A Shibuya girl’s glance or glare?

When taking photographs on Tokyo’s streets, discretion is always my watchword. For starters I don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable, and more importantly — at least in relation to the resultant photo — the aim is for an image that’s natural; a moment of day-to-day life caught, uncontrolled and totally unselfconscious.

However, even with the best of intentions, it’s simply impossible to go unnoticed all the time. And yet even though I fear this look may be much nearer a glare than a glance, it’s a photograph that at the same time quite inadvertently contains far more character than it could have.

Shibuya girl in black and white


  1. winnie says

    She is natural yet cool in the picture.
    No worry , it’s a glance!! hahaha
    You can show her the picture if she really mind. :)

  2. Jeffrey says

    I think you’re safe, Lee, as you weren’t under a staircase this time.

    Actually, the multiple piercings notwithstanding, I think it’s something of an insult to peg her as a “Shibuya Girl.” With that beret worn just so and the long natural looking hair (doesn’t appear orange of “blonde” in the photo), she all scene and not herd.

    • says

      Good point Jeffrey. Yeah, she’s not your typical ‘Shibuya girl’, she just happened to be in Shibuya when I took the photo.

  3. says

    This is a lovely photo…I think she was just wondering what you were doing! Really natural, which is what makes the photo great :)

    • says

      Thanks, glad you like it. Yeah, just that briefest of moments that would otherwise have been lost — forever.

  4. says

    Hello, i really enjoy your photos. So its the same situation as in my country – Poland. I want to make a natural picture of people on the streets, but when somebody sees me, he covers hes face, or starts geting angry. Its hard to find happy people, who pose and start smiling.

    So anyway, to visit Japan is my dream, sorry for my bad english, you have a fan in Poland! 😀

    • says

      Thanks Axel!

      To be honest, street photography is generally a pleasure in Japan. Walking round with a camera never really draws that much attention, and provided you are somewhat respectful, it’s very rare people get genuinely angry.

  5. LA Observer says

    Lee it doesn’t look as much like a glare as suppressed surprise. I think you interupted her text messaging. Nevertheless, she is an attractive model: just look at her beautiful hands.

  6. Janine says

    Japanese girls, especially from Tokyo just always seem to glare when alone. If they’re with friends, they are more animated and smiling.

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