"Railway Landscape Exhibition in Sapporo" - Open until Saturday the 18th of May!


Unlike Honshu, where houses and signs are common in railway photos, Hokkaido's abundant and pure natural beauty, mountains, the sea, the sky, flowers, fields, and snow, are featured in the photographs taken here.

These charming features add a sense of the natural world, and a magnificent backdrop, to any photograph.


Currently the "Railway Landscape" exhibit is being held here in Sapporo, and there you can find photographs of railways in nature are on display.



Four Sapporo natives organized the exhibition, Mr. Ishitani Kuniaki, Mr. Utsugi Kei, Otaki Yasuaki. and Mr. Tomohiro Yano. The four members have various professions, as well as ages, but they share a common passion and started their own "Secret Morning Practice Team" in order to photograph railroads together. This exhibit is the first they've held in over two years of working together.





The team name is based off the early time which they gather to take their photos. Often they will meet at 2 or 4 a.m. in order to make it to a distant track for photos of the first train of the day. (Seems more like late at night than early in the morning...)

As you can see from their photograph, they are quite a unique bunch.



※This photograph was part of the first round of pictures displayed.



"The photographs we take are actually quite close to 'Loose Iron' photos." explained Mr. Yano, who was working the exhibit when I visited.


This term, "Loose Iron" is the English translation of the Japanese term "ゆる鉄" (Yuru Tetsu), coined by railway photographer Nakai Seiya. It refers to photographers which take pictures not only of the railway itself, but of anything related to the railroad (such as local rail-crossings).

"Those photographs have a wonderful, peaceful atmosphere, so I sure hope we get close!"



※This photograph was part of the first round of pictures displayed.



The four photographer's distinct personalities stand out in their respective photos.

Mr. Yano remarked that "Even though we all visit the same place to shoot, we never come back with the same photos."


"For example, at dusk. When the trains are stopped many people pass across the line-of-sight light in the background of the picture. Adjusting the white balance of the photo creates a fantastic photograph. In those moments, each of us enters our own world and the pictures we take are completely unique and special. It's a quiet battle for the best photos, which has only winners."





The descriptions located beneath each of the photographs is also interesting. An intimate explanation of the photo which portrays the personality of the photographer well.

Let me show you some examples.




Mr. Ishitani is an administrator for farmers. His photographs usually emphasize the power of the trains, although some are more peaceful.





Mr. Utsugi is a professional photographer. His pictures seem like advertisements, almost too perfect to be real.





Mr. Otaki is a professional photographer. His pictures have a warm, gentle feeling of nostalgia.





Clear lighting and shade in these pictures of blue sky and flowers. The greenery adds a splash of color to these photos.


Mr. Yano gave me a special message for the Hokkaido Likers readers.

"Hokkaido's railway photographs are quite nice. I hope you all enjoy snapping photos of your own while traveling across Hokkaido by train!"





The exhibit is open until May 18th, so if you have a chance to visit please be sure to stop by! Details are below.



【作品展「鉄道のある風景」】 ("Railway Landscape" Exhibition)



When: Through Saturday, May 18th

Where:札幌市豊平区月寒西1条11丁目1-5 純喫茶EARTH COFFEE ~Live & Gallery~

(Earth Coffee Cafe ~Live & Gallery~ 1-5 Nishi 1-Jyo 11-Chome, Tsukisamu, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo)

Open: From 10:30a.m. to 10:00p.m. (Last Order at 9:30)

Closed on Thursdays.

※The information above is current as of early May, 2013.



(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Fukko)

Some photographs provided by 秘密の朝練チーム.