I was in Tokyo a couple of weeks back for a short 6 days. Besides the event I covered for work, I was there for a second reason: to take as many photos as possible for future use in the photography section of the magazine I write for. Even though I started with my first manual SLR and digital camera in the late 90s, I hadn't taken photography seriously since I left school. But it's something I've been really getting into lately. I pushed myself in Tokyo to take better pictures than I'd taken before, and I'd like to share a few I'm particularly pleased with.
Note: I shot everything with a Canon EOS 7D with a kit 18-135mm lens, which was on loan from Canon (and is a dream of a camera).
Chris was our tour guide during the event days. I first met him last year during a similar trip to Tokyo, he's from Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin, Hokkien, Japanese and English. A funny guy, and I love the way he was standing in the rain with the twin umbrellas as he tried to herd us into the bus.
I like this one, but this is one of the rare few shots of architecture I shot this time round. Before I left for the trip, I looked through the photos that I'd shot in Tokyo last year, and most of them were of inanimate objects; architecture, abstracts and still life. I realized that I'd grown used to shooting photos like that and I wanted to challenge myself this time round to shoot differently.
Instead of cold, inanimate buildings, I wanted my photos to convey a depth of feeling and that involved capturing people and their expressions as best as I could. I wasn't too sure about how to do that, but I did have some ideas, and I took it as a big learning trip to learn how to capture the decisive moment as much as anything else.
I shot lots of hands the night I took this shot, I shot these, I shot a flute player's hands, I shot a koto player's hands, I shot a friend's hands. I don't know what my sudden fascination with hands was all about but hey, when inspiration strikes, I suppose you just have to run with it. The background behind this maiko was horrible where she was standing, but by zooming into her hands I managed to capture the lovely details of her kimono. Really love the warm colors here and the way her hands are folded is just perfect.
Last one for part 1. Another instance where the background wasn't working, and zooming into the detail really helped – lucky I had a telephoto lens attached! I love the complementary cool greens against the warm reds here, and again, so much beautiful detail in the kimono. Ah Japan, so full of color and detail, such a pleasure to shoot.