Street Photography Tokyo with my Fujifilm X100F: What an absolutely cathartic experience.
As you know, I have been using the GFX 50R since around June and as wonderful as that camera is, the GFX range will never be “small”.
I’ve missed using my beloved X100F and so, whilst on a business trip to Japan last week, I decided to only take my X100F.
Not having to worry about gear, lenses, and choices.
23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) is the focal length I seem to shoot a vast majority of my work with.
I absolutely loved the freedom of shooting with it once again.
If you want to dig straight into the travel vlog element, my YouTube of my brief time in Tokyo is below.
Once you’ve watched the video, there are plenty more stills below and I’ll explain a little more about the shooting procedure that I adopted:
Street Photography Tokyo the Travel Vlog:
Street Photography Tokyo the Stills:
In the video, I mention that I only have my X100F with me.
However, the X-T3 was purely for the small amount of vlogging and was left in the hotel for the vast majority of the time.
My X70 was only used a couple of times as I made the choice once I landed in Narita to just use the X100F.
Street Photography Tokyo the Hakone Shrine
My business meetings completed, I managed to get a brief trip to the Hakone Shrine.
The Hakone Shrine is a Japanese Shinto shrine on the shores of Lake Ashi in the town of Hakone in the Ashigarashimo District of Kanagawa Prefecture.
It was a very brief stop, where I had a Buddhist blessing but the weather was very bad.
Photography is not allowed in the Shrine so I made a couple of pictures of the other tourists buzzing around the beautiful grounds.
Street Photography Tokyo – The bus to Tokyo
The bus journey back to Tokyo was fairly long. Lots of traffic and poor weather not helping.
I kept myself amused by taking selfies in the window and trying to find interesting light compositions.
Street Photography Tokyo – Shooting in Black and White
If you watch the video, you’ll see I mention that I always shoot in a monochrome film simulation. Even if shooting RAW.
You can read more about my reasons for shooting in black and white here but in essence, it’s because I find it much easier to see the light. The fall off and density of the shadows are easier to see for me using a monochrome film simulation.
I actually shot everything in JPEG + RAW and used my Padilla Custom Settings throughout the trip.
The editing process of these images was actually finalised in the amazing Alien Skin Exposure X4. It’s a software package that I’m using far more now X4 is a more refined product.
In Tokyo, everything works. It just….does.
There is a reason for everything, and almost, it seems, a person for every job.
This gentleman, for example, is almost certainly a retired person who’s role now is to warn traffic that there are roadworks ahead.
He didn’t seem that enamoured by the job in fairness, though it was raining very heavily. I had a lot of sympathy for him.
Street Photography Tokyo – Shibuya Crossing
It’s at the wonderfully functional Shibuya Crossing that I spent much of my time.
I know it’s a tourist hot spot, and actually, on a Saturday evening, it seemed that there were more westerners that Japanese people there.
However, it really gave me a chance to do what I love to do and that’s looking for the light, stop and wait.
I probably spent a couple of hours standing in one space.
And I think many of the images are from the same location.
Of course, there are various approaches to Street Photography and my personal approach is candid moments of real people.
I’ll let the camera give me the exposure (using spot metering) and, assuming the light isn’t changing, I’ll dial that exposure in manually and wait until an image I want to capture occurs.
Street Photography Tokyo – The men Rinzi and Bert
On the trip, I finally got to meet one of my Street Photography heroes, Rinzi Ruiz.
He’s been a long time online buddy of mine, and to meet him in person.
It was lovely to hang, shoot and have a beer was a great honour for me.
You really should check out his work.
And of course, no trip to Japan would be complete without my partner in crime Bert Stephani – a great friend and in fact, he’s the one shooting the interview parts in the video on my X-T3.
Street Photography Tokyo – An Introduction to the In Built Flash on the X100F
I rarely use anything other than ambient light for my wedding photography.
I’ve never, ever used the inbuilt flash on the X100F before.
Luckily I had Bert with me who is a flash wizard and he helped me to switch on the thing and get going.
It’s not something I would do regularly, but I feel with the hustle and bustle of Shibuya crossing.
On a Saturday evening where flashes are going off everywhere, it was a great place to experiment.
And you know what, these might be my favourite images from the day…..
It was a wonderful time, and I feel like I spent it with an old friend.
Not Rinzi, or Bert, but my Fuji X100F.
It’s been too long and I will endeavour to use the camera so much more in the future.
I feel with all the new recent arrivals in the camera world, from Fujifilm and others.
I’ve been guilty myself of not “seeing the woods for the trees”.
Don’t get me wrong, the X-T3 is by far the best camera I have for weddings.
And the GFX 50R also has it’s place in my camera bag.
But for pure, enjoyable, back to basics photography – the X100F is still the king.
Happy Snapping – Kevin
PS – The bag I’m using in the film is my new Street Photography bag from Wootan Craft