Street life in Ginza, 8 pictures from the famous fashion district of Tokyo, Japan

Bonjour my friends,
this week I bring you back to Japan, precisely to one of the most crowded and vibrant cities in the world, heaven for street photographers: Tokyo

The Japanese capital is a unique place where each district is completely different from the others, from the traditional Asakusa to the modern and crazy Akihabara, without forgetting Shibuya, Odaiba, Roppongi and so on.

Luckily, I had the chance to visit all of them and, I can tell you, I would love to go back again and again and again, as there is always something new happening in these crowded and exciting streets.

Ginza, the fashion district

Today I want to bring you to the entertainment district, featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs and cafes, and where you find the most expensive real estate in Japan: Ginza.

This is the place where all the main fashion brands show their beauty and richness by installing enormous stores and decorating the spaces with the most extravagant architectures and billboards.

The central Chuo Dori street, the vibrant heart of the district, gives you a lot of nice street photography opportunities, is just difficult to decide where to focus your attention.

> Find more info about Ginza district here

Street life in Ginza, Tokyo

Gears:
  • camera: Fuji X-T1
  • lens: XF 35mm f1.4R

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How to buy my pictures

All the photos you see can be purchased, as high-resolution digital files (different licensing options) or as a Fine Art Signed print, at my personal portfolio website www.sabinoparente.com

Please click on the button below, if you want to browse the complete gallery and/or buy any of the photos.

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Thanks a lot for reading,
cheers,
Sabino

Una notte a Osaka, Giappone – 20 foto di strada

Dopo un lunghissimo viaggio di oltre 20 ore, da Lussemburgo, passando per Parigi e Tokyo, il mio primo contatto con il Giappone è stato con Osaka, catapultato nella vibrante vita notturna di questa futurisica città nipponica.

Come posso solo pensare di andare a dormire mentre fuori dall’albergo scorrono infinite opportunità fotografiche?

Quindi, andiamo a farci un bel giretto…

con una Fujifilm X-T1 e l’ottima lente XF 18-55 mm f2.8-4 LM OIS

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Il mio pensiero su Osaka

Assolutamente una bellissima destinazione per un fotografo di strada, non ci si stanca mai di fotografarla perchè offre nuove e uniche opportunità ad ogni angolo.

La cosa che mi ha piu’ affascinato è  il continuo contrasto tra modernità e tradizione, perfettamente in armonia tra di loro e mai fastidioso.
Quindi pollice in su per Osaka!

Thanks for reading,
cheers,
Sabino

One night in Osaka, Japan – 20 street photos

After a long journey of more than 20 hours, my first contact with Japan has been Osaka, catapulted into the vibrant nightlife of a Japanese futuristic city.

How could I go to sleep while having plenty of street photo opportunities right down the hotel?

So let’s have a walk…

with a Fujifilm X-T1 and the great lens XF 18-55 mm f2.8-4 LM OIS

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My thoughts on Osaka

Definitely a great destination for a street photographer, you will never get tired of taking pictures while walking.

The thing that fascinates me is the constant contrast between modernity and tradition, perfectly in harmony between them and never annoying.

A big thumbs up for Osaka!

Thanks for reading,
cheers,
Sabino

Finding the Perfect Travel Camera Bag…

Which is the best Travel Camera Bag? or better… how should a perfect Travel Camera bag, be like (if it may ever exist)?
This subject can be easily underestimated, but to my opinion, this is the most important items for a photographer, even more than the camera itself,

this is the place where all your valuable gears will spend most of the time, protected from any potential damaging element like water, dust, knocks and bumps…

There are so many factors that can influence your decision on which bag to choose, like size, space, material, type, style and maybe even brand. Personally, I like the classic messenger bag but SHOULD NOT look like a photography bag (!), it should be stylish, elegant and comfortable to be used also at night or whenever I go out for a dinner or a special event. I don’t like people to clearly know that I’m carrying photography gears in my bag, even more, if I am in a poor or dangerous area and I have an expensive camera and lenses with me.

And I don’t care to be recognised as a photographer while I’m on the street as, when I want to take a picture, I want to be discreet and not intrusive.

After many years of trials with all kind of bags, now with a very light and portable equipment like the Leica M, actually I’ve found the perfect bag for the everyday use, and that is the ONA Leather Prince Street, that looks exactly like this:

The actual bag i use. ONA Leather Prince Street

The actual bag i use. ONA Leather Prince Street

ONA is a very good manufacturer who creates elegant and high-quality bags that are certainly expensive, but I can tell you out of my experience, the value worth the money you spend. Of course, I’m now considering a mirrorless alike equipment. I use it every day, no matter if I’m in the office or at the supermarket or at a special night event. It fits perfectly for every situation.

But on a long trip, I already know that this bag will be comfortable, because i normally need to carry more things, like for instance, a tripod, spare batteries, external charger for the smartphone, maps,iPadd, personal documents, small food and other goodies.

In short, when I travel, my bag is a “live” space, constantly in movement.

That’s why I’m now looking for a new one, similar to the Ona Prince, I meant stylish and comfortable, but with more pockets and spaces. But is so damn difficult to find a nice one as most of them have a very technical look and feel.

After some time spent in researches, the only ones that are very close to what I’m looking for are:

The Union Street (ONA) :

+ beautiful design and style
– very expensive
-no external pockets
-no place for a tripod

ONA Union Street

ONA Union Street

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Manfrotto Messenger BeFree:

+the tripod pocket
+half price than the ONA
+very functional with lots of pockets
-not stylish (but not not that bad)

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These two bags are on my shortlist at the moment and if I don’t find any other alternative, I have to pick one by next week as my trip to Japan is now approaching (19 of November).

About you, have you found the “Perfect Travel Camera Bag”?

Ciao e a presto,
Sabino

My top 10 pictures sold in October 2016

October is already behind as well as autumn, my favorite season together with Spring and Christmas is already approaching (time runs sooooo fast!) so it’s time to check which pictures had best sales in the previous month in this top 10 chart (over the following agencies: Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Depositphotos, Bigstockphoto, Canstockphoto, 123RF, Photodune, Alamy, 500px. )

Overall, October sales have been in line within the last three years, bit less than September, but still very good numbers together with direct requests for assignments or image sales that are not counted in this balance.

But let’s unveil the top 10 sales of October 2016. ( data from Microstockr Pro)

10.

My bestseller ever picture had lower amount of sales on October, but still in the top 10…

Taken with a Fuji X-E1

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

9.

Food. This is a very old picture i took many years ago during a food exhibition in Luxembourg and it sells very good over the years.

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk II

8.

Making of cuban cigars, taken in Vinales during my wonderful trip to Cuba, last year. This subject is selling quite good.

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Making tobacco cigars in a typical farm in Vinales, Cuba

7.

Another picture from Cuba and again, tobacco. Very good!

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

6.

Puglia, olive trees, my home, my soul. This picture that i took long time ago with an humble Canon Eos 450D, discovered just couple of months ago, is selling more and more and i expect it to grow in the future.

The beautiful and colorful landscapes in Puglia

5.

Another relatively young picture (taken 4 months ago)  that is increasing the sales week by week, I was lucky to be at the right time in the right place because i had only that evening in Siena and the sunset was just amazing… Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

4.

Paris est toujours Paris! Iconic image taken with a Fuji X-E1 during the new years eve, some years ago.

The beautiful Eiffel tower in Paris at night

3.

Third place, as previous month, selling good.

Taken with a Fuji X-E1

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

2.

Another everyday selling picture, always stable on second position.

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

1.

Another month, same results, so i copy paste the text from previous month:
“And here is the top seller, since December 2015!!! in the last 10 months this picture is always the one i sell most… Incredibly simple but iconic, this picture taken last year in Trinidad, Cuba, is selling every day and i’m finding it very often in the internet, even used as a cover for an e-book. If you find it somewhere, please let me know. And i well remember the moment i took this picture, it was a very hot afternoon in Trinidad, i was having a relaxed walk and i was attracted by this vibrant yellow wall with a simple door and a cuban flag hanging and waving smoothly. No other disturbing elements around so…clack! The simpler the better…and this is the proof.”

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

 

My top 10 pictures sold in September 2016

Another month has passed and it’s time to check which are the top 10 sold images over the following agencies: Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Depositphotos, Bigstockphoto, Canstockphoto, 123RF, Photodune, Alamy, 500px.

September has been a good month but surprisly the lowest so far (in 2016), even lower than August, but at the same time i’ve received more direct requests for assignments or image sales that are not counted in this balance.
I’ve also produced a lot of new pictures, mostly food but also still life and travel,  around 700, so i expect  to see a sensible increase of sales in the next months.

But let’s unveil the top 10 sales of September 2016. ( data from Microstockr Pro)

10.

This is a photogenic subject that is selling good, a beautiful landscape from Japan. To take this picture i had to climb a very steep and long stair, but it was worth it, now is paying off 🙂

The wnoderful Fuji mountain in Japan

The wnoderful Fuji mountain in Japan

9.

This is a relatively new entry. This picture was taken long time ago, but i just made it available for sale less than one month ago and it seems it will became one of my bestsellers. It’s from my hometown in the beautiful Puglia region, south of Italy, so i’m very proud of it!

The beautiful and colorful landscapes in Puglia

The beautiful and colorful landscapes in Puglia

8.

Finally a food picture. I’m investing more and more in this type of subjects, just using a very simple set, natural light from the windows and a reflector and i may say that works very well.

Delicious fresh kiwi fruit on a chopping board

Delicious fresh kiwi fruit on a chopping board

7.

Another food picture, with an interesting top view that i will try to use more in the future. You may spot this in some food blog or magazine… if so, please let me know 🙂

Assortment of fresh green beans on wooden background

Assortment of fresh green beans on wooden background

6.

Here is a subject that is trending so much an so sells very well: CUBA.

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

5.

Another relatively young picture (taken 3 months ago)  that is increasing the sales week by week, I was lucky to be at the right time in the right place because i had only that evening in Siena and the sunset was just amazing…

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

4.

My topplayer! Istanbul is another trend subject that sells as hell and this picture is my bestseller picture ever and was taken with a vintage 50mm lens bought at the fleah market for just 4€… And i’m selling this every day since months…can you believe it? incredibile!

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

3.

Another top-player, but from Morocco. This is another picture that i sell almost every day. It comes from the beautiful blue village of Chefchaouen. Oh how i miss Morocco, one of my favourite countries in the world!

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

2.

And again Cuba, Trinidad within its unique architecture style.

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

1.

And here is the top seller, since December 2015!!! in the last 10 months this picture is always the one i sell most… Incredibly simple but iconic, this picture taken last year in Trinidad, Cuba, is selling every day and i’m finding it very often in the internet, even used as a cover for an e-book. If you find it somewhere, please let me know. And i well remember the moment i took this picture, it was a very hot afternoon in Trinidad, i was having a relaxed walk and i was attracted by this vibrant yellow wall with a simple door and a cuban flag hanging and waving smoothly. No other disturbing elements around so…clack! The simpler the better…and this is the proof.

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

 

HPA2015, i’ve got the Performance Award!

“Dear friend,
We would like to offer our warmest congratulations on your winning the Performance Award of HPA 2015. The results can be accessed through http://2015.hpa.org.cn/fp/jlfp.htm.
You will be invited to attend the award ceremony to be held in September this year. We appreciate very much for your excellent recording of the multi cultures in the world. Congratulations!”

This is the email I’ve received this morning, announcing my award at the HPA2015 photo competition, and i’m really happy because I’ve got awarded for something that i love to do, describing and recording the different cultures in the world.

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The awarded set of pictures is about the ancient tradition of Sakura, the bloom of cherry blossoms that every year is celebrated with incredible enthusiasm and happyness in Japan. I was lucky to experience this last year during my trip in that beautiful country, sponsored by FANUC Europe Corporation, and i was really impressed how the japanese people lives this moment of the year in a kind of symbiosis with the beautiful trees in full bloom.

Here is the awarded set of pictures:

Sakura, the bloom of cherry blossoms

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Tokyo downtown

The best pictures are always the unexpected ones. I was just going to bed in my hotel room in the heart of Tokyo, but before i had a look out of my windows and played with my camera mounted on the tripod.

Then i forgot this shot into my archive and discovered right after few months, and it was a very pleasant surprise…

Fuji X-T1 + XF 10-24mm.

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