Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tokyo Noir With the X-Pro2/18mm

As all large metropolitan cities (and this one is the largest and most populated), Tokyo has proven to be a 'gift that keeps giving' for street photography. This megapolis has super modern skyscrapers, neon lights (that rival NYC's Times Square), unusual fashion sense, faceless salarymen (and women) with surgical masks, temples and narrow alleys from the 1940s, small eateries that ought to have samurais in full regalia as patrons, occasional kimono-clad ladies and an eerie cleanliness....and everything seems to work efficiently, painlessly and politely.

Wandering the various distinct areas of Tokyo such as the famous crosswalk intersection in front of Shibuya Station; Shinjuku, Japan’s largest red light district, and the narrow alleys of of Golden Gai and Memory Lane; the red light district of Kabukicho; Harajuku and its crowded Takeshita Dori; Ginza, the capital's most famous upscale shopping district; Asakusa with the incomparable Sensoji temple; and Tsukiji Market, one of the largest fish markets in the world and its surrounding stalls and eating places, are all areas 'created' for taking street photographs.

I found that the Tokyo-residents were generally not as 'photo-friendly' as other Asian nationalities. As an example, some of the cos-play dressed young women walking in Harajuku covered their faces when they saw my camera. Most of the “maids” advertising Maid Cafes in Akihabara also covered their faces with their hands or their pamphlets whenever they noticed cameras pointed at them....understandably perhaps, as dressing up in maid costumes, and enticing young men (mostly) to go to their cafes is not exactly well-regarded....but it's a job.

My style of "shooting-from-the-hip" worked well in the streets of Tokyo. I managed to capture a lot of facial expressions that wouldn't have been there if I had raised my Fuji X-Pro2 to my eye, and composed normally.