With 2015 rapidly drawing to a close, it’s once again time to choose my favourite photographs of the year. Sadly, due to my wife being diagnosed with breast cancer in June — a situation that I wrote about here — the last 6 months or so have been difficult to say the least. And, as her treatment continues, the next 6 won’t be any easier either. At the same time, however, I am happy to say that the chemotherapy is going as well as can be reasonably expected, so there are still things to be thankful for.
Something else for me to be thankful for is photography, as now more than ever, the process of taking pictures provides a much needed means of switching off from some stuff, and at the same time switching on to a whole lot more. A compulsion that’s a wonderful companion, escape and creative outlet — not to mention a source of genuine pleasure and exploration.
And so with all this in mind, the images below are my personal favourites from the last 12 months. Some simply because of the end result, others due to the experience and memories surrounding them. They aren’t in chronological order, just divided between colour and monochrome, and sequence-wise simply that seemed to work best. Oh, and clicking on any of the photos will take you to the original post.
A set that neatly wraps up Tokyo Times for 2015. So until the beginning of January, when new photos will kick off the equally new year, all the very best for 2016!
Lovely selection here Jesus….sorry Lee (birthday gag) 🙂
Love and thoughts to you and the wife.
Hope to see you early in 2016 it’s been too long!
Haha, thanks, Adrian.
Cheers, and yes, drinks are way overdue. Something we need to correct come the beginning of 2016.
Great pics. Some of my favorites here too. 🙂
Thanks for an interesting look into Japanese life. You have given me the chance to see a side of the country I wasn’t really aware. I appreciate that. Looking forward to more in 2016!
Thank you very much. That’s wonderful to hear. And happy to say there’ll be plenty more to come.
So many great photos. I have really enjoyed the year, thanks Lee. I like the woman at the pay phone.
Looking forward to more in 2016.
Thanks a lot, Matt. Glad you enjoyed seeing what I’ve taken. Hopefully 2016 will be the same.
Some great ones there. I’m also looking forward to seeing many more. Best wishes for you and your wife in the new year.
Thanks a lot. Definitely hoping for a better year than this one. But either way, photos will be taken. Hopefully plenty I’m happy with too.
Keep on taking such interesting photos, Lee.
A big hug and my best wishes for you and your wife.
Hope one day I can give it to you in person in Tokyo 😉
Take care and have a great start in 2016.
I will try, there’s no doubt about that.
Thank you very much. Really kind of you. And until you do make it to Tokyo, all the very best to you too!
Domo arigato, Lee San 😉
Ken C says
Thanks for all the photos Lee, I really enjoy checking in each day and usually smiling but sometimes feeling quite sad at the deprivation that can be found in Tokyo, as in other major cities. Hope that your wife’s treatment continues to make an improvement in her condition. Best wishes, Ken
Thanks a lot, Ken. And cheers for the nice words, I’m glad to hear that my photos produce such feelings — it gives me encouragement as it means I’m doing something right.
Thank you so much for your photos. I follow lots of Tokyo photographers online whose eye is more like mine – drawn to streetscapes and infrastructure and nature and the physical details of things. The ones that focus on individual people usually don’t hold my interest, but your photos never fail. I think I’m learning, slowly, to try to see a little of that myself. Hope for the best for you in the new year.
Thanks Linda, that’s very nice to hear. Very nice indeed. At the end of the day I’m taking photos for myself, of people I myself find interesting. So it’s lovely to hear that other people get something out of them too. Even more so when it’s not necessarily their usual thing. As I mentioned above, it gives me real encouragement. More confidence too. Thank you!
a Chinese reader says
Best wishes to your wife.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Lee, for another year of wonderful photos of ‘real’ Tokyo, which never fail to inspire my own attempts at street photography. Your lead-in comment about each one also adds to the enjoyment, rather than simply posting a photo with ‘taken on (date) at (location)’. I am sorry to hear about your wife, I missed the original post and just saw it. I am wishing both of you the best for 2016. Ganbatte!!
Thanks a lot, June, on both counts. Taking each day as it comes seems to be doing the trick for now.
Good to hear the written context adds to your enjoyment. Have wondered sometimes whether I should bother or not. Nice to know the little bit of effort is worth it.
Since my all too brief visit to Tokyo in March your photographs have allowed me to vicariously extended my stay, and at the sme time educate me as to the lives of some of those who live in the soft white underbelly of the shiny tourist city.
I look forward to my next visit, which will be all the richer for my daily visits to your site.
I hope 2016 brings you and your wife happiness and health.
Thank you, that’s very nice of you to say so. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, I shoot for myself, and of scenes and situations I myself find interesting, so to hear that they resonate in some way or other with other people is wonderful to hear.
Thank you. We are definitely holding out for a far kinder year in 2016.
Thanks for another great year of photos. You’re one of only a few photo blogs I still follow and it’s always good to look at each post, and reminds me to take more photos myself!
On a personal note, all the best to your wife and your family with beating the cancer in 2016.
You are very welcome. Happy to hear you like the photos I take. It’s something I enjoy immensely, so it’s always a nice feeling to hear of other people enjoying the results too.
And thank you very much. Hopefully this time next year we’ll be in a much better situation.
Thanks for your end of year “top twenty” and glad to see black and white included..
Best Wishes to the team for 2016 !
Thanks, John. All the very best to you too!
You are more than welcome. Not a huge amount of black and white this year. Not a conscious decision, just worked out that way, but hopefully 2016 will see more monochrome.
Mauro Marques says
Been a follower of this blog since 2010. As usual, this has been another year of great quality photos.
Guess I’ll stick around for another year haha.
Best wishes for you and your wife!
Thanks a lot!
Cheers. 5 years eh? In that case another 12 months should be easily done!
d. minnis says
Also some of my favorites Lee, looking forward to all the upcoming shots in the new year. All the best to you and your wife….through thick and thin.
Thank you. Same to you. Yes, just got to deal with the bad, and enjoy the good.
Cheers. Always tricky choosing my favourites, but glad to hear a some of yours are here too.
Hans ter Horst says
These are all instant classics!
Best wishes for the New Year, I hope everything works out well
Cheers! Definitely a few I’m very pleased with.
And thank you. Fingers crossed and all that. All the best to you too!
Bernadette SiobhÃ¡n Loftus says
Sorry to hear about your wife. I’ll light a candle for both of you and pray for her recovery.
As always, your pictures offer such an intriguing look into Japanese life. I admit that I have a bit of an obsession with Japan, both academically and for entertainment purposes. Your pictures offer a facet of Japan that I have not been able to find anywhere else on the Internet. I’ve been a fan of yours for many years now, and I look forward to more of your captivating photographs.
Thank you very much. Hopefully this year will see her beat the awful disease. Or at the least make big steps towards that goal.
And cheers, that’s really good to hear. The more commonly photographed scenes of Tokyo are as valid as any, but for me those scenes don’t hold a great deal of interest. At least not to shoot or explore on a regular basis anyway. Instead, it’s those just a little below the surface, or slightly off the beaten track as it were. And as I’ve mentioned above, to hear that other people also get something out of what I photograph is encouraging to say the least.
Best of wishes for 2016, Lee. Hope we can meet for a drink.
Cheers. You too.
Likewise. Sure we can mange that.