Tokyo street photography seems to be a genre of its own. One can’t turn a corner these days without seeing lenses, tripods and the odd Pixel Hobo vying for the best composition. Quite satisfying to see people out and about in Tokyo enjoying the city and looking to share the results of their imaging. All ‘Rice n Beans’ right? erm not exactly. It seems as much as people want to enjoy their urban imaging the powers that be, those who control access or indeed simply police buildings etc have been briefed to interfere with anyone taking an image these days. My last four trips into certain areas of Tokyo City have been encroached upon, interfered with, by what we would in the UK term as a “right blinkin’ Jobsworth”. These individuals tend to be those over zealous pseudo security personnel, traditionally aged 60 and above entrusted with night security shift of buildings, parking lots or any other photogenic street feature. Can they really move people from a street who may be shooting a building across the road when that target building has nothing to do with them, their job or their responsibility? I was always under the impression that the highways and byways are public domain and therefore not under the control of the commercial entities that may line the streets etc? That would of course be a different story once I enter into a building and I can understand that. Maybe a seasoned street photographer can interject here?
Either way, street photography in this metropolis is a hugely enjoyable adventure. This shot above was taken in the Shibaura-Futo region of the city and takes in the elevated circular track section of the Yurikomome New Transport rail line across the ever impressive Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay. I like the circular lines and whilst there was little in the way of clouds on the night in question the long shutter speed was able to pick out the motion of the clouds that were there and add that additional dynamic element.
For the shot itself I was using my trusted full frame 50.6 megapixel munchkin the Canon EOS5Dsr. Fitted to that I had a Blackstone version of the new Irix 15mm f2.4 super wide angle lens. It was, at the time, glass that I’d long been waiting for and one that has turned out to be an awesome addition to the camera bag. So much so in fact that I’ve shot with pretty much only this lens since getting it, such is the enjoyment of shooting it in the urban setting. In order to get the starburst effect on the lights I used a small aperture, in this case f16 and with the desire to get as long a shutter as possible for the motion in the clouds I played around with ISO until I could hit a 15second exposure, I ended up at ISO100. I will soon be revisiting this location to film it as part of a street photography episode for my YouTube Channel so be sure to tag along there to see this place and how I go about shooting it, and the immediate vicinity in the near future.
Cheers all and happy shooting…