills are still throwing a wall up, preventing me from getting what I want. So, considering the volume with which I take photographs and my recent philosophy to “share the love”, I’m canning the custom collection page format for now, and just going to start making heavy use of Gallery. It’s quick to update, it’s spartan, and we can get a feedback loop going on with the images if you’re inclined to comment. It also supposedly dovetails nicely with WordPress, if I can get a better grasp on php.

So, please enjoy! Take a look at the old galleries from overseas trips. The GEISAI images are up, is last December’s photo special. In the next couple weeks, I’ll be putting up more of the Tokyo Bicycle Wanderings sets from the last several years. I think there is some support of IP management/watermarking that can be extended through Gallery. While not a perfect solution, enough of a deterrent to cull the lazy gankers. Hot-linking should also be disabled at this point. I’m toying with the idea of watermarks, perhaps a small embossing of the site url. For those interested, RSS is currently enabled. From the main gallery page, trick out the sidebar and follow the RSS link. That should cover all updates to any of the sub-albums.

I’m a little hung over from yesterday’s hanami party, so I’m not inclined to talk about why I take pictures right now, but I will say that in the future much more of my evolving work is going to be available for those interested. So I hope that you like it. It’s well-past time that I present my work at another exhibition; I have taken a couple good shots in the last month that I’d love to see on paper.


Ok, ok, the cat’s out of the bag. I tried very hard to keep your Christmas present from you until it was complete, and just “ta-da!” wow you with autumn tactics plus seamlessly integrated comments and tags on New Year’s, but it’s clear now that this is going be more than just a one-night effort, unfortunately.

So yes, we’ve finally kicked Blogger to the curb and are using extensible content management software. Oddly enough, Blogger Beta seems to just have figured out tags (that and a lack of unobtrusive comments were my main reasons for leaving).

In any case, I should have the template back to looking like it used to in the next few days, despite being mostly homeless. Top priority now is support for my legacy posts in Japanese, and after that titles. Then I get to learn just enough CSS to get the template fixed. And for dessert, I’m also making the long overdue upgrade to Gallery 2, which dovetails nicely with WordPress.

Let this be the beginning of better-organized, more aesthetically pleasing communication between us.

Just need to get through one more day at work… pray I can find a place to live this weekend.

Good night!

Autumn Tactics

Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun

My name is David Ventura, though a lot of people call me Rusty. After finishing graduate school in the spring of 2003, I packed up shop and moved to Japan to embark on an adventure both inwards and out, for both glory and peace; though I admit I probably won’t find the latter without acquiescing to the truthful insignificance of the former.

I used to enjoy bourbon and pizza, now I appreciate green tea and raw tuna. I play a lot of video games, ride a beat-up commuter bicycle, listen to electronic music, and try to take a lot of pictures of things that interest me. Professionally I make commercial video games, though I have a history of research and drama. The most important thing I hope for each day is continual growth and to learn from my mistakes.

In this journal I keep a running account of my thoughts about myself, about humanity, and the things I see. I occasionally create a photo collection, but for the most part it’s just a random shot here and there that I may or may not make the time to edit on the computer. Sometimes what I write about is rather personal, and it may be offensive or depressing, but mostly it’s pedestrian and quite boring. Whatever I do write about though, it’s honest, it’s what I think and what I feel; it’s not for posturing or obligation. If it’s of interest then all the better. But to look back and remember with nostalgia the times both rough and smooth, I’m confident I won’t soon forget what mattered to me and how much I tried to make it work out, so perhaps a little wiser in the long run.

Always moving onwards,
David “Rusty” Ventura

Deep river runs its course
To a warm horizon
Shadows of falling leaves
October moon and rusty skies
Ever changing feelings
The seeds of autumn in my mind

Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Waiting for summer sun

Hiding summer’s age no more
No more leaves in summer sky
Turning dark on empty car lots
When summer was my only friend
Sail back this way again
Winter’s one breath away
Sail back this way again
Winter’s one breath away
It’s turning cold…

Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Waiting for summer sun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Waiting for summer sun
Hiding sun, like the hiding sun
Feels like it’s just begun