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Japan Through A Traveller’s Lens: HHWT’s Photo Essay (With Photography Tips!)

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Farzana •  Nov 17, 2017

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For every nomad on foreign soil, common scenes of paved roads, tall buildings and lush green trees are sights calling for attention. Our camera rolls capture the Land of the Rising Sun, but the eyes of a traveller view differently from the everyday man. Every tiny detail fascinates its minds; as do ours as we marvel at the beauty that can't be put into words.

Tokyo

The view from the top is decked with endless rows of skyscrapers that showcase Japan's urbane sprawl.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

OverheadviewofAsakusa. Fromthishigh, weuseadifferentlenswhilegazingdownatthecity. Fromanon-native'sview, whatwillweseefirst?

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Photography tip: The best thing about photography is that the same place can look so different when shot from different levels. Look out for observation decks (like this one near Asakusa Station) and even bridges to capture the neighbourhood in one shot from high above!

Anunlikelyfriendship. LovingallofGod'screationisathreadthatrunsdeepinthisland.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Pure innocence in the happiest place on Earth, translating to genuine smiles on our faces.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

Tokyo Disneyland isaplacewhereyoucantrulyliveoutyourbestcharacter, regardlessofage.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Even your furry friends are all dolled up, ready to take on the day.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

Somearestillembracedinadreamylullaby... ?

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Photography tip: The best time to take a close-up shot of an animal is when it’s relaxed – for example, this adorable sleeping cat! Use a low f/stop (eg. f/2.8) to get a shallow depth of field, this will focus on your subject while the background blurs out. Don’t forget to get down and shoot from the animal’s eye level!

While othersarehardatworkontheirart

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Diligence, avirtuenotlostwiththeJapanese. Alessonforustostriveforperfection.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

OthersareimmersedintheirreligiousritualsLocalsandforeignerscometogetherunderonesacredhouse

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Theselittlefindsarepreciouskeepsakesforafascinatedwanderer

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

“Kawaii", servedin abento?

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Ofcourse, whatcouldputabiggersmileonourfacesthanyakiniku?

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Aplateofsushiinitslandoforigincan’t get any more authentic than this!

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Excitedexplorerslikeweare, readytohoponthe shinkansenforournextadventure.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Kyoto

Wherethejuxtapositionofcoloursagainstthemonochromaticpalettelightuptheentireplace?

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Being 'oneofthelocals' inthealleystreet, wonderinghowitllbetoseethroughtheireyes

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Photography tip: When we’re taking photos of people, we tend to place the subject in the center of the frame. Instead, try using the Rules of Thirds (the frame is divided into 9 sections) and place your subject at the intersections of the dividing lines. If you’re using a Sony camera, simply select the function that displays the Rule of Thirds grid on your camera screen, it’ll be much easier for you to frame your shot!

Walkingdownlandmarks, witnessingshrinesthatshowcasearichheritage, yethasgrowntobecomeaninfamousInstagrambackdrop. It'salmostimpossibletocaptureashotwithnooneinsight.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Observingtheritualsofthebelieverswheresincereprayersarecast

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Foreverytraveller, Kyoto'slikeaninfiniterainbow. Kaleidoscopecolours, eachonecarryingthewishesandhopesofothers.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Osaka

Suzana'sfeelingrightathome, eventhoughshe'sthousandsofmilesaway; inaplacewheremagicneverdies.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Withachugofnon-alcoholicbeerbyhersidetosweetentheday

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

And friendly Bob who’ll light up your day!

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Okonomiyaki, thepancakethat'llsurpriseyouwithitsvariousfillings

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Soon, duskhits. Likethecitythatneversleeps, Dotonboriisaliveeveninthenights. Andso, wecontinuecollectingthesememories.

Shot on Sony A7S II with Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

Kamakura

Asthecrimsonleavesfillupthebrightblueskies, ourheartssingwithenvyatthebeautythatceaselesslygreetsresidentseveryFall.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

Photography tip: When shooting autumn foliage, take note of the direction of the light – it changes your shot completely! For the image above, the back light allowed us to capture the sunlight shining through the leaves, bringing out the rich colours of the maple leaves.

Theleisurelypaceatwhichasingleleafslowlychangesfromagoldenbrowntoreddishhueisaremindertousthatchangeisconstant, yetbeautiful.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

Photography tip: If you’re not comfortable shooting on Manual mode, set your camera to Aperture Priority mode (A-mode) where you can change the aperture easily to capture the type of shot you want. If you’re holding up a leaf like the shot above, increase the aperture (smaller f-stop) as much as possible but if you would like to capture the entire fall foliage, reduce the aperture (larger f-stop)!

Kōtoku-in, hometothesecondtallestbronzeBuddhastatueinJapan. The 'GreatBuddha' sits, whilethepeoplestandinawe.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

Whilepeeringdownattherestoftheworld, weonlyfeelmorehumbleattheviewthatcaressus.

Shot on Sony RX1R II

Like the falling leaves, sorrow fill our hearts with every footstep leading back to home. Yet, memories in every photo make Japan impossible to be truly left behind. Roaming the streets, we yearned to live through the eyes of a wanderer. We got our wish, and so much more. The lens which we see, becomes a photo book to share with you ❤️️

All images were taken with the Sony RX1R II and A7S II, our favourite travel companions.

Thisarticlewasbroughtto you bySony Singapore.

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