Tokyo in Pics


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

Chrysanthemums at Omiya Hachiman - 2018

Another November, and another year of chrysanthemums!  I think the first place I always shoot each season is at Omiya Hachiman, not far from where I live in Takaido.  The only problem was that I went there very early at the start of the festival, so the flowers weren’t quite at their best.  Nor was the display as good as it had been in previous years unfortunately, in my opinion. I wish I had had more time to go there again to see them another day but due to the constraints of my new job, that just wasn’t possible.  So, I decided to try something new with flower photography. I went with high speed sync (HSS) flash.

Usually, high speed sync is a flash technique that is used to overpower ambient light so you can get a well-exposed subject.  At Omiya Hachiman I used it not to overpower the background, but to really darken it, and in some shots the background turned black.  I was quite happy with the results.

It was quite difficult taking the pictures though as I used the Fujifilm XF 55-200 mm F 3.5 to 4.8 R LM OIS lens.  This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1.1 meters which is quite large. With some shots I had to step back far more than that minimum distance to get what I wanted in my pictures.  Hopefully I’ll get a macro lens one day, which will make things easier.

As this is only the beginning of the season, I am looking forward to going to some other places to see more chrysanthemums.  I’m not sure if I will be using HSS flash, but we’ll see. The effect of the flash on the flowers in the photographs is very nice, at least to my eyes, so it’s something I’ll be thinking about.  If you have any questions comments about the pictures here, please leave them down below.

If you like shrines Omiya Hachiman is highly recommended.  It is much smaller than say Meiji Jingu, but it is quiet and has a kyudo (archery) dojo there which is nice to look at (from near the door).  There isn’t a lot else in the area, so I think a visit would be best there when one of its festival are on, or when these flowers are in bloom!  You can see its website here.