More thoughts from Japan

Photo © Bob Krist

Why do I love shooting in Japan?

First, there’s so much exotic stuff to see despite the ultra-first world surroundings.

Which means you’re clean, safe, and well fed but you still get to shoot exotic subjects (like this meiko, or geisha-in-training, from the Gion district of Kyoto, who performed at our farewell banquet).

D90, 70-300mm at 300mm, ISO 1600 1/125th @f5.6

It’s such a high tech place that you can feel like a real hick just trying to use the bathroom (every hotel toilet I encountered in Japan had a control console that offered a variety of comfort and,um, cleaning options guaranteed to blow your mind, not to mention blow dry your bottom!).

When I first came here in the 80’s, using the bathroom was a challenge because you had to figure out how to use the hole in the floor with the footrests.

Now, it’s similarly challenging, but only slightly less involved than programming a VCR. That’s progress!

And when you’re out shooting, you know right away that you are in photography’s epicenter, a nation of camera buffs.

I saw enough exotic Ricoh point and shoots, micro 4/3 cameras, and ingenious mini tripods and camera clamps to make a B&H salesman’s head swoon.

And nobody looked twice at me, an oversized gaijin, with my two DSLR bodies and largish camera bag. In a nation of serious shooters, I’m just one (albeit a big one) of the crowd!  It’s refreshing.

More coming from the Silk Road. I’ll keep you posted.

This entry was posted in Destinations, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Technology, Travel.


  1. Paul Dymond April 22, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    The thing I love the most about photographing in Japan is that you’re not treated like a freak. Ask someone if you can take their photo and you’re not treated like a pedophile or deviant. Photography is considered an art form and it’s practioners artists. Not many places in the world that happens any more

    • Bob April 22, 2010 at 8:22 am #

      Amen Paul. You’re a lucky guy to get to spend so much time here! Bob

  2. Robert McClintock April 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I had the opportunity to visit Japan in 1976, in the semi-rural area north of Tokyo. At one shrine, I found an empty camera case on the ground. Picking it up and waving it, I yelled (politely) “Sumimasen, sumimasen.” (Roughly, “Excuse me.”) A Japanese tourist ran over to me, smiled, thanked me, and bowed as I gave the case to him. He promptly put it back on the ground, and ran off to get take more photos.
    It was a different world, and one I dearly miss.
    Great shots, as usual.

    • Bob April 23, 2010 at 12:37 am #

      Great story, Bob, thanks for sharing it! Bob

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