Japan Photography overlay effect Japanese traditional celebration attire

Taxi Driver

Enomoto photographs festivals in Japan's northern regions, saying it gives him an insight into local life
Credit: Issui Enomoto

For more than a decade, Issui Enomoto photographs the streets and people of Tokyo Yokohama during his night shifts driving a taxi. He takes his photographs wile stopped at a red light or waiting for his next passenger, capturing candid moments of transition. He then overlays double or multiple shots creating a dream like effect of passersby fading into the night.

His work reflects the lonely and transient nature of his job.

In some of his first experiments photographing from his Taxi, he would ask passengers if he could take a photograph, often showing them in his digital camera and emailing them the shot. But these photos felt staged. Now Enomoto prefers photographing strangers – passengers or people in the street – looking at them as a reflection of himself in an unspoken moment.

Enomoto grew up in Tokyo but chose to be based in Yokohama out of nostalgia for a bygone era.
Credit: Issui Enomoto.

Enomoto grew up in Tokyo but now lives in Yokohama. The older wooden buildings as well as the neon lights of street shops in Yokohama’s downtown enchant him. It reminds him of the older parts of Tokyo he grew up in that are continuously being replaced by concrete buildings.

He started photographing as a Hobby when he was a teenager, capturing the sky and scenery from the vantage point of his Toquyo apartment window. Still with no formal training he decided to dedicate himself to his craft 15 years ago.

He thought taxi driving would provide a stable income while allowing him to pursue his passion of capturing shifting urban landscapes.

Now he actually prefers photographing from inside his taxi car, through his windshield.

The visceral effect of being both a voyeur and a transitory participant of two worlds is visible in Enomoto's work.
Credit: Issui Enomoto

Over the years he experiences with different styles and techniques. About 10 years ago he started layering different shots through photo editing and creating the ethereal effect that characterizes his work. Enomoto realized the multiple exposure method expressed through photography his blurry memories of the night much more accurately than single high resolution shots that capture every detail.

And, it works. The flickers of neon light and the half transparent figures and city-scapes translate the life of the city after dark.

The photographer's work has been exhibited as part of a group show at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. He has also had solo shows at smaller, independent spaces such as Tokyo's Gallery Kan.

A woman walks in a residential area in Yokohama as the city's bright lights shine over her.
Credit: Issui Enomoto

A crowd of busy Tokyoites rush by as the ripples reflected on Enomoto's wet windscreen streak past them like strobe lights.
Credit: Issui Enomoto

When the finds himself lacking inspiration from the streets he drives by so many times, Enomoto travels to Northen Japan to photograph the traditional festivals. Like Sansa Odori, a traditional dance festival in Iwate prefecture, and the lantern festival in Yuzuwa city, in Akita prefecture.

He is then able to return with a fresh eye to Yokohama. There he continues to find familiar landscapes in a new light.

Partially sourced CNN


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