Tokyobling's Blog

Ikebukuro Street Jazz

Posted in Places by tokyobling on March 15, 2010

Whenever I am feeling down about my photography and want to feel better, I go out and find a jazz band. Jazz band photography are like the human equivalent of kittens: very few jazz bands fail to look cool, and very few kittens fail to look cute. Once you find them, all you have to do is compose and click. There’s nothing more to it. You don’t need to direct them, there’s no props or stylists around to make things complicated. They look good, and they know it. Unless you are in a really bad way, you’ll come home with photos of very cool jazz people. It’s easier to forgive and forget one-self after that. Regain just a little bit of photographic

This jazz band frequently plays outside the East exit of JR Ikebukuro station, one of the biggest stations in Japan but you wouldn’t know it if you measured the side walk outside, not enough room for even three people to walk abreast. Very crowded, at all hours. I was lucky to catch them one particularly chilly Sunday evening. And even though I have seen them many many times, I have never stopped to ask them their names. Listening to good, live, jazz in Japan is not easy nor cheap. These guys do it for free. I’d trade all my photography skills in an instant if I could have half the skill of that drummer. Enjoy!


13 Responses

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  1. fritz said, on March 15, 2010 at 6:20 am

    It’s relieving to read that I’m not only one doubting my skills in photography every now and then… I agree, taking pictures of musicians is always very awarding!


    • tokyobling said, on March 15, 2010 at 6:36 am

      I’ve hadn’t had time to do any private photography these last two months. I blame my usual lack of focusing! I’m opening an antiques web shop this spring and since coding is not my forte it’s eating up a lot of my time. That effort will be run by local talents though. I just need to get it off the ground.

      Bands… I have to go out and shoot more of them!


  2. Narfix said, on March 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I wish you could have filmed them ! Those pics, while really nice, lack sound.

    Great work nonetheless !


    • tokyobling said, on March 16, 2010 at 12:33 am

      Hey Narfix! Good to have you back! I missed your green smile! Thanks for the kind comment. Yeah, the D700 (that I had with me at the time) doesn’t do video… I’m thinking about getting a D90 just for the video capabilities…


      • Narfix said, on March 16, 2010 at 6:17 am

        I hide behind your rss feed 🙂


        • tokyobling said, on March 17, 2010 at 8:43 am

          So that’s where you have been hanging out! I though I could see something green in there… (^-^)


  3. 6ft5 said, on March 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Excellent! I saw Tindersticks last night but were not allowed to take pictures (applied to late for a pass). I find your blog rewarding when in the need of inspiration. Your style and poetry in photography is fantastic!


  4. Elisa said, on March 16, 2010 at 3:20 am

    I love the first drummer photo, where you catch his hair and drumstick in motion. You definitely captured the spirit of musical performance in that one!


    • tokyobling said, on March 17, 2010 at 8:44 am

      Thanks! Yeah, I felt a little better after seeing that picture myself. I am going through a bad spell in my photography right now… (^-^;)


  5. yanangski said, on March 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

    oh! the guys who plays the saxophone looks cute. 😀


    • tokyobling said, on March 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

      Let me know when you come over and we can go and talk to him! (^o^)


  6. absurdoldbird said, on March 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Great photos (everyone doubts their own skill from time to time – photographers, artists, all).


    • tokyobling said, on March 25, 2010 at 1:33 am

      Thank you Old Bird! Great handle name by the way.


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