Around the World in 80 Meters

T’was a busy weekend. Glen (aka. Tokyo Fox) and I hadn’t been away for a bit, so seeing as it was a three-dayer, we decided to go to Narita Airport and from there to New York. What a city! We saw a wedding, a burglary, all kinds of life going on in the ghetto and then an accident on the main road. But most of the people were unaffected by all of this and were going about their usual business, it seemed. Our appetite for adventure whetted, we decided to go from there to Egypt, for a quick visit to the pyramids and the statues of kings in Aswan. Incredible stuff, but still not enough for us, so we made a detour to Europe, where we covered all the big sites, then back to Japan to see the wonders of Kyoto and Mie Jima island. After all that we were well and truly exhausted, so we made our way back…

Taking hundreds of photos of the minature sculptures of Tobu World Square is a very involving business! So how was it? Overall, we both found the New York scene to be the best, with it’s dynamic depictions of everyday life and I would have to say it’s one of the best things I’ve seen anywhere, you just can’t imagine the level of detail there until you see it. Euro-zone had immaculately remade landmarks, perfect for photography, but without much of interest going on. The Pyramids and Asia were quite similar- amazingly life-like, but it was like tourists watching tourists so far as the figurines went. Finally, there was traditional Japan, which was quite inspiring, depicting festivals and traditional temples so you could enjoy them from various angles. We both liked the ‘bird’s-eye views’ possible with this approach and I especially enjoyed Mie Jima for this. All in all, a lot of fun and a great opportunity for photos, with the beautiful nature of Tochigi Prefecture adding to the effect.

I enjoyed using my Tamron 24-135mm to zoom around and then switched to my 50mm F1.4 Nikkor for the shallow depth of field, so this ‘toyland’ realia could seem a bit more believable. It was amazing how much an aperture of F1.8 (as wide as I like to use my 50mm) can isolate the little subjects, producing a creamy backdrop for them. I felt like I was seeing something like the ‘Thunderbirds’ world. One irony is that Narita Airport is one of the dullest sites there, as you can easily see how the planes move around on their rails, but in pictures it is probably the most believable. Which means that people can take photos there first and then convince their friends that they really have been around the world!

For another view of the excursion, take a look at Glen’s Space, here.

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