Tokyo is a World Within Itself

Get to know the talented Trope photographers through in-depth interviews, each offering unique insight into their craft. 

We talk with London-based photographer Eren Sarigul (@erenjam) about what it’s like shooting specifically in Tokyo. From the bright, people-filled streets at night time to the quieter villages, the size of the city alone makes him believe that Tokyo is a world within itself. Eren is featured in both the Trope Tokyo and Trope London City Edition, and his soon to be released solo book in our Emerging Photographers Series, Across Japan

Shooting at night is something I rarely do in London... so when I arrived in Tokyo and realised how bright and alive the city was after dark, I had to adapt. Also, due to the density of the city, the range between myself and the subject always seemed to be far shorter in Tokyo compared to London. This led me to use wider angle lenses than I generally use at home.

Tokyo is a world within itself. The sheer scale of the city is hard to comprehend, despite living in London. One of the interesting sides to Tokyo is how varied the differing areas of the city are. From the bright lights and sensory overload of Shibuya and Shinjuku, to the village-like area of Kiyosumi Shirakawa, renowned for its coffee shops.

Shooting at night was something I learnt along the way while in Tokyo... it offered up new challenges to me as a photographer. When composing an image, I also had to factor in the ambient light from shop and street lights in order to capture an interesting image. Tokyo is a gigantic city, concrete, complex, overwhelming and full of life. 

The first time I walked to Shibuya Crossing was a special moment. I had always dreamed of visiting Tokyo and scenes from the Shibuya Crossing were something which stuck in my mind. To actually be there after seeing it in photos and in films and TV shows for so long was surreal. I spent that whole day in the area capturing photos of the crossing from day until night.