A Historic Photography Walk Through Motomachi, Yokohama

It was definitely time again for me to find photography classes and go on a photography walk guided by a professional photographer. Finding any kind of classes in English for non-Japanese speakers is tough in Japan! Thankfully, I was able to get offered small group classes through work connections and as it’s still kinda summer in the Tokyo area right now, we set off on a late afternoon to explore the Motomachi / Yamate neighbourhood with our cameras.

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We started off on aperture mode to focus on one object with blurred backgrounds.

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There’s definitely no shortage of beautiful flowers in Japan! Something is always in bloom…

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One of the main characteristics of the Motomachi / Yamate area are the European-style houses that were built when the first foreigners started moving to this particular area of Yokohama, which opened its port to the western world in 1853.

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As you can see, the light is getting darker and darker and we had to start changing settings by the minute! Which ISO and shutter speed works best in combination with our aperture in the darker light? We really tested out our settings!

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For me, crows are evil creatures. I always found them creepy and scary, but since moving to Japan, they also really annoy me! Compared to Europe or the US, Japan doesn’t have pidgeon problems but instead crow problems, which literally roam the streets to pick out edible pieces from trash collection bins, make lots of noise and sometimes even attack strolling pedestrians.

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This is easily one of my favourite houses in the Motomachi area and this particular photo reminds me so much of the Former French Concession in Shanghai!

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Getting a detailed shot, with specific items in the foreground, makes such a big difference. Just zoom in a little bit and you have a completely different picture. Notice the ‘Cherry Sand’ item on the menu? In one of my first weeks in Japan, a Japanese waiter exlained to me: “We just call sandwich ‘sand’, it’s short and simple.”

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For some reason looking at this church always takes me back to Yorkshire, York in particular. The warm outside temperature, though, reminds me that I’m on the other side of the world.

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So often, we wait and wait for a good photo opportunity and all of the sudden you get your one shot (in this case: lots of different interesting people walking their dogs) and you blow it, because you didn’t have enough time to get all your settings right.

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I took so many photos of this French restaurant as the light was just beautiful with the romantic street lights, the orange-yellowy lights around the house and the gentle sunset in the background.

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We realised we had taken so many photographs within such a short time and it was time to go… The sun had set, the moon was out… One last shot of the moon…

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Anyone got a tele-lens?

– Her

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