Being a photographer in Tokyo is not always easy. There are some jobs where I find myself navigating overcrowded subways with unfeasible amounts of gear, lugging them up and down staircases and enduring dirty stares from fellow commuters. Other times I have to maneuver my lights inside a tiny rabbit hole of a location, or contend with the dreadful lighting and drab interiors of the typical Tokyo office locale.
Blessedly, there come jobs that are the complete opposite – such as this one from Cathay Pacific’s Discovery magazine, which was a feature on Chinatowns around the world. Luckily for me I got to photograph two of them – Yokohama and Sydney. My job was to be present, observe and capture the vibe of both locations, and nothing is more satisfying to a photographer than a good excuse to step away from the computer and spend some time roaming the streets.
I also shot two videos for them:
Here are some shots from Yokohama – as you can see there is a distinctly neon-soaked Bladerunner vibe to the whole place. Some of the small alleyways were absolutely perfect for a long lens like an 85mm.
By contrast Sydney’s Chinatown was a lot smaller and slightly more difficult to really capture that Chinatown vibe – not exactly a bad thing as all places are different, however the wider streets made me switch up my photography style quite a bit. There are some really cool examples of street art in and around this Chinatown, including the golden gum tree and the blue cherubs lining an alleyway, making it look slightly less menacing! Anyway I hope you enjoy the photos and thanks to the great people at Cedar who commissioned me for this awesome job!