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Night lights

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If you love beer, Japanese food and a good chat with friends, an "izakaya" (Japanese-style pub) is the place to go to. This one is located in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo.

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If one wants those, izakaya is THE only place to go.

Izakaya is one I would very much like to see Japan exporting. Izakaya has almost always (us non-smokers always have something...) been a pleasant experience. Kamakura, please expand abroad! Pleasepleasepleaseeeee!! With anti-smoking legislature and wider range of beers, Kamakura would be booked for months on end in my home country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure this place could do a little more to conserve energy.

5 ( +7 / -3 )

This one looks pretty large for a izakaya.

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DoLittle.....what about opening one on your own! They are not all that difficult to set up or run, but part of the problem is keeping customers flowing in to your place. Japanese are finicky when it comes to izakayas and the places that last the longest are ones that have a large repeater crowd.

I can not count how many I have seen come and go for what ever reason, they seem popular at first but eventually go down the drain. Particularly the big one's. They have rather high overhead costs and their profit margin is minimal.

Location is number one. There is one I frequently go to that is a small hole in the wall place, it's been open for over 25 years because the locals hang out there and keep it in business.

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It's a good job they're heediing the government's advice to conserve energy!

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They 'come and go' because they think customers are stupid. Good izakayas are still around because they serve good portions at reasonable prices, unlike the chains that try to serve small portions at high prices in the hope that customers won't care because they're half tanked.

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this place looks nice.

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this place looks dead. not really a traditional looking izakaya anyways.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

A fine example of what is wrong with this country with regards to lighting. This place should be fined for wasting so much power.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is like the opposite of setsuden.

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If you like watery "beer" with lots of head and barely passable food then an izakaya is the place you are looking for.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Where is that couple heading to next, I wonder...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Takes the lights away and it will look like any other old / dirty backstreet shop...

-3 ( +4 / -8 )

Finally! A great photo!

Izakayas make profit from the sales of (mostly alcoholic) drinks, not food. The successful ones serve small, cheap but tasty portions of whatever on which they make no profit and these keep the customers in their seat which in turn keeps them ordering those drinks.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If you like watery "beer" with lots of head and barely passable food then an izakaya is the place you are looking for.

WRONG, that wud only apply to cheap joints, similar in the lines of Y100 sushi, dont be such a tightwad & you can enjoy lots of good food & excellant drinks!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hey JT, can you post the name of the place.... so I can call and yell at them for wasting power...

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Summer power conservation!

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I have serious doubts about the photo editor here...

This snapshot is an eyesore, overexposed and under exposed at the same time. Nobody is near the entrance or visible inside, and the two outside the closed side seem to be discussing something unrelated to this store. There is also no indication of where this building is, nor if they were even open at the time. The snapshot has no central focus, nor does it tell a story. At best, you would find this type of photograph in a high school blog.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Looks like fun!

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basroil,

You should look him up at Flickr. Seriously!

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Clemens SimonJun. 28, 2012 - 02:42PM JST

You should look him up at Flickr. Seriously!

Just did and proves my point, the photo editor here is almost purposefully choosing the worst photographs.

While I can't say Thong Van is top tier, he certainly knows his stuff. This photograph is nowhere near representative of his work, hence the editor should take full responsibility.

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You gotta understand that I'm heavily biased here because of my love for beer and izakayas so when I saw this pic instead of those unflattering ones of people, I immediately went "yeah!",

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This snapshot is an eyesore, overexposed and under exposed at the same time.

@basroil,

You probably mean there was no post-processing done, that it's a "raw" photo. Not as much to do with exposure time, when the camera gets blinded by so many incandescent lamps. Each bulb is at leas 60W, maybe even 75, and without having any flash from the photographer's side, there is nothing to fill in the shadows and balance with the brightness of those bulbs. If it were my building, i'd keep the bulbs to 25W for a warmer, gentler glow.

This however is a garishly decorated building... with faded rags, spray paint and a bohemian feel to it, so i'm not too offended the the photo quality....

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I like it. I like the rough bright feel.

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REMzzzJun. 28, 2012 - 04:11PM JST

You probably mean there was no post-processing done, that it's a "raw" photo. Not as much to do with exposure time, when the camera gets blinded by so many incandescent lamps. Each bulb is at leas 60W, maybe even 75, and without having any flash from the photographer's side, there is nothing to fill in the shadows and balance with the brightness of those bulbs. If it were my building, i'd keep the bulbs to 25W for a warmer, gentler glow.

This however is a garishly decorated building... with faded rags, spray paint and a bohemian feel to it, so i'm not too offended the the photo quality....

I was a newspaper photo editor (small one at 20k per issue three times a week) for two years, photojournalist for 3, and independent professional photographer for four years. Trust me when I say this is a bad photo, and not simply "RAW" as you state. Given the blue splotches in the background for something with that much light, I doubt that was even taken with a camera capable of RAW images.

Exposure is as much a function of camera as of photographer. Knowing the situation the photographer could have used his film cameras (check above post) as those have higher dynamic range and would not be subject to clipping as quickly. The photograph here could probably bring back some details in post processing in the shadows and highlights without violating photo-journalistic ethics, or he could have used a gelled flash (don't use pure flash unless you want orange, green, or purple backgrounds/color casts) to better expose the two people in front of the building while slightly lowering overall exposure.

This however, doesn't even begin to excuse the lack of content and meaning in the photograph. Oh, and exposure is the level of light in the photograph, not time used. The ISO/ASA speed of the film/sensor, aperture size, shutter open time, and transmissivity characteristics of the lens (and filters) all play a role in exposure.

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Japan Today is always happy to consider photo contributions from readers for the Picture of the Day section. Please send your contributions to the editor at editor@japantoday.com.

Wow basroil. You sure seem to know your stuff!

From your point of few (professional eye) it's clear that its not a great photo. However, for me and those who do seem to like it, it's probably more about what the photo captured, not how it was or should've been captured. I really like the whole feel/atmosphere. Makes me wanna go out grab a few. Also makes me think about setsuden. That place looks like a deco-truck! LOL

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It actually reminds me of a Miyazaki anime type image - and technical merits of the image aside, thats a super cool looking building. I'm going to hunt it down for a beer sometime.

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That business for some reason looks a tad bit like a front business for the yakuza :P

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Wow

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basroilJUN. 28, 2012 - 05:55PM JST

I was a newspaper photo editor (small one at 20k per issue three times a week) for two years, photojournalist for 3, and independent professional photographer for four years. Trust me when I say this is a bad photo, and not simply "RAW" as you state.

Oh.. respect

I didn't quite pick up on that from reading your comments. I suppose i should have, being close to the same industry, it's just that you already have a reputation as the skeptic and someone who adds dimension to every debate by taking the side of unpopular opinion.

While not exactly a photographer myself, i'm quite familiar with all the stuff you talk about here, as as enthusiast/ professional (depending on the area) having worked as a "Photoshop guy" for a couple of years, most of it during the height of the real estate boom, all of '05 until late '07, when things got really still before the market imploded. As far as real estate stuff goes, it was fairly repetitive work and none of it really pushed the envelope of what i can do, but it consisted of taking whatever they had and making the best of it through post-processing, as well as fixing some bad shadows and reflections, fingertips, etc, etc.. You can probably imagine what the work was like...Yeah... bad food, coffee and "stimulants", sometimes no sleep for three days at a time, cracking jokes one moment and then snapping the next and getting into a yelling match when someone bothered me, because i'm not one of those people who can handle being awake for that long. But i didn't care, being young and it paid well enough. I'd do it again if i had the chance, even though it won't happen. I've done marketing materials as well and business cards, and whatever else beside this zombie kind of work, but the point is the raw material i was given to work with was pretty abysmal at times, and i learned to deal with it, having come up with a few techniques for even the worst of cases.

This is what i mean by raw. Unprocessed, straight from the memory card. If i were referring to RAW data, i would write it uppercase and without quotes. And yes, i did see the sensor noise in that one, the purple and lime green. Reminds me of my old Sony camera, which was both nice and horrible at once. It felt nice in the hand and the controls were positioned just right, the colors were true to life and needed no adjustment, but the sensor had only a narrow range of where it could perform well. Too dark and the sensor noise showed up, mostly RGB fuzz (purple and green is from fluorescent, so i might be wrong about the nature of lightbulbs in this photo... they might be CFLs, but could still be halogens), too bright and some overexposed objects suddenly had blue and purple outlines. There's a name for it, some kind of a pixel overflow that CCD sensors can suffer from. As much as i liked using the full manual mode, the sensor quirks that were usually hidden by camera firmware kind of ruined the experience.. and by "old" i mean summer of '01...

I could see myself walking along with my cell phone and snapping a photo like this and not thinking of it as being too bad, because i've not touched a real camera in three and half years. A side effect of owning a phone with a good enough camera and firmware... and my other two phones. It would have looked about the same, although i would try to fit something more than the building into the frame, because the building feels like it has no context.

So yeah, i can see how you can say it's awful. I'm just as picky about typography as you are about taking a quality photo. To each their own. I've seen enough crap that this looks somewhat reasonable in comparison, even though it's kind of a strain on the eyes. A blog photo is a great way to describe it.

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I think the picture is interesting. Noo too bothered about how great it is or argue about it though.

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