Shibuya series – san

Shibuya series - san

Half way through the week already, and so here’s the third image from my Shibuya series.

This woman really stood out from the crowd as she was elevating herself slightly in order to take photos of people at the crossing. It was therefore quite easy to focus on her as she looked around in awe at the large screens in the surrounding area.

I cropped the image quite a bit to get rid of some of the surrounding distractions, which included other people, and then did a few curves adjustments to get the colours as desired. Zoomed in to the max of 200mm and, if I remember correctly, on f/2.8 with ISO set to 2000 I was delighted by the quality maintained in the image.

Hope everyone is having a great week.

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Shibuya series – ni

Shibuya series - ni

This lady was travelling around Shibuya with another woman of a similar age, but it was only as she raised her camera and rested on this post that I really noticed her.

It’s nice to be able to watch someone who is completely absorbed in what they are doing and so doesn’t notice the camera is on them. Her waiting friend was less occupied, and therefore more aware of me so she was watching on as I snapped this image and a few others.

I was ‘caught’ a few times while taking images for this Shibuya series, but I don’t think any of the ones where someone is looking directly at me made the cut for this short series. In the instant where they see you are taking a photo of them you seem to lose some of the naturalness in the image. At the same time, it’s often good to have the subject looking directly at the camera, I longed for it when photographing the snow monkeys.

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Shibuya series – ichi

Shibuya series - ichi

This week I’m doing a set of images all taken at the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, Japan.

I’ve seen this crossing many times on television, and for me it was the location that called out to me when I knew that I was going to be spending the night in Tokyo.

I guess it’s a lot like Times Square or Piccadilly Circus, but there’s something different about this place compared to the others.

When I got there I spent a lot of time sat at a window seat upstairs in the Starbucks watching over the mass of people below, some time actually crossing from one side to the other, and also a lot of time just snapping away at people.

The images shown this week are all taken with the 70-200 f/2.8 and pick out various individuals from this location. As people crossed or stood around I can’t say for sure what it was that brought them to my attention, but it was usually the case that something stood out for me, in this instance it was probably the hat.

I don’t have a story to go with any of these images, but I guess the beauty is that you can make up that story yourself.

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Garden path

Garden path

On an afternoon trip to Nara, about an hour outside of Kyoto, we went to a lovely Japanese garden. It was nice and peaceful to be stood there in such a beautiful setting with a pond and a mini waterfall in place. I’m not sure I know exactly what Zen is, but I may have felt this while in this garden.

Hopefully I’ll process and show you an image of that actual scene at some stage, but for today you will have to imagine it, because it’s over this little hill ahead of us and over to the left a bit. It really is nice though.

This weekend is my first weekend at home for some time, so I am going to probably enjoy lounging around and doing very little. I may go out and take photos of the London Marathon, I may not. I probably will not.

I am looking forward to actually getting the time to sit down and process a few images though; this week has been super busy and I’ve been attempting to mostly grab a few minutes here and there to get one done for each day.

Next week I think I may even do a series of images taken from either the snow monkey park or the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Torii steps


These Japanese gates, known as Torii, must be in their thousands as they wind up the Inari mountain at the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto. I spent a lovely morning walking up them to reach the summit and shoot images along the way, passing a few people but nothing like the hoards that had arrived on the scene as I made my way back down the mountain.

I took a lot of images from here, so it will be interesting to see how many I actually post due to the fact there is a risk of many of the images looking pretty similar. There’s only so much you can do with a row of Torii.

Excellent location which I would certainly advise visiting in the very early morning should you be in Kyoto.

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Paper lanterns

Paper lanterns

Okay, I admit that there were times in Japan where I didn’t have a clue what something in front of me said; my verbal and written Japanese is very poor and accompanied by a lot of pointing.

However, when I stumbled upon this scene in Tokyo I immediately saw that several of these lanterns have smiley faces on them. Some also have the word ‘web’.

They must be happy internet lanterns. Or something.

If anyone does know what these say, you’re welcome to both comment on this and let me know, and indeed accompany me the next time I go to Japan.

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This structure can be found on one of the outer layers of Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan.

We arrived here at blue hour, as you can see, as the castle was allowing people in during the evening to view it ‘lit up’ at night. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

I grabbed this image with little thought prior to entering, I was really just checking out how blue the light was at this time and so simply held the camera over the hedge and took a quick snap of it.

Happy with the current light, I rushed to be a ticket and enter the grounds to then find a viewpoint of the castle itself.

Alas, this was not to be. Most areas were blocked off, tripods were not allowed in some places, and indeed the only parts that seemed to be lit up were a couple of cherry blossom trees. All in all, extremely disappointing.

I wandered around the place trying to find something to shoot, and ended up back at this structure, but on the inside, which isn’t as nice a view. Defying the no tripod rule I set up my camera and tripod and took a few shots, but the light had gone by then and I was left with a disappointing image from a disappointing angle.

It is therefore this first quick snap that I return to when looking for an image to post from this location. After the disappointment of ending a very long day this way, I wanted at least one image to show for it. I do wish I had composed a little differently, but for an image where I was simply testing the light, I’m happy with the outcome in the end – it’s certainly the best of a bad bunch.

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