April 25 2015

Two more shots from the short trip to Tokyo again today. I was there for only four days and it rained so much. The first time I had been in Tokyo it also rained a lot. Being a real Irishman, I never feel the need to get an umbrella. Umbrellas and rain gear are really just for tourists when they come to Ireland. The rain in Ireland comes mainly in showers and having to carry an umbrella around is a pain in the ass, to be honest. But in Tokyo when it rains, it seems like it never ends. Back in 2012, when I met Michael Kistler one of the first things we did together was to enter a convenience store and to my surprise Michael bought me an umbrella – a transparent one. OK, I thought. Why not?

Now when I am in Tokyo I make sure to get a transparent umbrella. Why? Because it allows me to get these beautiful shots of Tokyo through the transparent umbrella. Here is one of those I got in 2012.

This one I am posting today was shot on the Fuji X100t on an early Friday evening in Shibuya. I like the girl making eye contact on the right of the frame.

Keeping Dry in Tokyo

Keeping Dry in Tokyo

The iPhone image was shot on a Saturday morning – when it was not raining – in Ginza, which to my surprise has the main street pedestrianised at weekends. I had been in Ginza a few times, but had never really liked it that much in comparison to other Toyko districts. But being able to wander around the street unencumbered by traffic was a great experience.

I am always drawn to lines (pun intended). I found these diverging lines and I knew how I wanted to compose the image. I wanted a couple to approach and part on either side of these lines. Now, this is much easier to imagine in the inside of my head than to actually occur, what with me lingering on the line waiting to snap the approaching passersby. I had to pretend I was talking on the phone. I saw this couple approach and like so much of photography – patience met luck and as they came to the line they parted and walked on either side of the line. Click! I got the shot.

This divide between us will be filled with love or loss

This divide between us will be filled with love or loss

 

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February 16 2015

Well, I think this must be the final image from Shibuya at night. To get so many shots from one location at the same time is unusual. And the great thing about it is that I have learnt a lot from these images. I can do better.

Shibuya Forever

Shibuya Forever

 

This iPhone image was taken yesterday in Cork. This very cool, young girl was getting some privacy as she checked her phone. An innovative way to use hair!

Cork

Cork

February 13 2015

Friday the 13th. Unlucky for some who believe in that kind of thing.

Things on my mind today:

Newness

Forgiveness

Knowing it is still being said

Knowing it is still being said

 In others we look to see


In others we look to see

February 9 2015

Two images today from Tokyo and Berlin.

A new week…

Hearing it said

Hearing it said

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

2014: My favourite images – July

July was all Japan. I posted 56 photos to Flickr in 28 days. Choosing a favourite from the DSLR images is easy for a change. I’ll never forget the excitement I experienced when I first caught a glimpse of Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The black and white lines of the pedestrian crossing were vast open space as the traffic stopped for the red lights and then those lines were eaten up as hundreds of people hurriedly crossed. I watched it over and over again. Later I crossed it over and over again. I could never get enough of the place. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being in the swell of humanity surging across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. I got so many photographs of it in the two times I have been to Tokyo, but this one is my favourite.

July

July

Finding a favourite from the iPhone images of that month is not so easy. There are so many I really like. I could have chosen any of these:

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Ununiforming the individual

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In life it is not what happens to you

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Shibuya

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Distances

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Street Portrait

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Faint heart

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This nagging knowingness

 

 

But the one I keep coming back to is one I wrote about when I posted in July. One that is part of a series of images I am working on related to the concept of distances. There is something which captivates me about this.

July

July

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support and kindness in 2015.

Kiss that future…

 

September 18 2014

Bringing this series to a close with a departing shot of a passerby on a bicycle. Taking photographs is more than a hobby; it documents my life. This series is special to me. Looking through the images the sense of not wanting the moment to end is so strong for me. I knew that my time in Shibuya was coming to an end and I wanted to soak it in as much as I possibly could.

This is now, this is where I am, I remember saying to myself seeing the intersection of the Shibuya Scramble Crossing cleared of traffic. I am in Tokyo! Japan! For an instant, the deserted zebra crossing appeared calm, the brilliant white starkly contrasted against the black. It was late night. The green man flashed and the swelling surge of people began to move. Unable to resist, I moved with them. I got to the centre of the crossing and just stopped. Causing an obstacle for others, they waltzed around me. The loud hum of their conversations and the beat of their passing filled the air. I stayed there until the green man started flashing and the last few pedestrians hurried to get across. Eventually, I was alone in the centre of the crossing. A silence descended. On all sides of me cars, taxis, motor bikes, trucks, every sort of vehicle were readying to go. I had to move. But this was the moment. Pause was pressed. I even rewound a little and paused again to take it all in. This is now, this is where I am, I was saying to myself. This is Tokyo! This is the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. My breathing quickened and I scanned the options. If I stayed a second longer, this moment would not become a memory, it would become my last. The traffic, at first edging, was now pushing forward with intent. I ran. Seconds later, catching my breath, I leant on the pole of a street light and the traffic rushed past, but I was not watching it. Already, I was recalling the moment that had just passed. Already reliving it.

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Pressing pause in Shibuya

 

Here is a colour photo taken with the iPhone of the crossing. Night is falling and the neon lights up. I like the simplicity of this photograph.

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Stopping time in Shibuya