Tokyo in Pics


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

From a beautiful sunset to a disaster and then on to the Olympics!!

After having got my L-clamp for my camera a few weeks ago, I decided to try photographing Tokyo Skytree once again. This time it was a much better experience. First, I met two really nice Chinese girls from Shanghai, who were holidaying here in Tokyo, so that obviously put me into a good mood! Next, the sky had a little cloud in it which was nice, but that burnt off as the evening progress which was not so good.

The sun has just gone down and Tokyo Skytree is looking beautiful

I was quite happy with the first few pictures as Tokyo Skytree looked quite nice in Kitajukeen River. The only problem was as I was doing a long exposure the reflection of the tower in the water didn’t look that great, a little blurred. However, I was enjoying myself taking pictures and chatting with the girls I didn’t mind much.

The full reflection of Tokyo Skytree in Kitajukken river

Then disaster struck! I thought I had better put the lens cap back on the lens while I was doing more chatting than taking pictures to protect it from dust, but that turned to the tragedy! I fumbled with it. Almost in slow motion I saw the cap slide out of my fingers, hit the lens hood then fall and hit the railing of the bridge before sailing into the Kitajukken river below, and disappearing forever. Sure, the cap was plastic, but it certainly didn’t float.

Another cameraman came over and asked if everything was okay as he thought it was a filter that had gone swimming. We started chatting and I said it was no problem as I could simply go to Yodabashi Camera on my way home to pick another up. That is one thing I like about the camera community here, people mightn’t be overtly friendly but if they see you in trouble, they’ll usually come over and offer help (well, that is my experience anyway). He also told me that the colours of the Skytree would change into the Olympic colours, so I delayed that trip for a few minutes.

I’m glad I did stay because the colour change was definitely worth it. It was most beautiful. The two girls who had just been consoling me over my lost lens cap were suddenly oohing and aahing appreciatively too. How quickly things changed!

If only the Kitajukken River had been a little cleaner this picture might have been a masterpiece!

In the end I was relatively happy. I met some nice people, enjoyed some pleasant conversation and learned a few valuable things too. One was that for pictures like this, you really need windless conditions. Even just a slight breeze can make the reflections looks ugly. The other thing was the photographing when the sun had completely disappeared made the river look green and dirty.

Still it was all good and hopefully I’ll be able to remember these lessons for next time. And if you are wondering about that lens cap, after finishing at Jikken Bridge, I went to Shinjuku Yodabashi Camera as it closes at 10 pm and picked up a new one, plus an extra just to be safe! And as for the two Chinese girls? They eventually said goodbye and hopefully continued to enjoy the rest of their Japanese holiday.