It took a full week, but I finally got my laptop back, and it is working fine again (on top of that it has also been completely cleaned). It is a big relief given the price of these things, but I have to say this week without computer has been a good and productive one. I suddenly had the time to go to places I would have otherwise never been. Like in the Kanda area last weekend, for example. Or like the Kasai Rinkai Park yesterday.
This park is easily accessible from central Tokyo via the JR Keiyo line. Its main features are the Tokyo Sealife Aquarium, a huge Ferris Wheel and a Sea Bird Sanctuary.
There are several viewing spots located around the Sea Bird Sanctuary, where bird watchers and photographers can gather. The longest lens I had with me was the XF50-140mm F2.8, which is definitely a too short focal range in this situation. I will probably come back once the “super telephoto zoom” (XF100-400mm?) becomes available for rent (Q1 2016?).
The park is located near the beach, so you will also encounter loads of crabs while you walk around.
The huge Ferris Wheel is the main landmark of the park, and looks great at night when it is illuminated.
Thanks to the holiday break, I was finally able to go to the Observatory deck on the 40th floor of the World Trade Center tower in Tokyo (closest stations: Daimon and Hamamatsucho). With the clear sky that you can usually only found in Tokyo during winter, I was hoping on getting a nice view on the city with a colorful sunset. Unfortunately, part of my cunning plan fell over when I saw the “no tripod” sign at the entrance of the deck. So here was the question: what to do when shooting a cityscape at dusk, without a tripod?
But then, what to do once the scene becomes too dark and there is no trick you can use to replace a good old tripod (like using your bag as a stand and putting your camera on it while your bag keep on falling over and over… yeah, we’ve all been there!)?
Basically, you are on location, and realize you can’t get the shot you had in mind… But that does not mean you cannot get another shot, completely different from what you were thinking in the first place: use the long shutter speed at your advantage and experiment with panning techniques for example. Or, like I did, try your luck with some abstract/impressionism type of shots: set your shutter speed anywhere slower than 1s, and move your camera in every more or less random directions during the exposure. You know you are doing it right when the people next to you start to look at in a suspicious way, wondering how come you seem to be having so much fun!
PS1: if you have a small camera like the Fuji X-E1 I was using that day, you can discreetly use a small tripod by hiding it between the window and your body, and get your shot without anybody noticing anything:
PS2: as far as the World Trade Center in Tokyo is concerned, there were actually a lot of people using big tripods without getting any kind of complaint from the Tower staff, despite of the “no tripod” sign
PS3: even in places where the usage of tripods is usually forbidden, you might be granted the permission exceptionally, if you ask for it in advance and in a polite way 😉
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