Here are some more photos from the greatest Tokyo park, the Shinjuku Gyoen. Most of them closeups, using my cheap, light weight and wonderful Sigma 70-300mm (the old tele-macro version). I think the flowers, which are very popular all over Japan, are called spider lillies, but I am not sure. I also managed to catch a couple of butterflies! If you are interested in photography I invite you to have a look at the last photos, the one with the bridge being the cheap 70-300mm Sigma and the one of the stone lantern a much more expensive Nikkor 85mm. Lovely lenses both, but quite different in terms of contrast and how the bokeh comes out.
These stone lanterns can be found all over the country, some very old ones are carved in stone but these days most of them are cast in concrete I guess. Like most stone monuments they probably come from a wooden model but I have never seen any original wooden “stone lanterns”. In Japanese they are called Tōrō.
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Last weekend I finally got a chance to meet my favorite Japanese photographers of all time: Mr. Masataka Nakano. I still remember when I first saw his photos in 2001, and since then I have casually made a point of showing his photos to friends and tourists visiting Tokyo for the first time. Most people can’t stop looking at his photos. If you’ve never been to Tokyo his photos might not strike you as nothing special but if you’ve been here, and then take a look at his books you’ll be awestruck. His most famous series is called Tokyo Nobody, and it his best work so far. Spanning over ten years of patient photography he has managed to capture some of Tokyo’s most famous scenes and streets – without anyone appearing in them – hence the title, Tokyo Nobody. Mr. Nakano is certainly somebody though. We had a long discussion as to how he took his photos and how he works as a photographer and I could have kept talking with him for hours. But alas, I wasn’t the only guest at the reception. I got his latest book, Tokyo Float. His books are in all major bookstores around Japan, or if you are overseas, you can get them at Amazon. By far one of the best contemporary photographers in Japan tackling the subject of Tokyo. And if you’ve been in Tokyo with a camera, you know how hard it can be to really get this city. Recommended.
It’s the coldest winter in decades over here in Japan. We had our first snowfall in years covering central Tokyo earlier this week. Hence, I tend to stay indoors, try not to move outside more than necessary. So I’ve had ample time to fuzz over the post processing on the photos I created with Desperado earlier this week. Here’s a couple more I wanted to show you. These photos are very conservatively done, just one light, hope you like them as much as I do. Enjoy!