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Changes At Gaijin Camera

When I started Gaijin Camera in the Summer of 2012, I wasn’t really sure where it was going. I knew I was moving to Japan, and I knew I was enjoying photography more and more, and I knew I wanted to combine the two and share my photos with people back home. Since that time I’ve been pretty amazed and humbled by the reaction to the blog and my work. I’ve had my posts shared by people all over the world. It has opened some opportunities for me. And the experience of keeping up this blog has taught me a whole lot. During this time, I’ve come to understand a lot more about photography especially. I’ve been challenged and I’ve grown as a photographer.

Because of that, my focus as a photographer has been expanding. Gaijin Camera was made to share photos not just of Japan but about Japan. It was meant to share with people what Japan is all about through pictures. However, while I live in Japan and still have that connection, much of my work is not really about Japan these days. My photography is less about Japan specifically and more about creating something beautiful – it’s more about the art form itself. In essence, Gaijin Camera has become a kind of side show for me, and it feels like a distraction or sometimes even a chore. This is something I know I don’t want it to become.

For that reason, among a host of others, I’ve decided to put Gaijin Camera on an indefinite hiatus. While I can’t say I’ll never come back to it, for the foreseeable future I think this is the right decision.

However, that does not mean I am stopping photography – far from it! Rather, I’m going to be putting my focus into my recently updated website, Les Taylor Photography. I’ll still be sharing pictures on a regular basis there and of course many of them will be related to Japan, but I won’t be limited in the way that I am here. Also, because Gaijin Camera is more about Japan, it always seemed a little off to give attention to photography related subjects like tutorials and the like. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing much outside of those things directly related to Japan. But with Les Taylor Photography, I’ll be able to do all of this. This move expands my work in a lot of ways, and I’m really excited to see where that goes.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be making some changes in regards to GC. Much of my social media remains the same – Google Plus and Flickr stay exactly the same. I’m in the process of trying to change my Facebook page name as well. I’ve already moved over on Twitter to primarily use the handle lestaylorphoto. So if you’re interested in following me at any of those places, keep that in mind. Eventually I may end up linking this URL to the new site, effectively merging the two, so that’s something to be prepared for as well. Concerning photos shared here at GC, all will still be available at my Smugmug site: http://lestaylorphoto.smugmug.com

I really appreciate all the support I’ve had in my time doing Gaijin Camera. I hope that everyone who has been reading this blog and enjoying the photos will continue to enjoy my work via Les Taylor Photography. Although it’s hard to say goodbye to GC (this was a very tough decision, I can assure you!) I’m genuinely excited about the future. Thanks so much for reading, everyone!

- Les Taylor

Sunset In Abiko

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Concrete Jungle

This week I took an evening and went down to the World Trade Center in Tokyo. I had heard that they had a nice observatory where tripods are allowed, so as a photographer that pretty much demands attention! The location of the building makes it a prime spot for viewing the city. I think this shot gives a good perspective on how crowded Tokyo is, and just how many buildings there are in this gigantic city. The phrase “concrete jungle” definitely applies!

Photo of Tokyo

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Gotanda Station on the Yamanote Line

When I was shooting for GaijinPot’s Yamanote line Japanese study series, one of the hardest stations for me was Gotanda Station. The area around the station is just extremely crowded, and nothing particularly stands out in the area. But while exploring one evening to find a good shot I came across this location on the river a couple of minutes walk from the station. I really love architectural photography, so this view was begging for a shot. I really liked how this came out, in fact, it may be one of my favorite photos from the series.

Photo near Gotanda Station

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Streets of Matsudo

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 a few nights ago. When I saw this restaurant on one of the side streets around the station, I knew I wanted to capture it. It seemed to have a lot of atmosphere, and the kind of place you’ll only find around Japan. I suppose this is a pretty typical scene here actually, so at least this time around, goal accomplished!

Photo of Japanese street and restaurant

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Arakawa Dusk

This is another photo I took towards the end of December from the Arakawa River. It’s a great location for getting a nice view of the Skytree and the skyline of the surrounding area. It’s interesting though how small the Skytree makes everything around it look though. The buildings to the sides of the tower are 30+ story buildings! And even some of the smaller buildings nearby are 5-10 stories tall. But with a tower 634 meters tall – significantly taller than both the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building – I suppose an effect of that type is only natural.

Photo of Tokyo Skytree

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