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 Post Has 4 Comments

  1. 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

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

  2. Bob,
    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.

    1. Great story, Bob, thanks for sharing it! Bob

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