I recently came across the work of Masashi Wakui, a Japanese photographer who produces some wonderful stylised street photography of scenes around Tokyo. In particular I really love his nighttime shots which I feel do a great job of capturing the essence of the city. It gave me the inspiration to go back through my archive to see if I had any decent nighttime street scenes from my various Japan trips I could treat in a similar way. Many of the night shots I have from Japan were shot on a Nikon D90 which at best had middling low light performance and fairly poor dynamic range compared to today’s standards. This makes doing much of anything with them a fairly frustrating experience; blown highlights stay forever blown, and the shadows do little but yield noise when pushed. But a few images from my last trip in 2011, where I took a D7000 with me, came out better. This one from Shinjuku, shot near the charmingly named, but actually really quaint and interesting “piss alley” turned out quite well.
I’m working on a big post about a recent trip to Liverpool but since it’s not done yet here’s another shot from the archive to tide you over.
Sunshine and Showers
Nikon D90 28mm, ƒ/9, 1/400s, ISO 125
I got this shot while on a wander down the incredible beach at Ynyslas, around 8 miles north of Aberystwyth in mid-Wales. It had been sunny and remained so where I was stood, but in the distance grey clouds rolled in and it began to rain. The light and contrast between the sunny foreground and gloomy background were fantastic.
This is the fourth in a series where I share older images that I’m quite proud of but which are unlikely to otherwise appear here.
Nikon D90, 50mm, ƒ/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 200
This is a detail of a torii gate at a shrine in Ueno park, Tokyo. I took this on my first trip to Japan in 2009, which feels like a very long time ago now! I’m not sure why it’s adorned with stickers, perhaps from local sponsors or businesses wishing for good luck? At any rate I liked the textures and colours.
This is the third in a new series where I share older images that I’m quite proud of but which are unlikely to otherwise appear here.
I love this image of Darwin’s statue in the Natural History Museum in London. It’s a beautiful building, full of intricate details and flourishes. The natural light streaming in from the high windows on a sunny day picks out the details in the stonework really nicely. I only had a 50mm f1.8 prime with me at the time, so in order to get everything I wanted in this image I had to stitch two photos together in Photoshop. If you search for images of the Natural History Museum you’ll see many photos looking up the hall towards Darwin’s statue, but mostly taken with wide-angle lenses that give a very different perspective.
This is the second in a new series where I share older images that I’m quite proud of but which are unlikely to otherwise appear here.
Getting Lost in a Maze of Torii
This shot is from Fushimi Inari-taisha, a large Shinto shrine complex near Kyoto, famous for its tunnels of brightly painted torii gates. I’ve visited this shrine on several occasions now, but the most memorable visit was my last in 2011, as it was the first time I’d been after dark. As a popular spot with both locals and tourists, the various shrines that make up Fushimi Inari are usually busy, with lots of people coming and going through the maze of torii gate dotted paths that criss-cross the mountain between the various shrine buildings. At night however the place is almost entirely deserted, leaving you to explore in peace. With the rattle of shrine bells, claps, quiet mummers of prayer and chatter all absent, the place is eerily quiet. The mountain already has a rather other-worldly feel and that is only magnified at night with all but the shrine buildings and gates lost to the darkness.
This is the first in a new series where I share older images that I’m quite proud of but which are unlikely to otherwise appear here.
A day at the beach
I captured this shot of the beach at Aberystwyth on an unusually warm late March day, back in 2012. I lived in this town for the best part of a decade before moving to Yorkshire, so I have a lot of fond memories for it, many of which are summed up in this shot. Whether having a barbecue on the beach with friends, a lazy wander along the promenade to buy an ice cream in the scorching summer sun, watching the waves crash against the seawall on a stormy day, or climbing Constitution Hill at the far end of the beach. Good times! In a further play to my own nostalgia, I’ve processed the image to give it a slightly desaturated filmic look.