Kitamachi Design Lab – blog

Kitamachi Design Lab

Nikon photography lesson Day 3

Month before last(to be exact , Sat/Oct/24 ), I went to Ueno Zoo for the first time in my life.
This was for a hands-on learning Nikon photography lesson, and our task was to take pictures of actual animals or subjects.
Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day —not too hot, not too cold –a perfect day for taking pictures.

The Ueno Zoo is Japan’s oldest zoo, and its main attraction is its giant pandas. The zoo is relatively small compared to other zoos in suburban areas.
I think I wouldn’t have gone there if I weren’t interested in taking pictures. Come to think of it, if I hadn’t started photography there are several places where I might have never gone such as Tokyo Tower or Sinjuku Gyoen. In a way the camera changed my life even though the camera refuses to love me back.


Giant pandas are the poster animal of this zoo.



A fine Saturday is a perfect day for street performers.



Good kids don’t do this.



Welcome to Japan!

I want to say “Thank you!” to above gentleman. At first, he tried not to enter my frame but I wanted to take a picture of him and the tower behind him together.

Thank you for being my muse.


At some point during taking pictures, I changed the setting of “White Balance” inadvertently.
As a result, some pictures were taken like this.


I didn’t properly set the White Balance in the camera. Luckily, I can fix this pretty easily using Photoshop.


Just changes two in the Camera Raw




No matter how easy Photoshop can edit a photo, one of my goals is to take cool pictures without Photoshop.
So I corrected the setting and started to take pictures again. At this point, I became excited and was determined to take pictures of National Geographic quality.

However taking good pictures of animals is not easy. They never ever strike a pose for me no matter how much I beg them.
Our time was limited and it was very crowded. I was getting desperate to take my masterpiece because I was supposed to submit three pictures from what I took that day.
Last time I submitted a poor picture and I felt embarrassed about that. This time I wanted to take some pictures which I could be satisfied with.

The harder I tried, the poorer my photos became…and the sun was setting…
Finally I realized that it was impossible to take great pictures that day, and I would come back here on a weekday when there were less visitors.


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