This may look like a regular, traditional Japanese building, but it’s actually something special. It’s the Leica Store in Kyoto, Japan. Located in the Gion district, it sits within an entire neighborhood of well-preserved Japanese structures. Many are tea houses and restaurants.
Ever since I saw the opening of the Leica Store in Kyoto, on YouTube, I wanted to visit. I’ve been to the San Francisco Leica Store, which is entirely different, of course. San Francisco’s is industrial with exposed brick and wood beams. Kyoto’s is distinctly Japanese, which I’ll feature in a future post.
I stood there for several minutes, trying to capture a well framed picture, without the clutter of tourists, which frequent the area. The one up top is with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and the 14-150mm lens, which I’ve used a lot, on recent posts. The simple street side photo looks almost model-like with a twinge of antiseptic perfection.
In contrast, I shot the photo below with the Olympus PEN-F with the 9-18mm, at a slightly wider 20mm equivalent. It certainly has more character with the contrasty black and white, which looks vaguely Henri Cartier-Bresson like, though perhaps only in my dreams. I think the historic looking black and white is keeping with Leica, which is especially famous for street photography, of which Henri was a pioneer and a Leica user.
Note the blurred bicycle rider, which I was anticipating when creating this image. While I used my usual in-camera PEN-F monochrome mode, I opted for this RAW converted version so that I can better emphasize the bicycle rider.
Which do I like better? I don’t know. They both have their appeal. What do you think?
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