Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Autumn Light Up at Rikugien - 2017

Once again one of the favourite parks in Tokyo, Rikugien, lit up for autumn.  It is a tremendous annual event.  The weather was perfect, and I was lucky to meet a couple of people I had nice chats to.  I wish I could have stayed all night there, but my time to shoot was limited.  But most unfortunately, after returning home I found out while I was processing the pictures, everything didn’t go as planned!  Do you want to know what happened?  I’ll tell you or maybe you can spot the problem in the pictures yourself.

The tea house at Rikugien under lights

First the good things.  I met a photographer, from France, who is travelling in Japan at the moment chasing his dreams.  His name was John and he produces some really nice work which you can see on Instagram at @anticsvision.  We met while waiting for the crowd to thin out and talked about cameras, places to shoot in Japan and how he won his fabulous camera in a competition that was run by Red Bull.  It was a great story.  John is a great guy so please remember to check him out on Instagram.

The other good thing about the night’s shooting was taking the lessons I learned from last year and applying them to this year.  And that was waiting for the crowd to thin out a little before starting to shoot.  It actually limited my time, but I was able to move around far more quickly due to me having to walk through fewer people which of course made everything more pleasurable.

Walking around Rikugien under lights is always so surreal.  The island in the middle of pond looked quite ghostly.  Whoever designed the lighting system did a great job.  The paths around the pond were a little dark to walk on, but the lights that were used to light the trees were perfectly placed.  It was just perfect and made for a splendid night.

Now, the thing that didn’t go as planned.  Some parts of the pictures seem to be out of focus – namely the reflections in the water.  At first I thought it was the wind, but the tonight was perfectly still.  Objects in front of the reflections are in focus.  What I was focused on is in focus.  Only the reflections are not.  Very strange.  I can’t figure it out.  So it must be either me having done something wrong that I’m obviously not aware of, or some quirk of the X-T2 system.  Anyway, if you know I’d appreciate some advice.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you have any comments or question, please let me know by leaving them in the section below.  If you want to learn more about the park you can check out my article here.  The website for Rikugien Gardens can be seen here.