Tokyo B&W

I woke up at 5:20 AM this morning and decided to take the day off to attend to the huge pile of things I had to do that have built up over the past month. I started out making some pretty decent progress but then when lunch rolled around I took a break to surf the net whilst stuffing my face and sort of lost my momentum… I’ve been meaning to update the blog for a while now, so here we go. Let’s see if we can’t get that momentum back, shall we?

tokyo black and white

I was originally going to post something witty, but after a few minutes of wracking my brain came up with zlich :( So instead, I decided to clear out a bunch of B&W photos I had laying around from various places in Tokyo. Usually when I shoot, I’ll end up with hundreds of photos, of which around 20 actually make it to the blog. The rest linger in a sort of digital purgatory in my various Lightroom catalogues, flagged, picked, keyworded and half-processed, waiting to be put to some use. Some end up as Photos of the Day, and others get cross-processed in all sorts of one-off funky ways. And still others (a sizable amount by this point) I like to convert to B&W – I don’t like to mix them in with colour photos, so they sit and wait for posts like this where I can clear them out in one go.

tokyo black and white

I only have a couple of lenses at the moment that I really use – my beloved ultra-wide angle, and a cheapie 50mm prime that I use for portraits. I find myself starting to let my equipment “dictate” the kinds of shots that I take and getting sick of all my photos looking the same, have begun lusting for a nice telephoto lens to add to my repertoire – that Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS will do just nicely, thank you. Of course, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that I can afford that anytime soon, so in the meantime I just have to sit and make do with what I have.

tokyo black and white

It goes without saying that the idea that your equipment “dictates what you shoot” is a fallacy (within limits). It may dictate “how” you shoot, but “what” you shoot is entirely up to you. You can make do – we might all want a 200mm f/2.8 beast to sit and snipe people from across the intersection and get all that lovely background blur and “compression” that long telephoto lengths give you, but the reality is, my cheapie 50mm will give a pretty good approximation of that as well. Only difference is, it requires you to get up close and personal and – gasp – probably ask people if you can take their picture. You might not get those totally candid shots that long telephotos can give you, but you can get a good ways there, if you only change the way you shoot, and stop thinking that your equipment limits what you shoot.

tokyo black and white

Of course, it’s all well and good to know this, but actually putting it into practise is another thing. Plus I’m a boy and boys like gadgets, especially zoomy, expensive electronic ones. But this particular boy is broke and so, it’s either keep shooting buildings at 10mm, or stick that damn 50 on my camera and start walking up to people and asking them to take their picture.

Apropos nothing, I am also suffering from a severe dearth of inspiration these days and just can’t figure out what would make a good subject to shoot. Meh. Suggestions, anyone?

More pictures after the jump.

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

tokyo black and white

Okay, that’s it. Thanks for reading! And if you have any ideas for what this inspiration-deprived panda ought to shoot, by all means, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Now listening to: “John Murphy & Underworld – Sunshine (Adagio In D Minor)”

This is probably one of the most memorable tracks from the movie “Sunshine” (which, if you haven’t seen, I recommend watching as a back-to-back with the 90′s sci-fi flick “Dark City”. The latter will leave you craving sunshine, and the former will leave you craving darkness. Beautiful.).

39 Reactions

  1. kori

    Your pictures, especially this set, somehow capture exactly how I see Tokyo. Or maybe how I feel about Tokyo?
    beautifully done.