Posts Tagged ‘Urban’

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. 🙂

Tokyo International Forum

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
Tokyo International Forum

The Tokyo International Forum is a unique building in Tokyo that houses conference rooms, concert halls and exhibitions. The building’s cavernous atrium is highlighted by the interesting steel structure at the top, a wall of windows on one side, and a wooden wall on the other.

The building is truly huge. Standing at the bottom, one is impressed at the height and size of the place, as well as the open feeling it provides. Standing on the steel and glass catwalk that ramps its way to the very top of the building, it’s hard not to feel a bit (or a lot) of vertigo. Railings are made of glass, and there is nothing between you and the floor. I’ll confess that I didn’t actually make it to the very top. Hanging over the side of the railing to get the perfect shot (coming in a future post) left me feeling a little wishful for terra firma.

Explosion of Butterflies

Monday, August 10th, 2009
Explosion of Butterflies

Thousands of paper butterflies fill the Rogers Centre at a Coldplay concert in Toronto on July 30. The butterflies were launched during the song Lovers in Japan / Reign of Love. This was one of the highlights from a wonderfully interactive and generally amazing concert.

First Canadian Place

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
First Canadian Place

As seen from the 54th floor of the TD Centre, the First Canadian Place tower (home to the Bank of Montreal) is Toronto’s tallest.

The white tiles are made of marble and are slowly being replaced as required. One tile fell 60 floors back in 2007 which prompted road closures and periodic investigations. The darker ones are older and the whiter ones are newer, which makes the building look a little worse for wear.

Sunrise Over Toronto

Saturday, May 9th, 2009
Sunrise Over Toronto

On my way out the door to catch an early flight, I noticed the sun rising over the city. The sky was a brilliant orange-red colour and I just had to capture it. Screw the waiting taxi, I thought. And I grabbed my camera.

Just as luck would have it, a flock of birds flew across the scene, adding some life to the image. I’m really happy with this one!

This image is unaltered, except for being cropped. It was shot through my living room window, in manual mode (which is rare for me to use, but was a lesson learned from my shots of the sun rising over Uluru in Australia). I basically set the aperture and adjusted the metering until the results met my liking. My lesson learned from this shot: I should have used a better lens, like my 70-200L. Oh well, next time… 🙂