Tokyo Is For Lovers...
Whether you are an art lover, neon lover, adventure lover, arcade lover, book lover, cat lover, music lover, fashion lover, or about any other type of lover you can think of, Tokyo has what you are looking for. But, there is one type of lover that I especially relate to: photography lovers.
Sure, it is easy to find photo galleries and camera service centers. Within minutes, you can find Nikon and Canon stores and hipster camera stores selling leather straps. But, it is even quicker to find an interesting subject to make a photo of in Tokyo.
In photography chat groups and popular discussion boards, I see a topic tirelessly repeated amongst my colleagues. Many photographers endlessly complain about how they would shoot "better" photographs if they lived in a place that was inspirational to them. Photographers from all over the world seem to grumble about their current home base.
Everyday I hear photographers claim that there is "nothing to shoot." Sadly, these shutterbugs want to turn their lens on a world that they don't know, instead of the world they do. While I too love travel photography, I get just as much satisfaction pointing my camera at everything Tokyo.
Even though I have lived in Asia for eight years, I am still constantly inspired by the surroundings of my adoptive home. People watching on the inbound and outbound trains never gets old, nor do the lights and glitz of Ginza, gloved taxi drivers, ginko trees, elderly women sweeping temples, fashionable youth of Koenji, or the neighborhood fruit vendors. I love photographing the back alleys and seeing the seasons change within the confines of the city. I adore the delicate food and the massive power towers. Even a single cigarette butt on the sidewalk is fascinating (seeing that there is hardly ever litter to be found in Tokyo) and worthy of a snapshot.
For those photographers with a drive to shoot "something different," I urge you to revisit what you already know. Take a deep look at what, at first glance, appears to be mundane and then get all Matrix with it. "Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth... There is no spoon. Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends but only yourself." See the mundane in a new way and challenge yourself to photograph what you know in ways that you didn't know were possible.
Tokyo remains a city for lovers; especially photography lovers. But, Tokyo isn't the only city for image makers, for image lovers. Photographers should be able to find and shoot inspirational frames in any place they call home.
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