Black and white slow exposure photo in Shinagawa station, Tokyo
© 2013 Alfie Goodrich. All rights reserved.

Ballet, Shinagawa Station, Tokyo

This is somewhere I walk through fairly often: the Konan exit/entrance of Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. It's about 3kms from our flat and about 1km from where I drop my youngest son off to nursery each day. Canon's S Tower, gallery and photo-library/cafe is close-by too, so after dropping Charlie at school for the day I will often swing by the library.

One thing I really like about this spot is the backlight. Then there are the lines and the constant crowds of people.

Reducing everyone to silhouettes here is a piece of cake: spot meter off of the bright parts of the frame, expose for them and all the people will just silhouette out. I tend to always shoot in manual but even if you shoot in a semi-automatic mode, this sort of thing is easy: point the metering spot at the bright parts of the scene, lock the reading with the AE lock button.

Getting the blur on the people means this is a shot driven by shutter-speed: in the daytime that probably means first choosing a low ISO, 100 for instance. Get yourself into S [Tv] mode and select a speed of around 1/6th sec. That's the speed at which you get the stationary leg of a moving person rendered perfectly sharp; the other leg is blurred but the whole figure retains a level of clarity that means you can still see it is a person.

In this shot I liked most the lady just right of centre... with that one sharp, high-heeled boot. :-)

There are some fashion shots at this link, made a year or so ago in this very same spot with +Shinyong Lee

...scroll about halfway along the gallery and you'll see them.


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  1. Nice shot and explanation, thanks! I always was fascinated by the 'tunnel' there (behind you from the POV of your photo) and the never ceasing stream of people in the mornings and evenings. Feels great to walk with the stream – awkward to walk against it (but it's fun haha).

    Never heard about that photo-library/cafe – is it from Canon, too? Might wanna check it out next time.

  2. Nice depth/layers to this shot…

  3. +holger feroudj Turn right when you get out of this exit. Stay on the same level, walk all the way along on the right-hand side of that upper-deck. Canon S Tower at the far end. Library is at the back. Loads of books, magazines, 150Y coffee: bingo! 🙂

  4. Thanks.  I never thought that is a good place for photos besides really dense population.

  5. Shinagawa, +Martin Ichan, is largely crap for photos. And anything else actually: no atmosphere at all. But, the Inter City building area is awesome for photos. The fashion shots at that link are one occasion I have used it for a shoot but that's one.. have used it for portraits and loads of different uses. This exit of the station and the massive atrium just before it [behind me in this shot] is wonderful.

  6. Sounds like paradise +Alfie Goodrich thanks for the tip 🙂

  7. Nice shutter speed and placement of subjects. B&w nice choice too

  8. I shoot in monochrome when I want monochrome. I still shoot RAW all the time but shooting in mono [in one of the custom picture controls I have created for my Nikon] and seeing it on the screen helps me think in monochrome. Love the flexibility of the digital camera [RAW] but I shoot the DSLR with a film head on me: wanna shoot mono, put mono film in the camera…

  9. Great shot.  Walked through there dozens of times and your shot creates the feeling here beautifully.

  10. I need to get myself to Japan! Lovely image again +Alfie Goodrich!

  11. Excellent picture , with depht and perfect in B&W . I agree with you about the ladys boot to the right of centre.Thank´s for sharing photoinfo !

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