Shooting the lanterns in long exposure at Senso-ji after dusk was comparatively easy (although I hadn’t realised that despite their size the lanterns would sway with the wind) but finding a way to shoot the pagoda was trickier. Thankfully I had my Platypod with me and was able to strap it to a tree. Shooting it through the branches, I thought would give it a different feel, and I’m really pleased with how it came out.
Shinjuku’s red light district really has that « where the hell am I » vibe. It’s not so much that the kinky stuff is overt, it’s that everything is weird. There are robot shows advertised everywhere (not sure I want to know what that is) and some of the displays (like this one) are really strange… Talk about lost in translation…
*Bir Hakeim Bridge*
Sometimes you don’t do long expos for specific effects like freezing water or light trails, sometimes you just do them because it’s dark and you want pin sharp focus and low ISO. This was the case here. In fact, looking back, I’m so lucky to have had this shot: this spot is very favoured by wedding photographers and it’s very rare that there isn’t some sort of shoot going on. There was that night, but they were behind me!
Pier 7 on Embarcadero is an old fashioned wooden pier lined with metal benches and lamplights. At night it’s nearly empty and offers a very cool symmetrical perspective which I was quick to take advantage of. I wanted a low vantage point, which was tricky because my handmade beanbag (ziplock + dried chickpeas) was confiscated last time I went to New Zealand. So this was precariously balanced on my photo bag…
Very close to Covent Garden, there was this building in the process of being renovated. Massive space, beautiful ceilings, no idea what it was before. Love the oval windows…
Fuji xpro2, 27mm, f/16, 15s, ISO 200
For a long time I’ve been meaning to take a long exposure shot of the coliseum with traffic light trails in front. When I got there thanks to my friend Lori, I found that the angle I wanted to shoot from was occupied with scaffolding and a crane. So I went to the other side, and shot this. To be honest I’m not super happy with the angle, but I still think it works. Will revisit at a later date.
Fuji x100f, 35mm, f/2, 1/25s, ISO 1600
Auckland’s Skytower obviously is one of the most interesting landmarks of the city, but it’s not easy to find an interesting angle to frame it from the ground. I think I may have done just that, handheld, on a windy evening recently.
Fuji x100f, 28mm, f/16, 12s, ISO 200
In many ways, Tokyo is even more of a vertical city than Hong Kong where I live. Hong Kong mostly grew overground, which makes sense when you realise that most of the high-riser areas are on reclaimed land. Tokyo on the other hand seems to me as much underground as overground with multiple layers of commuting, shops and walkways superimposed. That means lots of colonnades and interestingly graphic things to shoot with a wide(ish) angle lens!
Akihabara by Night
Fuji x100f, 28mm, f/16, 8s, ISO 200
My original intent with this was to shoot light trails in front of the Akihabara lights. Unfortunately, I had not anticipated that the pedestrians crossing on my left would block the cars turning just in front of my lens. So instead I shot a long exposure in between cars, and was quite pleased withe the result (and surprisingly little ghosting).
Fuji x100f, 28mm, f/2, 1/60s, ISO 2500
There aren’t that many cities where you can really explore vertical perspectives. Tokyo is one of them and with this shot I was aiming to do just that.