Photoessay: A slice of green in Tokyo

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During my last trip to Tokyo – the workshop and the couple of spare days I had – one of the things I’d always wanted to do is find a bit of urban oasis in the concrete jungle of the city. It seems that the Japanese apply the same sort of perfection to their landscaping as they do to just about everything else – even though it seems at times that some parts of the composition may be chaotic, it’s probably intentional. On a more practical note, the gardens were used to provide easy perspective practice for that portion of the workshop. We visited Koishikawa garden near Iidabashi station – a little mini-enclave with several distinctively different areas to provide some variety.

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Personally, I was just happy to enjoy the flawless green grass of the Imperial Palace East Garden – open to the public, and supposedly with regular lunchtime concerts (though I was there at the appointed place and time, I guess it must have been the wrong day). One of the photographic ideas I continued to explore here (and you may have seen some evidence of this in my past work already) was layering and the use of projected surrealism – spot the Monet-a-like, and homages to Chinese painting in the fish. Though I like this for my personal work, I’ve yet to see any commercial potential here…

Thoughts and comments welcome as always; you can click the images to view larger versions via the flickr landing page, plus EXIF data if you click on the right column (‘The photo taken with an XXX’).

This series shot with an Olympus OM-D, 12/2 and Sony RX100.

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  1. Another appealing and well-executed set of images … one the reasons I visit your site often.

    I love the colour rendition in your images and there’s a consistency from one camera to another … do you have an automated colour calibration process or do you somehow tweak the colours by eye?

  2. Beautiful rendering of the flowers in the pond (# 2); Very reminiscent of French Impressionism. The urban shot (#5) is a textbook example of great framing! Also, cool picture of the carp with the trees reflected in the pool! (# 10)

    On a different topic: I had suggested that you look into writing a guidebook for the E-M5. I have since learned that David Busch is about to publish such a book. Keep it in mind for future versions of the camera….

    Best wishes.

    • Thanks Joseph. I’ve considered/ been asked for guidebooks in the past, but the way I shoot seems to be so different to everybody else I know in terms of camera setup etc that I don’t know how useful it’d be; we’ll see. 🙂

  3. Jorge Balarin says:

    Guau Ming, your photos are superb. Greetings, Jorge.

  4. Gorgeous pictures. Very calming

  5. A little bit more abstract series, but works pretty well. I think the layering emphasis does come through with surface reflections something that seems to help this quite well.

    Now I’m guessing there are a few chaotic inner city ‘layer’ shots to counter all this zen nonsense 🙂

  6. Pardon me, isn’t it the second picture from top should be on horizontal orientation? Nice set of pics, Ming

  7. Beautiful indeed!

  8. Gorgeous photos, really beautiful!

  9. Beautiful composition and optimisation of light. Truly inspiring.

  10. Very calming, zen-like photographs. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Beautiful pictures Ming! THank you for sharing!

  12. great series =), even though I just purchased a M9, I find myself going back to the OMD and even the canon s95 for carefree shooting

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