Tokyo in Pics


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

Great places to shoot in Tokyo - Shinjuku Eye

I get the feeling sometimes that Shinjuku Eye is one of Tokyo’s little secret shots.  Not many people really seem to realise a piece of art is right in front of their noses.  In some ways it is a little surprising as this huge piece of glass art, that looks like a huge eye, has been there so long.  People just speed past it every day, and probably I guess don’t even notice it unless they see a photographer like me squatting down to photograph.

Shinjuku Eye near under the Subaru Building

Created by Japanese artist Yoshiko Miyashita in 1969, Shinjuku Eye is located in the underpass beneath the Subaru Building on the west side of Shinjuku Station.  I wonder if passersby even notice the eye anymore. To be honest, when I first to Tokyo I didn’t notice for several years. For me though, once I finally noticed it, it became an interesting piece of work.  In a way, it reminds me of the Eye of Sauron, but lacking the malice of course.  It observes everything that passes by.

Maybe the people who work in the area have walked by it often enough that there is no need or desire to look at it any more?  Or is it that they have never noticed it in the first place? I think it is like many things in life, once we get used to something it becomes the mundane and we lose interest.   It has just became something that blurs into the background. Do you think that sounds right? I don’t know, but it is one of those questions that interests me, from time to time.

For this picture I used the Fujifilm 10-24 mm lens.  The main reason for that was that there wasn’t a lot of space to work with in front of the Eye.  The walkway is not that wide and usually there are a lot of people who walk past it. Therefore, to get the whole piece in and a little more, I decided to go super wide.

The other reason is that the 10-24 is a slow lens with OIS.  As you aren’t allowed to use tripods in the walkway (security guards will shoo you away if you use one) I wanted to use a really show shutter speed and so the 10-24 seemed to be the obvious choice.  With that lens I was able to take a handheld shot and get some blur with people walking by in the picture. For me the movement was important because I wanted to show their speed, not stopping at all to look at the Eye which is something I’ve never seen anyone do.

And, it was a shot I decided to make black and white, but not all.  As I already mentioned the Eye, to me anyway, feels a little lonely, neglected.  It was created in 1960s when after the Olympics and economic recovery after World War II.  I feel it now belongs to a bygone age. That is why I decided to present the photo in black in white and leave the people who are walking by in colour.  I wanted to show that contrast.

I hope you like the shot.  If you have any comments or questions, please leave a note down below.  And lastly, here is a Google Map to show you where Shinjuku is located:

Gear used for this shot:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T2

Lens - Fujifilm XF 10-24 mm