Tokyo Blues with the Ricoh GR camera

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Tokyo Blues with the Ricoh GR camera is by Haoyuan Ren (website | Facebook | Twitter):

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I spent few days in Tokyo in January on a whim.  I've always wanted to go Japan since I was a child, and the desire stemmed from being influenced by many Japanese things surrounding me during my growth.  As a street photographer, I have always used my camera to further understand the new, unfamiliar and intimidating place. Sometime it acts as a magnifying glass but also it functions as rose tinted glasses to protect me from the truth.  I saw rawness in a city full of colors as I tried to access the mundane daily grind of my subjects.

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I carried my DSLR with me daily through my explorations of the city, but the only camera I have used through the entire trip was the Ricoh GR.  There were several reasons for me to use the Ricoh GR over my DSLR: The camera was extremely discreet.  I used to shoot with the DSLR a lot but eventually I switched to large sensor compacts altogether for street photography.  The size and the shutter sound was unnoticeable. It was small and quiet enough to not raise awareness to the subjects as I was capturing them.  Finally, the image output from the sensor is great.

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The Ricoh GR is highly customizable to the individual user's liking, this is how the camera worked for me:  I used a combination snap focus, auto ISO and the viewfinder to help me capture the city.  I often got away with shooting my subjects in the face at arm's length.  I smiled and looked like a tourist in awe, with arms stretched taking photos of everything around me while examining the screen with the smile of a village idiot.  I find by using this technique, I was able to even use the on camera flash to the subject while still remain oblivious.

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