Tag Archives: Tokyo Street Photography

Colour or Black and White

Sometimes I am stuck. Both look good, but you dilute by posting both. Choose one. Black and white more often than not wins out.

Here are some recent shots that I loved both in colour and black and white, but ultimately only posted one version. All shot in Shibuya, Tokyo on a Nikon D7000.

Which do you prefer?


Shibuya: April, 2016 (Black and white)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Black and white)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Colour)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Colour)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Black and white)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Black and white)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Colour)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Colour)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Black and white)

Shibuya: April, 2016 (Black and white)

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

blur is a still-undressing girl

Been neglecting the blur of late – got to correct that. Starting a series of blurred photographs from Tokyo. 







Got love it


I love

Tokyo Romantics

Tokyo Romantics

No hiding it

No hiding it

Posted in photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Florence International Photography Awards

IT was a great honour to win ‘Best in Show’ at the Florence International Photography Awards with my iPhone photograph of Shibuya Night. Here is a little background piece I wrote about getting that shot on iPhone image

It was still lashing rain when I got out of the taxi in Shibuya. The driver left me in front of the entrance to my hotel. A little up ahead from me, people were heading for the last late-night trains home in a procession of umbrellas crossing that famous zebra-striped pedestrian crossing. The neon lights were rushing colourful reflections on the black and white street. A countdown had begun. In a short few hours, four to be exact, I would be leaving Tokyo. What to do: Head to the hotel room or stay out in the rain looking for that one last photo? I looked at the hotel entrance and saw the dimmed lights of the lobby and then looked at the scramble crossing – resplendent in the rain – and without hesitation headed there.

With my transparent, plastic umbrella held over me in one hand, my iPhone in the other and my Nikon swinging from my neck, I waited at the crossing for the green man t0 appear. At this late hour there were many fewer than the average 2000 people who cross at peak time during the day. I had been shooting through the plastic of the wet umbrella with the iPhone all day. I liked the bokeh it created and the somewhat surreal gloss it gave to the images, but as I waited for the green man to signal I had been looking at that man opposite me, that man who had been peering down at me for the past few days. That man with his hand open at his face and his fingers curved over his eye staring at me, and below him was this cackle of late-night hawkers handing out flyers for bars and clubs. I knew my frame.

The green man popped up and I moved with the others as we began to cross. I stopped about halfway to get some shots. There is about a two minute window to get across when the green man is up. A long time in photography. The green man began to flash and in an instant I was the last man standing in the centre of the crossing. Still, I stayed there in the centre. I did a slow pirouette, taking in the vast scape of all that is the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The air was fresh. The only sound I heard was the rain water as it splished and splashed under my shoes and I was saying to myself: All of this will just be a memory tomorrow, but I am here now; here now.

The squelch of tyres on the wet of the street alerted me to the oncoming traffic. Eyeballing the taxis I weaved my way to the safety of the other side of the crossing.

There in front of me, sheltering under plastic white umbrellas, were the late-night hawkers, shuffling about and handing out their flyers to those they perceived were the demographic the bars or clubs were trying to attract. Glances were thrown at me and clearly I did not fit that demographic.

Left alone, I began to frame the shot. There, among all the guys was this one girl, dressed in high heels and a mini skirt; her head bowed, engrossed in her phone. And above her, to the left this man overseeing it all. Click! I got it.


Shibuya Night: Best in Show at the Florence International Photography Awards

The countdown clock still tick-tocked my time away in Tokyo. The rain would not stop and I was getting tired. Things run their course and time in Tokyo was coming to an end. I waited for the green man to replace the red man and I crossed the Shibuya Scramble Crossing for the last time, leaving the neon of Shibuya for the low-lit lamps of the hotel.

The next day, sat on a plane heading home, I reviewed my images on my phone. This one I stopped on. Using the new version of Snapseed, I did a little editing. A few days later, I posted it to Instagram and then later to Flickr. It hit Explore, got more than a thousand faves. Then I entered it in the Florence International Photography Awards and to my great surprise it won ‘Best in Show’.

So glad the dimmed lobby lights of the hotel were no match to the rain-drenched Shibuya Scramble Crossing at night.

The adventure of photography. 

Posted in iPhone, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts, Street Photography, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

February 16 2015

Well, I think this must be the final image from Shibuya at night. To get so many shots from one location at the same time is unusual. And the great thing about it is that I have learnt a lot from these images. I can do better.

Shibuya Forever

Shibuya Forever


This iPhone image was taken yesterday in Cork. This very cool, young girl was getting some privacy as she checked her phone. An innovative way to use hair!



Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

February 13 2015

Friday the 13th. Unlucky for some who believe in that kind of thing.

Things on my mind today:



Knowing it is still being said

Knowing it is still being said

 In others we look to see

In others we look to see

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

February 9 2015

Two images today from Tokyo and Berlin.

A new week…

Hearing it said

Hearing it said

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

January 29 2015

Two photographs from Tokyo today. Two black and white photos. People in motion.



We are always here


I was never there


Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – July

July was all Japan. I posted 56 photos to Flickr in 28 days. Choosing a favourite from the DSLR images is easy for a change. I’ll never forget the excitement I experienced when I first caught a glimpse of Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The black and white lines of the pedestrian crossing were vast open space as the traffic stopped for the red lights and then those lines were eaten up as hundreds of people hurriedly crossed. I watched it over and over again. Later I crossed it over and over again. I could never get enough of the place. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being in the swell of humanity surging across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. I got so many photographs of it in the two times I have been to Tokyo, but this one is my favourite.



Finding a favourite from the iPhone images of that month is not so easy. There are so many I really like. I could have chosen any of these:


Ununiforming the individual


In life it is not what happens to you






Street Portrait


Faint heart


This nagging knowingness



But the one I keep coming back to is one I wrote about when I posted in July. One that is part of a series of images I am working on related to the concept of distances. There is something which captivates me about this.



Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support and kindness in 2015.

Kiss that future…


Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

September 18 2014

Bringing this series to a close with a departing shot of a passerby on a bicycle. Taking photographs is more than a hobby; it documents my life. This series is special to me. Looking through the images the sense of not wanting the moment to end is so strong for me. I knew that my time in Shibuya was coming to an end and I wanted to soak it in as much as I possibly could.

This is now, this is where I am, I remember saying to myself seeing the intersection of the Shibuya Scramble Crossing cleared of traffic. I am in Tokyo! Japan! For an instant, the deserted zebra crossing appeared calm, the brilliant white starkly contrasted against the black. It was late night. The green man flashed and the swelling surge of people began to move. Unable to resist, I moved with them. I got to the centre of the crossing and just stopped. Causing an obstacle for others, they waltzed around me. The loud hum of their conversations and the beat of their passing filled the air. I stayed there until the green man started flashing and the last few pedestrians hurried to get across. Eventually, I was alone in the centre of the crossing. A silence descended. On all sides of me cars, taxis, motor bikes, trucks, every sort of vehicle were readying to go. I had to move. But this was the moment. Pause was pressed. I even rewound a little and paused again to take it all in. This is now, this is where I am, I was saying to myself. This is Tokyo! This is the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. My breathing quickened and I scanned the options. If I stayed a second longer, this moment would not become a memory, it would become my last. The traffic, at first edging, was now pushing forward with intent. I ran. Seconds later, catching my breath, I leant on the pole of a street light and the traffic rushed past, but I was not watching it. Already, I was recalling the moment that had just passed. Already reliving it.


Pressing pause in Shibuya


Here is a colour photo taken with the iPhone of the crossing. Night is falling and the neon lights up. I like the simplicity of this photograph.


Stopping time in Shibuya


Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

September 15 2014


The week begins, not unlike the last.


The mathematics of self-esteem


photo (36)


Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |