Posts Tagged ‘lights’

Shinjuku at Night

Friday, February 12th, 2010
Shinjuku at Night

Nighttime in Tokyo is just as busy as any other time in this city.  The city never sleeps, and if anything, it feels even busier at night with all the bright flashing lights from traffic, billboards, and other advertisements.  Like a moth to a flame, your eyes are drawn into the bright lights.

I took this shot while walking back to my hotel after a long day of sightseeing.  Leaving the Shinjuku train station there is a pedestrian overpass that takes you to a plaza filled with Christmas lights (this was taken in December).  This is the view from that overpass.  The towers in the distant background are the Tokyo’s government buildings (aka city hall).  They’re the tallest buildings in the metropolis, though you can barely make them out in the dark night sky.

The shot was taken hand-held, probably resting on a railing, I can’t remember exactly.

Yodobashi Camera

Monday, February 8th, 2010
Yodobashi Camera

My hotel was located in Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s more livelier prefectures, and was about 4 blocks away from this shopping area.  The area consists of about 3 blocks of brightly lit stores that are actually just one store: the Yodobashi camera store.  I can’t remember what happened when I realized this, as my brain had gone into overload thinking about all the camera gear surrounding me.  I was in the Mecca of photographic technology.

The main Yodobashi store (pictured above) consists of about 8 stories of technology ranging from cameras, to laptop computers, to books, to rice cookers and home appliances.  The camera selection at this particular building was the mainstream point and shoot variety.  Down the street was a more professional camera store that carried SLRs, medium format, lighting, developing, etc.  Basically a mini B&H Photo, but in Japan.

As for prices, they were very similar to those of B&H Photo in New York.  I probably could have saved $150 on a Canon 7D bought in Japan, but everything would have been in Japanese, including the warranty so I decided not to bother.

As for this photo, it was shot hand-held in manual mode.  It was difficult finding a good exposure that balanced the neon signs and the ambient light on the street, but I think I got it.  I think the Japanese couple walking in front of me adds a bit of character as well.

Tokyo Scramble

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
Tokyo Scramble

Tokyo is famous for “scramble” intersections, where all directions of traffic stop and allow pedestrians to cross any way they wish. It is quite a sight to see. We have a couple of scramble intersections in Toronto, but they pale in comparison to the sheer volume of people in Tokyo.

Most major intersections in Tokyo are of the scramble variety, which is quite convenient if you’re a pedestrian. The one pictured above was not very busy in comparison to others, such as Shibuya crossing. Only a hundred or so people were crossing at each cycle here. In Shibuya, there are likely thousands crossing at every cycle. Absolutely amazing.

One detail you can’t see from this image is a police stand/lookout on the adjacent corner. Each cycle, a police officer would blow a whistle prior to the signals changing. This is essentially a warning to those still crossing to hurry up before the signals change and the traffic begins. In a city so technologically advanced, with automated machines everywhere, they still rely on officers to blow the whistle every few minutes. Weird.

I shot this photo hand-held, which isn’t too tricky with an ultra-wide angle lens. I probably annoyed a few locals by standing still on the corner when the signals changed, and everyone expected me to start crossing. I think my 6’2″ stature and pale white complexion was a clear indication that I was a tourist. That and my camera strapped around my neck. 🙂

Times Square

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
Times Square

One of the corners in Times Square, New York City.  I consider this square the heart of American capitalism–I’ve never seen so many billboards all vying for your hard earned money.

This was shot hand-held, as there was enough light from the billboards to get a decent exposure time.

Toronto Skyline at Night

Thursday, July 20th, 2006
Toronto Skyline at Night

I shot this after watching China’s contribution to Ontario Place’s Festival of Fire–a week-long exhibition of fireworks from around the world. The shots of the fireworks turned out ok, but a longer lens would have helped. I’ll post more later.