From A-Z via B, C & D

A photographic journey across a great part of town hunting down the alphabet.

I was met with a little bit of a stare by the students who came out last weekend, as we proceeded from Oimachi to Gotanda in search of all 26 letters of the alphabet. After all, we are in a country whose native language doesn’t use the alphabet. No matter, I explained… this would be part of the fun.

The idea of this part photowalk, part treasure-hunt was to get people really looking for something. REALLY looking is different to just looking, trust me. And it’s good excercise for the brain and the eyes.

Our plan was to try a few different ways of recording the letters of the alphabet, just to keep some variety in our shooting and make the day a little more fun as well.

Firstly, we could just shoot single letters we found. Or, we could find whole words and shoot those: ‘P’ for Post or ‘T’ for Telephone. Lastly we could find objects that looked like letters and shoot those.

The final result would be, however we chose to mix it up, a full 26-letter alphabet.

And what would we do with the pictures? Good question… always good to have an objective and final use sorted out. In this case the final use will be a children’s book, on learning the alphabet. I am setting up a dummy copy of that now and will put up a PDF in, where you can flip through the pages, as soon as it is done. This with a view to actually making it a print-on-demand book at some point this year.

So, go out and try this project for yourself and you could stand a chance of getting your shots into the book too.

Like any good golf pro, I don’t necessarily have to swing the club in order to teach people the game. So, I didn’t get all 26 letters. But, Dina, Britt and Jess did.

Everyone did really well and I was impressed with the creativity they put into their shots. However, poor them… even after the classroom session we did – which finished at 9.30pm – they were all still seeing letters everywhere. Still, it’s good to focus on something so hard that you can’t stop looking at it or for it; that’s what ‘seeing’ is all about.

Dina’s gallery below contains a few of her faves and there is also a screengrab of her Picasa album, which has all 26 letters in and which you can find here.


Jess’ gallery has all her letters in…


Britt’s gallery is here:


And here is my gallery; all shots are straight out of the camera.


If you decide to give the project a try for yourself, send in your shots or post them on Flickr and let me know – as I can embed a slideshow of them here for you.

About Japanorama

Japanorama is run by British professional photographer, Alfie Goodrich, and provides practical photography teaching in Tokyo. Weekly workshops, group and one-to-one lessons bring together photographers of all ages and abilities.

We also welcome submissions of photos and articles for this site, so please get in touch via our contact page. Thanks. © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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