I often get asked how I have so much time to ‘go shooting’.   The reality is I rarely ever ‘go shooting’ but rather I always have my camera with me.  My approach: Never leave home without it.    It is an extension of me.  It is part of my wardrobe as my wife says.  Legendary photographer Jay Maisel once said ‘Integrate photography into your life. If you always carry a camera, you never have to go out shooting. Use it as a diary or journal.’

I know many people are in the beginning of 52 or 365 projects and will be struggling with how they are going to be able to take all these photos.  Where are they ever going to find the time to go and do all this shooting?

There are always scenes unfolding in front of you if you are attentive enough to notice them.  This is a learned skill and becomes easier over time.  The number one thing you can do to increase your chances of capturing these scenes is to have your camera with you.

Yesterday I had a brutal work day with a tremendous amount of work to get done.   My schedule looked something like this:

5:45am – awake

7:00am – out the door

7:45am – at my desk

12:22am – finished work

2:20am – returned home

I couldn’t have possibly had time to take any photos…

I love shooting and capturing my commute.  I do the exact same path every day but I can always find something I haven’t seen before or see it in a new way…

If I hit this train crossing at Yoyogi at the wrong time I can get stuck for a long time.  I think the longest I have waited here is 17 minutes.  This crossing is the entrance to Shinjuku Station one of the busiest train stations in the world.

I looked up as I entered my office building, the same building I have entered for 11 years and there was something about how the clouds were reflecting in the windows or the light hitting the lines in the building that made me step back and picture of it…  My office is up on the 29th floor.    I was up on the 26th floor when the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck last year.  You can see a video of my building shaking on YouTube.

I have made it a habit when I get onto my office floor to see what is happening outside…

Often you can catch some beautiful light if you are early…

I finished up my work just after midnight…

I arrived at an empty Shinjuku Station after most of the last trains but in time for mine…

Well it wasn’t completely empty… These two very funny and very drunk guys stopped me for a chat.  It went something like this;

Japanese Guy 1: ‘Hey…ah…you’re from Germany..go Germany!’

Japanese Guy 2 ‘ドイツ人ですか?’ (are you German?)

Japanese Guy 1: ’ドイツ人はかっこいいです!(Germans are cool)

Me: ‘私はアメリカ人ですよ。ボストンです’ (I am American, from Boston)

Japanese Guy 2: ‘Boston is so cool…’

Japanese Guy 1: ‘ボストンはどこですか?’ (Where is Boston)

Japanese Guy 2: ‘ニューヨークのいちぶです’ (It’s part of New York)

Japanese Guy 1: ‘Boston is cool…’

Me: ‘どうもありがとう’ (Thanks)

Japanese Guy 1: ‘あなたのカメラはこかっこいいです。わたしいにみせてください。’

Me: ‘え。。と。。じゃ、あなたのしゃしんとっていいですか?’ (ah…how about I take your photo instead)

Me: ‘チーズ’ (Cheese)

I have seen this scene thousands of times but this time I decided to stop down to a smaller aperture thus allowing me to use a slower shutter speed and capture the blur of the train racing by behind the crowd waiting for their last train.

I stopped to take a photo of this wanted poster.  I am not sure if this is getting much news coverage internationally but the man in the middle is Makato Hirata who was one of the senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo Doomsday Cult that was responsible for the 1995 Tokyo Subway sarin gas attack that killed 13 people and sickened thousands more.  He has been wanted for kidnapping and murder charges and on the run for the past 15 years.   He tried to surrender at a police station last weekend but the police officer thought it was a joke and won’t arrest him.  The police officer told if he wanted to surrender he would need to go to another police station that was a half mile away.   He kept telling the officer he was on a special wanted list but the officer just ignored him so finally he walked to the other police station and was immediately arrested.

You know you are late when they are closing the station doors on you…

I stopped off at my favorite standing bar in Shibuya for a bite to eat on my way home…

I jumped into a cab and headed home…

There is always time to take pictures…you just need to make sure you have your camera with you.   If you like what you saw today, please share it by clicking one of the icons below.

 

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