Tokyo in Pics


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

This Ball in Ueno has an Eye on You

I was walking Ueno Park on very cloudy day looking for things to photograph when I came across an enormous metal ball sitting in the courtyard of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.  Of course, I’d seen it before but this time I finally noticed how it could be used for some nice pictures. With its polished surface, it’s a natural fisheye lens!

The ball, I guess, is roughly two meters in weight, but as for its weight?  I’ve got no idea. It’s attached to a base, so there is no chance of it rolling off deciding to roll off and go on a rampage, crushing people!  We’re quite safe. And, it has a hole that that goes right through it, quite wide on one side with the other side being much narrower. I doubt it would be a good idea to stick any small children down it just to see what happens though ...

But it is very fun to shoot.  As it is a ball, with that curved surface you can get some weird, but interesting shapes reflected in the ball.  If you are lucky you might get nice blue skies, or even better, some slightly overcast days that look great in camera.   Plus, the patterned tiles all around it, you really get something to work with for some creative photography.

The only problem shooting there is that, depending on the time of day, you can have so many people walking around on their way to the museum.  If you spend time with the ball, you’ll find yourself waiting for people to take their shot, or with kids who are wondering what it is all about.

Actually, I wasn’t too happy with the shots I took for this article.  Right now I’m thinking I probably should have shot at a different time, probably early morning when there are fewer people around and on a day when there were fewer clouds around.  Probably a wide-angle lens might have been a good idea too.

So, don’t be surprised if see another article about the ball on Tokyo in Pics at a later date.  I don’t know when that’ll be, but honestly like this ball, so I’ll be shooting it sooner than later.

And if you need to know exactly where the ball is, here is a Google map for you:

Gear used for the shots in this article:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T2

Lens - Fujifilm XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens