Quick edit on this 5 year old B&W picture of me doing a little day time street photography in Yokohama. Miss those days – no automotive obligation, just candid street shooting. I’ll get back into it; I have to.
Somewhere near Narita.
Missing this little guy! One of those mornings that I can’t wait to get back to Japan…
Last week my friend and I drove to Misota, which is in the Saitama area, to visit our friend Nao at Garage Fun. The previous night I had forgotten one of my camera lenses in his car, and we needed to go pick it up. Nao has the coolest dog in Japan I think; his name is Pon-chan.
Nao’s shop specializes in Toyotas, and he is a big fan of MKIII’s – that has nothing to do with this dog though, other than the fact that Pon-chan waits diligently until Nao is off work so they can go play.
Funny expression ~ ^^ – Oh, disregard the Narita watermark, I’m using these for my website in a future post.
I took this from my friend Harada-san’s car. We were driving to Tokyo Disney to shoot his car – I thought the Asahi Black billboard was cool. I’m hella stressing out right now…
This photo is 1680x so feel free to use it as a desktop.
Maybe we can meet here one day.
1 year and I’m still holding on.
350 meter | Tokyo Sky Tree | Japan
Night view of the Sumida River taken from the Ohashi bridge near Nihonbashi, Tokyo. There are actually quite a few bridges across the river in this area. In fact, Nihonbashi basically means ‘Japan Bridge’. I just got done with a brutal work assignment in Des Moines, Iowa. A place that is quite far from Japan; both in distance and culture. I’m sitting in the Phoenix airport at the moment waiting for a flight to Texas (Austin for the Formula 1 race) and have nothing better to do than to reminisce on my latest venture to Japan, wishing I was back already.
This is a shot of the underside of the Shutoku Expressway – the very same one in the picture above. The Expressway parallels the Sumida River in some points. I stayed in a place near Hamacho which happened to be right next to the river. It was nice to watch the sun rise from the river each morning. Well, at least the mornings that I wasn’t going to a motor sport event.
I took this from the terrace of Solamachi, the Sky City that is built around Tokyo’s newest architectural undertaking, the Sky Tree. The building below is the Studio Ghibli store, ‘Donguri Garden’, where they carry awesome goods from the My Neighbor Totoro movie. I almost spent my entire budget at this store. Unfortunately, or fortunately, they were sold out of Neko Bus plush dolls; otherwise I would have bought them all. The angle and scenery was right, so I made it into a faux tilt-shift shot.
Sometimes it’s the little things that are the most special. My friend made this one evening while we were discussing the deeper things in life over dinner. I think, because of this, that particular moment will be very memorable for me; almost like a photograph. Not to mention she’s very good at origami. When I make these they come out looking like a 3 year old made it.
Back in 1997 (that seems like such a long time ago), Fuji Television, one of Japan’s premier networks, moved it’s headquarters from Shinjuku over to Odaiba. It’s new building being, well, quite interesting. Designed by Kenzo Tange, a Japanese architect whose list of work would impress even those who know nothing of architecture…like me. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku, the St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo, and many more notable landmarks outside of Japan as well; like the UOB Plaza in Singapore. It’s crazy how one person can have such broad vision. If you have the chance, check out some of the buildings listed above – you’ll be astonished I’m sure.
I took this when we were waiting to park in a garage at Diver City, Odaiba. The sunset provided a fantastic backdrop for the modern, vented appearance the building produces. Click the pic for a higher resolution.
It’s not enough for Japan to have an awesome TV series and movie about huge mobile suits and armor, piloted by the coolest characters; they need to build a life size one and put it on display for the public. Last week when we I was hanging out with Harada-san and Kume-san, we took a quick trip to Odaiba to see this thing – simply incredible. You can see some really good shots and a cool time-lapse video of the reassembly here.
My time in Japan is, again, coming to an end. Despite the fact I know I’ll be back soon, it’s still difficult to leave. Each time I come here just reinforces every sentiment I have for this country. The people, my friends, the hospitality, the setting, and of course the motor sport and the passion that comes along with it; I’ll always be deeply thankful. This trip was no exception.
I took this during tonight’s sunset while walking back to Kamoi station with my friend Sawa-chan. It is a 5 exposure HDR, and although glow is usually frowned upon in HDR’s, I think it works out just fine in this frame. I have a few more sunset pictures from my walk along the Tsurumi River that I may post later. I’m actually getting quite satisfied with landscape photography…maybe it’s my age showing. Don’t worry though, I won’t quit street photography. Click the image for a higher res.
Well, I just finished up preparing all my camera equipment. Two days from now I’ll be on a plane across the Pacific, and after those dreadful 12 hours, I’ll be stepping out of the plane and into Haneda airport; back in Japan. It’s amazing to me how much NDF has grown, and while I have a lot of motor sport related business to take care of, I won’t forget to take a few nights to hit the streets. I’ve just been reviewing some of my old shots, and I gotta say I’m pretty excited. Japan will always be the pinnacle of street photography for me, and my number one excuse to go year after year.
I went through a phase one week in Japan where I would target scenes that I could turn depressing; this is one of those scenes. The heavy vignetting, the condensation on the train windows, the desaturated color, and the expression of the inhabitants all create a feeling of helplessness. 2 more weeks until I return to Japan, and although my days are mostly spent photographing cars, I’ll still make time for a few nights of street photography.
Someone special once told me that when two people truly love one another, you become blind to each others faults. Like you’re in a pea pod. You become ignorant to what others can clearly see. I like that.
This shot has always been a particular favorite of mine, pretty much for just one reason. This was shot with a 50mm at f1.4, and typically, at f1.4 you sacrifice sharpness for speed. Not really the case in this shot, and I honestly have no idea why. The detail on the girls blouse is incredible; it even surprised me. This was taken one night when I was walking around Yokohama after a light rain. Well, actually it was still kind of raining.
Despite the distraction of bright lights, loud sounds, mobile devices, and electric store fronts, disappearing in a crowd like this can be quite difficult.
I thought this worked out pretty well as far as composition goes. I like how the kids in the background are walking single file, creating a row of umbrellas. Also, the shutter speed was slow enough to catch the rain drops against the darker colors.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Geoffrey Nguyen, a creative director for various online publications, and an all around nice guy. You can read the interview here, or here. The interview was done for a client of his, Weksos Industries, a large Japanese car parts importer and retailer in regards to their major car show tour Wekfest and my website NDF. You can visit them here; and I just realized they are using some my photos on their ‘about us’ page – very cool. Bear with me, this long back story has a point.
He had asked me to gather a handful of my photos from Japan to be used in the interview, and the above shot is one of many I chose. I’ve always liked this shot because it proves that great photo opportunities can be found in the most unusual places. I took this from the lower level of a green car train somewhere outside of Tokyo. When the train pulls into the station, the lower level windows are just parallel with the station platform providing some excellent point of views. It just so happened that the train stopped in a position where this man was in the middle of my frame, and another train was pulling away. I quickly dropped the shutter speed, slammed the aperture closed and snapped the shot. Mostly luck I suppose.
I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about this photo and I’m very happy about it. Because of the lighting, the setting and composition, it’s one of those pictures that you can interpret in many different ways. Looking back at these photos makes me realize that it’s been a really long time since I’ve been satisfied with my productivity….but that can be saved for a different post.
One of my friends in Japan I go on street walks with is always wearing very bright colors. I dislike bright colors, and am usually dressed in greys, blacks or dark blues; not to mention I try to go unnoticed when I’m out shooting. I thought this picture was funny because he couldn’t be any more obvious.
Last time I was in Japan, my friend and I made a stop through Kamakura to pick up a few charms for his family. It was Golden Week, so it was quite busy, but posed a good opportunity for more candids. While he did his shopping bit I strolled around the grounds and looked for good frames. This girl was working behind one of the counters that displayed the various charms.
A restaurant by my hotel in Ikebukuro. I shot this late at night on one of my last days in Tokyo. It was quite dark and the only light was coming from the doorway of the restaurant. The little girl on the bike happened to stop right in front of the door to check something on her phone, so I stole her for a second.