Shibuya Crossing at Night: /\ltus's Tokyo.

This image taken by /\ltus, check him out on Flickr.

Before I went to Tokyo, I did a Flickr search of the places I would be going to, to see what other people had done there, and which areas had the most picturesque appeal for me. I always do this, I find it helps me plan my trip much more effectively than reading a guide book: Lonely Planet doesn't have much in the way of photo-specific info.

So I'll check around Flickr, trying to see what a certain place looks like at night, at sunrise, at dusk etc. I'll also check to see what a given location will look like in the season I will be there: no sense in arriving prepped for cherry blossoms, only to find that you're two weeks late for that. And I always browse for " Most interesting" rather than " Most relevant": it's nice to see how far you should be pushing your shots.

While I was looking round Flickr, I found a name that kept topping the list of the "most interesting..." of almost anywhere I checked out: /\ltus. When I checked out his stream, he had a phenomenal amount of high-quality shots of Toyko: adjectives fail me a little, especially since he's an HDR-shooter most of the time, but I can say his photostream is interesting and, to a prospective phototourist looking to go the same area, exciting. I found myself thinking "Wow, is Japan going to give me shots that look like that ?"

It didn't, obviously, 'cos his photos are highly idiosyncratic, and the colours are quite something. HDR isn't an area that I've found myself working in, either. But in the right hands... Have a look at his most interesting shots to get an idea of what I mean.

This shot also shows my favourite Starbucks for shooting pics in Tokyo: click through to the image and look at the notes. My blog post about this is here.