Workshop Report: A Bit of Park, A Bit of Street

Shinyong by Miwako | Tokyo Street Modelling

A crowd of us took to the streets of Tokyo on 11th December for a workshop that would include some nice park action, some street photography and some street modelling.

Getting out into Tokyo to shoot is one of my real pleasures in life. I never tire of this city. I sometimes think I never will because the experience just seems to get better as you re-visit the same places over and over again.

This was how it was last weekend, when I took a crowd of students to Ueno Park and then down into the streets of Ameyayokocho, Okachimachi, Akihabara and Kanda. These are all places I shoot, often, but getting out in a group always means I see new things because I am seeing the place through the eyes of all the people I take with me on my workshops. That’s part of what they get out of it too: seeing the place through my eyes and the eyes of the people with them, in the group. Some people see the same thing differently. Others see different things. It’s a great part of developing the visual curiosity which is key to becoming a better photographer.

On this particular day we also had along with us a talented model who I had recently done a very quick test-shoot with; Shinyong. She’s energetic, creative and so responsive in front of the camera. A former professional singer in Korea, Shinyong now models professionally. She and I have a shoot planned for later this year and the workshop gave us a chance to work with each other and for me to see what she is capable of. Which is, in short, a lot!

The route we took through town is one you can see on this Google map. I don’t like the main-drag in Akihabara [too much ‘stereotype Japan’ for me] so we took some backstreets on our way to Kanda. Great route. Some lovely streets and scenes along the way which kept everyone busy and provided some lovely backdrops for Shinyong too. One was a lovely patch of light and an underpass through the train tracks at Okachimachi; just somewhere I’d found a few years back which gives great light at a certain time of day. The last location we used for her was a wall I have walked past a dozen times. Just a simple wall in a backstreet in Kanda, which has what looked to me like the graphic-equalizer from a stereo system on it. It proved to be a great backdrop, with the help of some great lighting and a pair of headphones, courtesy of Tim Buerger who was with me for the day acting as a second tutor.

Everyone got some great shots throughout the day, some of which you can see in the galleries below. A wonderful day of shooting. There are also some links to student’s social networking sites and personal websites, so you can catch up with them and their work some more.

Simon Hunter’s work [find him on Flickr, here]

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Joanne Yu’s work [find her on Google Plus, here]

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Miwako’s pictures

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Denis Vasilov’s work [his website is here]

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Christopher Striesow’s photos

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Emily Hohnke’s pictures [Emily was passing through Tokyo on holiday and shot half her pics on my D700, as her own camera ran out of battery. I processed the RAW files so she got a few extra pics in her gallery :-) Emily has a blog, here ]

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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.

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