Light: George


Lights illuminate Ameyakocho street in Tokyo, Japan on April 21, 2019. Photo by George Frey / Bearing News

George Frey

Tokyo, With a population of 38 million people, is the world’s most populous city. Every night around the city hundreds of thousands of people walk along narrow streets to buy food, clothes, or hang out with friends. And they all do it under the ambiance of gorgeously vivid neon and LCD night.
This photograph was taken on Ameyokocho street, in the Ueno area of the city. Even on a Sunday night, the young and the old were going up and down the street.
In order to capture the vibrancy of the neon and LCD, I turned down the exposure in effort to increase the contrast between the night sky, and the lights themselves. When taking this photograph, my goal was to also show how long these lights stretched down the street. The position of my camera, in the center of the street facing upwards, managed to accomplish this.
From the point of view of someone who had never been to a city this large before, the glow of the advertisements and logos, in contrast to the night sky, just showed how incredibly vivid cities can appear in photographs.
Although Paris, France is nicknamed ‘The City of Lights,’ Tokyo easily could take that title with all it’s colors and contrasts. And much like the light against the night sky, the city itself is one of contrasts. It is where traditions which have lasted hundreds of years intersect with the newest fashion and technology. It is where quiet temples can stand undisturbed by the dense skyscrapers around them.
As the late Anthony Bourdain once said about this great city:
“It’s that densely packed, impenetrable layer cake of the strange, wonderful and awful that thrills. It’s mesmerizing. Intimidating. Disorienting. Upsetting. Poignant. And yes, beautiful.”