Or ‘strolling the streets of Japan with a Leica’
Japan has been having a hell of a year, possibly the worst in living memory. The Tohoku earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and the meltdown of the Fukushima reactors taking a massive toll, not just physically and economically, but also mentally. Japanese people have shown massive strength in the face of insurmountable odds, but they are human (despite what the cartoons would have you believe) and they are exhausted.
This summer in Japan we have been told that we must reduce our use of air conditioners and electricity, as capacity is not enough to hold up to demand, and to compound this we now have to be careful about what we eat, as they are finding cesium everywhere . Now this is not meant to be a rant about government, although I would gladly rant about their ineptitude. This is meant to be a show of some of the images I have been taking in Tokyo over the last few weeks. Trying to highlight that people are still living, and enjoying life here.
I got my Leica last month and I decided that I really want to make the most of it during the summer this year. Many summer festivals have been cancelled because of the earthquake, so the ones that are happening are all the more important to people. You can really feel the spirit and the energy of the people coming through when you go. I really want to try and capture some of that feeling, as I think it is even more important this year for people to be able to have fun and take their minds off the doom and gloom.
I have been in Japan for over 7 years now and this is the first time that I felt like people were really excited about the festivals, so I have been trying to go to as many as possible. I really wanted to be able to move smoothly and inconspicuously through the crowds, which is why I decided on Leica for this summers shooting.
Getting the Leica has been a revelation for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Nikon, but this camera is something else completely. Shooting street with a Leica is fast, smooth and very low key, you can just blend into the scenery. You can get closer to your subjects and really see what is going on.
I love the feeling, the noise and the smells of the Japanese summer festivals, and this time I feel like I have really managed to capture that through some of the images I have taken with the Leica. I have completely fallen head over heels for my M6 and if you have not shot a Leica, then I compel you to do so, you will not regret it.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and that they convey a sense of hope, which is what we need here right now. It has been tough but Japan will get through it.
Please feel free to comment on the pictures or anything, I always enjoy hearing from you all.