Pedestrian Crossing, Shinjuku

Published! In JPG Magazine Issue 20
Submitted to Shoot from the Hip
Uploaded 31 Oct 2008 — 31 favorites
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© Brett East
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Submitted to Shoot from the Hip

  • in times square...
  • Pedestrian Crossing, Shinjuku
  • for the love of music
  • oops

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Taken with Toyo 45cf with a 90mm Rodenstock the film was Fuji Astia 100f. It's an interesting experience using a large format camera for street photography, without a viewfinder every shot is taken from the hip!
This image was taken last year while I was on a three month studio residency in Tokyo provided by the Australia Council For the Arts. I was there to photograph and paint Cosplayers and I had brought my trusty large format camera with me for the job. In the first few days I was in Tokyo I was amazed at the vibrancy and shear mass of humanity constantly jostling about before me, particularly at rush hour and I set about to capture this. The photograph is taken near Shinjuku Metro Station, Tokyo’s busiest, with over a million people passing though its turnstiles everyday.
Large Format photography is for the most part a photography of slow contemplation and construction of an image, and because of this, most images produced with a large format camera have a certain stillness and or are of predominantly of stationary objects; street photography is normally off the menu!
To capture something full of movement such as in this shot, I had to find something that was being repeated. Seeing the crossing I pre-visualized the photograph, and standing on the curb, set the exposure, depth of field and focus. I used a 90mm lens, which in 35mm terms is approximately a 28mm, for its wide view and depth of field. On the loading film into a large format camera it is no longer possible to view the image on the ground glass screen, so one must hope and pray!
As the cars stopped for the pedestrians, I rushed out into the middle of crossing dragging my huge camera with me- much to the mirth of the onlookers who were shortly to become my subjects. Plonking my camera down at the pre-imagined place, I waited for the two opposing streams of pedestrians to intermingle before releasing the shutter. I used a slow shutter speed to create the sense of movement and to homogenous the humanity that was passing before me. I could only get one shot, but I repeated the process again and this was the best of them

5 responses

  • Alex Lyons

    Alex Lyons said (2 Nov 2008):

    really nice long exposure, with a few still legs here and there

  • Gordan Jarić

    Gordan Jarić gave props (5 Nov 2008):

    very good! harmonious chaos. got my vote immediately!

  • day tripper

    day tripper said (5 Dec 2009):


  • Emma What?

    Emma What? said (21 Feb 2010):

    you have nerve.

    thats amazing, glad it got published!

  • Ioana Trifu

    Ioana Trifu (Deleted) said (1 Mar 2010):

    great photo! i am jealous i didn't take it myself! :)

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