Shooting Shinjuku

Shooting Shinjuku

I am still enjoying my exploration with Film.   I am on a business trip for the next two week and I brought along 5 rolls of Provia 100, Velvia 100, Ektar 100, 4 rolls of TMAX 400 and 2 rolls of TMAX 100.  Curious to see what I capture in lovely San Francisco.    I am going to be holding a photowalk with Vince Mo at the Googleplex on Friday 9/21.  Look for details coming soon.  Until then time for Shooting Shinjuku…

Today’s Configuration Leica M6J, Portra 160 and 800, various Leica lenses. 

I love shooting open train doors… inside is a world onto itself.

Tokyo Toyoko Line

Waiting for the train



Whoever thought of combining a pretzel with a croissant is a genius…

Jiyugaoka Bake Shop

Rest Room Shark

I don’t really understand this slogan…but I bought a pink one for my wife to support my favorite Bakeshop.

Bake Shop

I have seen a lot of these bikes lately and I have been enjoying soon myself in them.   One thing to remember with shooting reflections and your aperture setting – you need to set a depth of field that can cover the distance from the ‘mirror’ to the subject not from you to the ‘mirror’.  So if you shoot at f/2.8 you will have a very shallow depth of field and your subject will not be sharp.   In this case I shot at f/18 to get everything sharp.  It makes sense if you think through it but something to remember if you like to shoot wide open like I do.

Reflections in a motorcycle

Jiyugaoka Station

My stereotypical thought when I think of Asia… construction.


I loved this girl’s expression…

Waiting at Hachiko


I do not spend a lot of time in Shinjuku anymore now that I work in Roppongi.   My friend Chris was in town from Hong Kong staying in Shinjuku so we decided to meet up there for a bit of shooting.

Shinjuku Station


This guy was funny… he was very interested in my camera and then wanted to show me his.

Camera Man in Shinjuku


Tokyo Taxi

Chris has never been to Yakitori Alley so I took him for a walk through there…

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Smokey as always…

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Interesting… the beers are 100 yen at this end and started at 500 yen at the top of the alley.

Shinjuku's Yakitori Alley

Meet Chris…

Chris Handley


Motorcycle Helmet



No Smoking Police…

Smoking Police

I’m not sure hanging a ‘fish skeleton’ outside would attract customers in America…

Fish Skelton

Now I know Japan has a lot of fetishes… What is this one?   Old maid?

Old Maid

Jack Daniels

Flaming Motorcycle

For the technical minded:  I switch to Porta 800 for the rest of this post.

Giant robot women…

Giant Robots in Tokyo


Guitar Player in Shinjuku

After shooting we stopped for some beers and a bite to eat at Frigo in Shinjuku…

Frigo in Shinjuku

Frigo in Shinjuku

This girl was sitting near us and was very funny…

Funny girl at Frigo in Shinjuku

They have yummy beer…

Frigo in Shinjuku

Chris Handley at Frigo in Shinjuku

I eat too much shellfish in Japan…

Plate of cones

It is continuing

Cones in Tokyo

My local temple…

Temple in Jiyugaoka

Temple in Jiyugaoka

Temple in Jiyugaoka

I love that Japan is continuing the focus on supporting the Tsunami Victims…

Help for Tsunami Victims

Tom Tom in Jiyugaoka

Perhaps too much Tom Tom at the YiYi room…

Public Sleeping in Tokyo

I only go to ‘exciting’ bookstores…

Exciting Book Store

Not so lucky…

Lucky Strikes

We watch you


Me in the mirror

Me in the mirror

Side walk repair

Jiyugaoka at night

Closed come again

Thanks for stopping by today…


  • James Lim

    i hope that old maid is not a male..

  • SK Saito

    Thanks for the pics. I was just in Japan a few weeks ago. Brings back fond memories. I’m glad you showed a lot of film because I tried to shoot exclusively film when I was there, all the films you mentioned above. Thanks, man.

  • Hans ter Horst

    First off, fabulous to find another photographer exploring film, I know that it shouldn’t make a difference what kind of gear people are using, but with only the black and white film market growing, the more people return to film, the better :-)
    Anyway, I do love this series about Shinjuku, especially the photos you took at night or in restaurants, they immediately make me remember my fond memories of Shinjuku and Tokyo and the photos I took in Iseya restaurant in Kichijoji, Tokyo. Having said that, I think to most outstanding photo is the one you opened with, the bloke reacting to you photographing the people on the train. Some people say that street photography shouldn’t be intrusive, but this great photo proves that it can really work well!

  • Jen Xi

    I really love the colours and the grain. I took a break from film after I started shooting with the M8 but I’ve been shooting film again last week. I can’t wait to get my film developed at the lab!

  • Kurt

    Ah yes the large crossing in Shinjuku. I’ve caught many friendly airport busses from there :)

  • Mike

    Hi Dave, another great set of pictures; thank you for sharing. Your images make me wish that some manufacturer would make a resonably priced digital rangefinder camera.

  • Matthew Humphreys

    Excellent, excellent, excellent as always Dave.

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  • Clem

    Hi, I really like your pics and I wanna know what kind of films do you use. :)

  • Clem

    Okay, sorry, my bad (i’ve read just now from the top of the page). :)

  • Daniel Steinbock

    Just stumbled on your site tonight and have been here over an hour. Beautiful work. I’m shooting exclusively film these days. I hadn’t picked up my DSLR in so long, I decided to leave it behind when I moved to Tokyo from San Francisco last month.

    Where do you get your film processed? It sounds like you do your own scanning. I’m hoping to find a good lab that will scan at hi-res for me (~3000×5000). Recommendations?

    Would love to come along on your next film photo walk.

  • Dave

    Hi Daniel – I use Popeye Camera in Jiyugaoka. They are great. I was scanning my own but so happy with what they give me on a CD that I mostly use that now. I would give them a try.

  • Dave

    日本語はだいじょぶです。 このしゃしんはフィルムです。

  • Dave

    Thanks Matthew…

  • Dave

    Thanks Mike. Reading Leica’s recent announcements it looks like the next Leica round with the new Leica ME will drop the entry price to $6,200. I think the prices of the Leica M9 and M8s will become very cheap at that point as well.

  • Dave

    Kurt – I crossed it and bought many cameras there…

  • Jean-Yves Dumont

    Cool…Belgian Beer…good choice :). About the new leica M and M-E, I was in Photokina and I was able to play a couple of minutes with the new M. It’s really impressive…waow…(and shutter noise is really low).

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  • Marisa Walker

    I just discovered your blog. Love your work. Many years ago I spent a month in Shinjuku and I loved Tokyo, so I am really enjoying your photos! Bought a camera at Yodobashi while I was there.

  • Dave

    Thanks Marisa! Shinjuku is fantastic. I worked there for 10 years…

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