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Asakusa district, Tokyo, Japan, 2015.

Asakusa district at dusk, Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan, 2015.

I don’t define myself as a pure street photographer, but rather as an urban photographer. The motive is simple: I enjoy capturing the city above all, not necessarily the city’s people. Combined with my passion for travels, mixed together, it results to a lot of cityscapes that not only shows the city, but also the interaction with the people there. I don’t want to just see the buildings, I want to see the traffic, the way people behave in the city.

This shot was taken very close the the Senso-Ji buddhist temple in the Asakusa district in Tokyo’s Taito ward. There is a tourist information spot at the ground floor opened until late in the evening. There, a lift can take you to the 8th floor and let you enjoy the view over one of Tokyo’s most famous temples, as well as on the Sky Tree. Unfortunately, it was quite a cloudy day and the Sky Tree, here in the middle of the photo, was hidden by this very dense sea of clouds. That’s also why we never reached the top of the Sky Tree during our trip… Nevermind, it’s now on the list for the next visit!

I like this photo because it represents quite well what Tokyo looks like. Big, small buildings, one over the other, with almost no space to breath. It is one of the very first prints I’ve ever done for myself… and it now stands in my living room!

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition! A color edition exists too, don’t hesitate to contact me for more information and a quotation.

EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/9.0
  • Focale: 24mm
  • Shutter speed: 1s
  • ISO: 50
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2015, all rights reserved

Arashiyama bamboo forest, Kyoto, Japan, 2015.

Arashiyama bamboo forest, Kyoto, Japan, 2015.

During our trip to Japan one of the “must see” location was the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto. It’s definitely one of Japan’s iconic places we see in each and every travel documentation about the country, and as we were going to spend a few days in Kyoto, a few hours were dedicated to the bamboos.

However what you usually don’t see on the pictures is that… you’re not the only one there. Saying that this place is pretty crowded is very optimistic. It’s almost impossible to take a clean shot, even with longer exposures. While the place is beautiful, I was a bit disappointed not to be able to come back home with my photo of the bamboo forest. At least, Japanese people are calm and silent, they respect the calm of the place.

But, there is a trick.

Go north up to the Sagatoriimoto Sennocho district, and look for the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji buddhist temple. This temple has more than 8000 buddhist statues that represent the souls of the dead, it’s very impressive. But, there is this stair, between the bamboos, that leads to the temple’s cemetery… the one up there in photo! In order to do not be the typical gaijin that will disturb the zen of the temple I’ve just taken a few shots in those stairs and continued my way, but the result is in my humble opinion quite stunning.

And, by the way, 200 m down the road to the temple, there is a nice coffee shop with a permanent exposition of photos of the neighborhood of the first part of the 20th century, as well as a few old cameras. The perfect stop for travellers!

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition!

EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/8.0
  • Focale: 41mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • ISO: 800
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2015, all rights reserved

As you guys know now, I’m a big fan of black and white. The majority of the photos on this website are black and white. I think I see better in black and white than in colors anyhow 🙂 That’s why I started this series of videos, Going Black & White. Every 2 weeks, I want to give you tips and tricks to shoot and process your shots in black and white using the most popular tools on the market. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop of course, and Google’s Nik Collection’s tool, Silver Efex Pro and Analog Efex Pro, in a few weeks. We’ll see later on if I can introduce other tools.

I will also do some on the field videos on how to “see” in black & white when you take your photo. It makes only things easier later on if you already prepare your shot while having in mind what look you want to give to it, either in camera or during your post processing session.

This very first video is about converting to B&W a photo I’ve shot in the Munich airport in June 2016. It has got an interesting impact with a lot of lines and its dutch angle. Here are the resources I talk about in the video:

As it’s the very first video of this series, please be forgiving 🙂 However, I’d really appreciate constructive feedback below, in order to help me to make those videos better! And don’t hesitate to subscribe either on my Youtube channel or to the newsletter in order to be notified when a new video appears!

Bucharest Underground. Bucharest, Romania, 2016.

Bucharest Underground. Bucharest, Romania, 2016.

It’s been a while I haven’t spent a little bit of time in Bucharest. I’ve lived there for almost a year, but since I’ve left 9 years ago I’ve concentrated my visits to the concert halls, the French Embassy or the airport. Mot much of a visit! But this time, as I was invited as special guest by the On Spot street photography group, I managed to take a little more time to wander in Bucharest’s older quarter, and much more, in its metro.

As for Airports, I love shooting in the metro. For the same reasons I think: lines, contrast, movement… There is something else that airports don’t have: the proximity. No large spaces here, you are close to the people. You are next to them, no matter what. Which is not necessary a bad thing. Isn’t it Robert Capa who said: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” ? So you get the graphical environment of the airports at a smaller, closer scale. Not bad 🙂

This particular photo isn’t a close shot, it’s true. I was first attracted by the floor and its contrasty lines and shapes, which continue on the metro’s wagon. I got my fair amount of line with the vertical pillars and the other metro on the other side of the station. But what makes this photo is the look of the man. In my first shots, which were framed a bit better I must say, he wasn’t looking at me. But when he looked at my side with his bored face, I know it would be the keeper shot, even if I’ve just changed my position. Bored people are the best!

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition!

EXIFs:

  • Camera:Fujifilm X100T
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Focale: 23mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • ISO: 6400
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

Strangers in the dark III. Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Strangers in the Dark III. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2015.

Third item from my “Strangers in the Dark” ongoing project, this photo is very intriguing but also very dear to me. I’ve passed by the little street I’ve shot it maybe a hundred time before that night of December, and I have never noticed anything. It’s an old street with cobblestones, in the older center of Cluj-Napoca, very narrow, which gives on the Union Square. I’ve almost been there only by day, it was obviously a mistake, you have to go there by night.

It was a cold, winter night. I’ve just finished a bad day at work, I remember it was “not a good day for science”, as they say… I needed to get my head clear, why not grabbing my now always-by-my-side Fujifilm X100T and get some fresh air… and maybe a few shots. When I was on the sidewalk on the Union Square I saw this steam cloud, and knew there was something to do with it. After a first few shots from far away, the light from a shop on the right got lit up and this huge, staring face made its appearance!

It was time for me to dive a little deeper in this dark street and take advantage of this new scene. Always observe what’s happening, how you scene is changing, that’s what I call owning the scene. Then I just need a little more patience to get the steam cloud visible enough and have people passing by, to get the right shot. A lot of patience actually, as the wind started to blow, it was pretty cold out there… But it’s worth it, the effect is pretty spectacular, isn’t it?

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition!

EXIFs:

  • Camera:Fujifilm X100T
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Focale: 23mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • ISO: 6400
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2015, all rights reserved