Cinematic Tokyo

A cinematic approach of the streets of Tokyo in which I tried to capture the people in their surroundings. Always looking for the right light and framing and preferably with just one subject. It’s part of a series that I started in Amsterdam and will continue in other city’s this year.

Recently I went to Tokyo where I was shooting a documentary film about Azuma Makoto (Flower artist). Whenever I work in another country I try to book some extra nights to do the thing I like most; photographing the city in my own way. I developed the style of this photography back in Amsterdam where I started some blog content on my website and later on I posted images on Instagram and Behance.

I always try to take a cinematic approach in my photography, every picture is shot with a wide angle lens and I’m always looking for different perspectives and cinematic colour grading.
If I see a nice corner, or the sunlight creates a perfect moment I wait until there is the perfect subject to get in my frame. The only way I’m able to get what I want is to have a lot of patience and of course some luck. My photographs normally work best when there is a bright sun and hard shadows but the few days I got to spend in Tokyo where cloudy and I only encountered a few moments with that bright sun. Overall I was still happy with the result, and it gave me enough confidence to go out and shoot even on a clouded day.

The color grading is a very important stage for me, it will give to photo’s the mood it deserves. It took a lot of time to develop a certain style, and its still developing.

I post my pictures on Instagram and Behance, which is a great portfolio website to get some exposure and I also got featured on the Photography page, where I got really nice comments on my work and it gave me a boost in continuing with the cinematic series.

I will travel to Cuba and New York in April for some new work which I would be happy to share with you

Stijn Hoekstra

Freelance cinematographer and photographer based in Amsterdam