Old 04-30-2014, 03:41 AM   #1
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Default Ideas for a trip

I have the opportunity to go to Japan at the end of May. I'd really like to add some pictures of Japanese trains.

Unfortunately, I just looked at Accuweather and it looks like I'm going to get 8 days of clouds and rain.

I've noticed they are accepting some more cloudy day shots lately, I would really hate to travel halfway across the world and not get 1 picture.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:52 AM   #2
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Fortunately for you forecasts 30 days out are not so reliable.

I went to Poland but my Wolsztyn pictures were massive high sun, so I feel your pain, but there are places besides RP to put a picture. Shoot em best you can and be proud of your work. And besides, work with the rain!
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:22 AM   #3
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I was thinking about trying some good rain shots, and praying for the best.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:59 AM   #4
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Cloudy Days.....


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Old 04-30-2014, 05:36 AM   #5
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Sure, because when I think of Japan, I think of spacious Western desert shots ...
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:39 AM   #6
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If Japanese rail operations are a serious interest of yours, I'd say don't let the weather hold you back from the trip. I don't think you'll have as good a trip if you're primary concern is 'will I be able to get a RP acceptance worthy shot today?' You can't take forecasts for a month away too seriously. But even if the weather is terrible and RP doesn't accept that many your shots, you're still getting to experience a completely different culture, watch/ride all sorts of different trains, etc.

A rail-focused eight day trip (if done right) will leave you with more photos than you even know what to do with, and I would think plenty will be interesting enough for RP to accept. RP accepts a decent number of cloudy shots if they have strong compositions, rare power/moves, etc. There are also a fair share of cloudy shots where no one really knows why they were accepted. I'd imagine if you put in eight days of shooting, you'll come back with will lots of shots that work well in cloudy conditions, even if the weather wasn't ideal.

When looking through photos from Japan on RP sorted by most popular first, I found plenty with no hint of sunlight:
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:47 AM   #7
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Sure, because when I think of Japan, I think of spacious Western desert shots ...
If I lived where you do............

___________________________________

And I can't believe the OP would base his trip to Japan on whether he could get some shots of the choo choos.

There is so much to see and do in Japan that if I ever get there, I doubt I would get even one picture of a train, or tram or whatever they have there.

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Old 04-30-2014, 08:21 AM   #8
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I have the opportunity to go to Japan at the end of May. I'd really like to add some pictures of Japanese trains.

Greg P,

Let me know if you need any detailed advice on where to phot trains in Nippon. I've just returned to Oz after 13 years in Tokyo and I shot about 3 zillion train pix.
Cheers
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #9
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Greg,

I'm in agreement with J that a 30 day forecast may not be the most reliable projection. Besides that point, if you are given less than sunny weather, let those challenges inspire you through your photography. I used to be frustrated when traveling far away only to be given a series of overcast and dreary days. Now, I roll with those obstacles and adjust my shooting style accordingly. I think you'll do just fine! Overcast skies may open up several additional possibilities you may not have originally anticipated.

Good luck,
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Triplett View Post
I have the opportunity to go to Japan at the end of May. I'd really like to add some pictures of Japanese trains.

Greg P,

Let me know if you need any detailed advice on where to phot trains in Nippon. I've just returned to Oz after 13 years in Tokyo and I shot about 3 zillion train pix.
Cheers
Greg Triplett
I would LOVE any advice you have. I will be spending 4 days in Osaka, 2 in Hakone and 2 in Tokyo.

Maybe a cloudy day would allow me to get on some of the 20 million North-South railroads they have.

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Old 04-30-2014, 04:26 PM   #11
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I have to say though, I am looking forward to 10 days in California in June. Mojave Route 66, Cajon, LA, San Diego, and San Fran after Japan too.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:07 PM   #12
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Greg,

What are your railfanning 'goals' in Japan? I had the opportunity to very briefly spend sometime exploring the rail system around Tokyo a year or so ago. It was an extremely impressive and interesting operation to witness. I highly recommend at least riding the Shinkansen and even some of the 'conventional' lines as well.

From a photography point of view, I found shooting around the Tokyo metro area to be fairly difficult. Short of shots off the platform, there aren't many obvious angles to shoot the Shinkansen. The line is largely very straight and completely grade separated (for obvious reasons). The conventional train lines (of which there are many) were easier to some degree to shoot, but Tokyo is so cluttered and tightly packed, its hard to get any wide open shots.

Will you have access to a car? Would you even be able to operate said car (I don't know anything about driving in Japan)? If yes, there are a number of great Shinkansen angles outside the city (in particular the signature shot with Mt Fuji in the background).

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Old 04-30-2014, 06:29 PM   #13
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Will you have access to a car? Would you even be able to operate said car (I don't know anything about driving in Japan)?
One issue for an American is that in Japan, like the UK, one drives on the opposite side of the road.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:55 PM   #14
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I have to say though, I am looking forward to 10 days in California in June. Mojave Route 66, Cajon, .......
Buy a few cases of bottled water for the car and lots of sun screen.

Gas in Barstow and Berdo, not in Amboy or Ludlow.


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One issue for an American is that in Japan, like the UK, one drives on the opposite side of the road.
I think that would take some practice.

So much of driving is second nature, especially in an emergency.

Being on the wrong side would really mess with your head.

I took a pass in Hong Kong, but that was because like DC or SF, a car can actually be a brick around your neck.

So Cal is car intensive and you really can't get around without one.

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Old 04-30-2014, 07:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
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One issue for an American is that in Japan, like the UK, one drives on the opposite side of the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TROY;
One issue for an American is that in Japan, like the UK, one drives on the WRONG side of the road.
Crazy people who drive on the wrong side of the road. Think maybe they do that in Australia too
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:59 PM   #16
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Crazy people who drive on the wrong side of the road. Think maybe they do that in Australia too
There are no crazy people in Australia - they took all their guns away.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:08 PM   #17
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There are no crazy people in Australia - they took all their guns away.
There's no crime there either...
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:18 PM   #18
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I'd like to get some panoramic shots of trains (Kyoto Tower is on my list to catch the bullet trains coming in)

Also want to get at least one good bullet train photo and some of the local JR trains.

I'd like to do the MT Fuji picture. No car, but there is a small railroad that will take you to a 20 minute walk to where most people seem to take it. That railroad also looks like it has some cool shots moving through the town.

I also want to catch some of the Hakone railroad with the switchbacks.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:55 PM   #19
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Greg, read the statement in my signature closely.

You're getting an opportunity most people never will, regardless of the weather. Let Mommy Natty do her worst, and you enjoy every second of it. Take tons of photographs, and if somebody calls you on your cloudy, rainy photographs from Japan.. kindly ask to see theirs..

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:06 PM   #20
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[quote=Greg P;178207]I would LOVE any advice you have. I will be spending 4 days in Osaka, 2 in Hakone and 2 in Tokyo.

I'll get some info together for you
Greg-san
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:14 AM   #21
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Ohayo Gosaimasu Gleg-san,
Firstly some preliminaries about photting in Japan.
1. Train photting in Japan is completely different to the US/Canada/Oz etc. and requires an altogether different approach.
2. Yes, they do drive on the correct side of the road (the left) . But the thing to watch here is to remember to look the correct way (or better still, both ways) when you cross the road. I nearly got squished by a truck one night in China by looking the wrong way. It’s easy to do.
3. A car is not necessary. In fact it will be an impediment. You can get around much faster by train and since Japan is mostly a concrete jungle there aren’t too many wide rural type spots available anyway. You will shoot mostly from the platform ends. You need a valid ticket but as you have arrived by train anyway, just remain inside the ticket barrier and you’re good for all day. If you need to buy a ticket for purely for access it’s only 130 yen.
4. Japan is very safe. No guns and very little crime (other than corporate stuff they do in the office).
5. Forget about Mount Fuji. Due to thick cloud you won’t see it in May. It is only visible from about November through February. My aparto overlooked Fuji-san so I had the opportunity to study it for some years.
6. People are courteous and helpful. However they do come in large numbers on the railway stations. Don’t fight it, work them into the phots
7. Given your “blitzkrieg” schedule, your time is very limited. You need some busy “shooting fish in a barrel” type spots.


So here are some such photspots. Please excuse the quality of the pix as they are straight out of the camera and very compressed.


Osaka
• Osaka Loop Line – Older type EMU' of various colours. Blue, green, orange run here. The newer EMU’s are not so colourful as they are stainless steel. Older ones are plain carbon steel and brightly painted making for better pix.

http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179
http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179
http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179

• Shin Osaka Shinkansen Station - This is the only line now where you will see the distinctive 500 series Shinkansen. They operate from here to Hakata. You won’t see them in Tokyo.

Hakone
• Nearby is JR Odawara station - Several angles to try and you’ll be awestruck as Shinkansen hammer through here at 300 kph. 1/1000th of a second needed. 1/500th is not enough.

http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179

Tokyo
• Omiya Shinkansen Station – clear (well, by Japanese standards anyway) field of fire for Shinkansen here. Trains probably every 4-5 minutes. Also some freights pass through the normal JR part of the station.

http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179

• Keikyu Line – trains are bright red and make for a good shot. Occasionally a blue one. Just about any Keikyu station will do. Pick one for the lighting conditions and get on the opposite platform to the trains ( all are at least double lines). Trains every 3-4 minutes. Keikyu also makes for good hand held night shots especially if it rains.

http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179

• JR Tsurumi (Keihin Tohoku Line) station - A good place to see JR freights. Quite busy and freight tracks are on the Eastern side of the passenger lines.

http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399020857

• JR Shin Koyasu station - Very busy with a sweeping curve. Several line wide so some kind of train should appear every 2 minutes or so.

http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1399021179

• JR Shinjuku Station - If you want to see rush hour madness then JR Shinjuku station is the place. It’s the world’s busiest station with 36 platforms. In all this chaos you should be able to shoot a lot of interesting train pix.

Let me know if you need any more info.

Sayonara
Greg-san
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:45 AM   #22
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Never trust the weather that far out. Heck yesterday said today was going to be sunny here. So I got up extra early and it was cloudy all day long. Go figure haha
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:30 AM   #23
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Never trust the weather that far out. Heck yesterday said today was going to be sunny here. So I got up extra early and it was cloudy all day long. Go figure haha
30 days out, not so much, but our weathermen nailed our forecast today... that same system which bent over the panhandle the last couple days finally got here, flooded the parking garage entrance and exits at work, right around lunchtime too. It might not look like much, but it actually goes down, it was about 5 foot deep just past where the gates are



Back to Japan, those photos posted don't really look very appealing. Is it all like that? I know Japan is pretty population dense in a lot of areas.

Something like this is pretty cool, but not all that urban stuff, to me anyway

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Old 05-03-2014, 02:40 AM   #24
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And is there some reason they design their locomotives to look like a duck billed platypuss?

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Old 05-03-2014, 04:25 AM   #25
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Something like this is pretty cool, but not all that urban stuff, to me anyway

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Greg-san in his point 5 said wrong time of year for that shot now.
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