Sun hits the top of a building in Higashi-ginza, Tokyo

Leading the eye with colour

I took to the streets of Higashi-ginza earlier this week, with a few students from the JEARA (Japan Education of the Arts Association) group I teach every month. Our morning workshop had been all about ‘seeing in monochrome’. The afternoon session was concerned with colour, and how to create engaging compositions that pull in the viewer and steer the eye around the frame.

Seeing a subject and creating a composition that pulls the viewer in

Most of the workshops I do are less about gear, more about how to see. Even if you think you haven’t got an artistic bent or been gifted with being creative, there’s plenty you can do to learn to see better. I’m not sure what my secret is but it’s always fun and rewarding, on workshops, to share my enthusiasm, curiosity and wonder at the world around me. And those things truly are, I think, part of how to look into the world not just at it.

My goal on this week’s workshop was to show attendees how to focus on colour and use it to provide a focal point to a composition. Line, shape, form, light and shadow all – of course – also still play a part in these sorts of photos. It’s just that a colour, or a combination of colours, acts as the prime attention-grabber.

We walked around the backstreets of Higashi-ginza east of the main road that leads north south, from Shinbashi up to Ueno. It’s a collection of streets that I’ll often walk through. Either staying close to Ginza or heading farther east to Shitomicho, Irifune or Kayabacho. There’s always something there to see. And the light, especially towards the end of the day, is great on a good day.

Here’s a few of my shots from the walk, all shot with a Fuji X100S compact camera.

If you’re interested in coming out with me to do a photowalk or would like to find out about doing a course of lessons, use the contact form to get in touch.

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