Cinematic Street Photos of Japan by Day and by Night

I fell in love with Japan. Deeply. The culture, the clean streets, the friendly and respectful people and the full spectrum of experience that it offers. From high rise cities to quaint, beautiful gardens and temples. All within walking distance of each other.

I took as many ‘tourist shots’ as I did professional street shots. Well, not quite, but the phone was full by the end of the trip! On that note, the camera on the Google Pixel 2 XL is outstanding. Photographers – give it a pop. All shots here taken with the Nikon D750 and Fuji X-T2.

Japan was treated differently to most of my street shooting. While I still love—and capture—the odd and often funny synchronicities and serendipitous moments, I wanted more. More culture, more characters, and more of a story.

I pushed myself and shot with a very specific mindset and eye; cinematic. I was, of course, shooting stills, but I composed and prioritized moments as if taken from a movie. Hence the title: Cinematic Japan. Street photography is already hard, but this made it even more challenging, especially when the shots were more complex in nature. Everything had to fit the theme and narrative.

It’s also a study of texture and color. No false colors have been added, and all effects (night section) are original and taken in camera (no Photoshop).

You’ll find a mix of styles; juxtaposition, minimal, abstract, scenes, characters, emotions and rare alignments. Every single shot is genuine—unposed—except the last shot of the day section (a portrait of Sachin at sunset). Two weeks flew by, shared with Sachin, Dom and Liam. I would recommend Japan to anyone and everyone; it has it all.

By Day

By Night

Editor’s note: We’ve previous featured Harvey’s street photographs shot in Cuba and India.

About the author: Ross Harvey is an international award winning destination wedding photographer (covering the UK, Europe and the world). You can find more of his work in his street portfolio, in his wedding portfolio, and on Facebook. This article was also published here.