All you need is one purchase from the 100-yen store to replicate this amazing trick shot【Pics】 – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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All you need is one purchase from the 100-yen store to replicate this amazing trick shot【Pics】

Written by on May 10, 2021


Japanese teen photographer wows the world with a reflection made from neither water nor a mirror.

Besides Tokyo Tower and Skytree, one of the most well-known and iconic fixtures of the Tokyo cityscape is Tokyo Station. Decked in red brick and placed in the heart of Tokyo’s downtown, the station is an important transport hub for commuters, a busy spot for shoppers, and a popular site for photographers, who flock to the site to capture its resplendent facade in all its glory.

One Japanese photographer recently visited the landmark to shoot some nighttime scenes, and the images they created were so magical they had people around the world captivated. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the photographer, kou (@kogram_), is a third-year student at high school, and the technique used to create the stunning reflections seen in the photos is surprisingly unconventional.

▼ Kou’s dreamy scenes feature a glowing Tokyo Station with beautiful reflections.

So how did Kou manage to immortalize such beautiful scenes? Well, all these photos were shot with an iPhone and a common item you can find in your typical 100-yen store. You need nothing more to replicate these spectacular shots, and what you’ll need to buy from the 100-yen store specifically is…a desk mat!

“Please like and retweet! I’m a third year in high school who took this photo with my iPhone and a desk mat!

“Can’t help but chuckle that a desk mat is what I would recommend from the Daiso stationery section.”

A desk mat is a rectangular, thin pad made out of plastic that folks usually place on their desk to use as a smooth writing surface, but kou has used it as a cheap and efficient reflective surface for his shots. We can certainly see the appeal: it’s easier to set up compared to other alternatives such as water or a mirror. With the former, it’s bound to create a mess and locals probably won’t appreciate someone dumping a bottle of water onto the ground, and a small desk mat is certainly lighter and less breakable than the latter.

▼ The desk mat is perfect for adding some extra sparkle to nighttime shots at other city spots as well.

Commenters on Twitter were quick to react with wonder and awe at this high school photographer’s ingenuity and skill:

“Wow! The reflection off the desk mat really does look like water!”
“I usually pass through Tokyo Station without a second thought, but seeing it shot in such a pretty way… my perspective has been changed.”
“I’m gonna start walking around with a desk mat on me.”
“Such talent and creativity! It might seem obvious to the photographer, but to me I’m simply amazed how this photo was taken.”
“That’s one way to see Tokyo Station’s reflection when it’s not rainy!”

▼ Kou also released a simple process video after many inquiries. For reference, the photos were taken on the iPhone’s normal portrait mode.

Talk about creativity and talent! No doubt Tokyo photographers are lucky to have an emerging, imaginative artist among their ranks. To keep up with kou’s photos, be sure to check the artist out on Twitter and Instagram, and for more amazing shots of the capital, check out these of a local temple at night and a Tokyo washed over in pink!

Source: Twitter/@kogram_ via Jin
Images: Twitter/@kogram_

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