Matsudo Sidestreet & Capturing The Mood

One of the goals I’ve had for this year is to try to capture the feeling of Japan better, and with that in mind I spent some time walking around my own town of Matsudo yesterday evening. It’s one thing to capture a lovely landscape or cityscape, but those are a dime a dozen and while I enjoy taking them (quite a bit actually), they don’t really share what it’s like to live here – to walk on the street and experience it all. So walking around Matsudo, that was one of my goals: to try to capture a little of the feel and mood.

One of the things that I’ve always loved about Japan is the little side streets. There are millions of them of course, and while I’m sure to a Japanese person they’re incredibly boring, to a foreigner like myself they exude character. This scene is an example of what I mean and it’s also a good example of capturing the mood of a place.

I actually kind of planned this outing because I knew the lighting would be good. The weather was cloudy, but not rainy, so it provided nice soft lighting all over. This restaurant is about to open, probably about an hour or so after I took this photo. I like the way the left gate is opened mostly though closed enough to give a backdrop for the paper lanterns, with the right one still closed completely, giving the feel of the calm before the evening business begins. The moped (possibly used for take out orders?) adds a little extra point of interest and color contrast to the scene. Incidentally, I took this photo 3 times. The first time I thought it was okay, but the framing was a bit off, and I was too close to the subject. So I went back and pushed myself against the opposite wall to get the shot I liked. I cropped it a little to keep it framed well, and I think the end result is what I was hoping for – just what it’s like to walk down a Japanese side street at 4:00pm on a Saturday afternoon.

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
Shot Info: f/2.2 | 1/80sec | ISO640 | 35mm

Photo of Matsudo Japan

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