When the Camera Speaks

When the camera speaks, what are photographers trying to tell us? What do they want us to feel?
Why did they choose photography to express themselves?
Leading photographers share their thoughts about their craft.

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Showcasing the pace and excitement of alpine skiing

Interview: December 11, 2015;
Posted: March 25, 2016

A native of Toyama Prefecture, Hiroyuki Yakushi has been photographing alpine skiing at the top international level including the Olympics and World Championships since first covering the Alpine Skiing World Cup in 1969. An official photographer for the 1972 Sapporo Olympics, since then he has covered 12 Winter Olympics, the latest being Sochi in 2014. In 1993 Yakushi served as media rep on the organizing committee for the World Championships in Shizukuishi, Iwate, and in 2012 he received the FIS Journalist Award in recognition of his many years of service to the sport.

Five years down the road after the big quake

Interview: October 30, 2015;
Posted: March 14, 2016

Photojournalist Natsuki Yasuda reports on wars, disasters and poverty in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Japan. In 2012 she won the eighth Younosuke Natori Photography Award for her work on Uganda's HIV-AIDS orphans. For a second organized study tour of the Tohoku region (sponsored by Olympus and Studio AFTERMODE) in August 2015 she invited ten high school students to the disaster area. The photographic picture book, Sore demo, umi e — Rikuzentakata in ikiru (“And still, to the sea — life in Rikuzentakata”) (Poplar) featuring a fisherman and his grandson she met in Rikuzentakata, is due for release in February 2016.

A photographic legacy to stand the test of time

Interview: November 13, 2015;
Posted: January 29, 2016

Portrait photographer whose subjects are mostly actors, celebrities and athletes, Shin Yamagishi recently turned his camera toward Kyoto's Kamigamo Shrine over a 17-month period, and will present images from that project in the exhibition “Kamigamo Shrine (Kamo-wakeikazuchi Shrine) World Heritage Site 42nd Shikinen Sengu Ritual: Return to the Sanctuary” at Olympus Gallery Tokyo from Heisei* 28 (2016) Janunary 22-30, and Olympus Gallery Osaka from February 5-18. Also on Yamagishi's slate this year are an eighth exhibition of work from his Shunkan no Kao (Face of the Moment) portrait series featuring men from various walks of life, and in the spring, the release of a compilation of photos taken over ten years covering Ban-ei horse racing in Tokachi, Hokkaido.
* Heisei is the name of the current era in Japan that started on January 8, 1989.

Mongolia today through the power of photography

Interview: October 5, 2015;
Posted: January 11, 2015

Tetsuro Shimizu worked as Toshinobu Takeuchi's assistant for three years before embarking on his solo career. He specializes in landscape photography in a variety of formats, ranging from snaps to documentary work, all of which display his highly original viewpoint. In 2005, he won the first Yonosuke Natori Photographic Prize for Street Boy. In 2012, he published CHANGE, a collection that encompasses his 15 years in Mongolia. An exhibition of his photographs of goldmining in Mongolia is scheduled to be held at Olympus Galleries in Tokyo and Osaka starting March 2016.

Uncovering Madagascar's Uniqueness

Interview: August 18, 2015;
Posted: December 2, 2015

A visit to the Galapagos in 1970 gave Mitsuaki Iwago a close-up encounter with the grandeur of nature that inspired him to embark on a career in wildlife photography. Iwago's photographs, which never fail to excite the imagination, have earned him global recognition, including the accolade of being the first Japanese photographer to have his work featured twice on the cover of National Geographic. Iwago is the author of several photographic collections including Animals on Earth and Ikimono no okite (The Natural Order of the African Plain). More recently, his collections of cat photographs have proved a popular addition to his many publications.

New lenses and technologies allow us to convey the wonder of living things

Interview: July 27, 2015;
Posted: November 2, 2015

Kazuo Unno studied insect behavior under Professor Toshitaka Hidaka at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. He has dedicated his career to photographing insect mimesis in tropical rainforests, particularly in Asia and the Americas. In 1990 he set up a studio in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture, from which he documents the surrounding natural environment.Recent publications: Sekai no kamakiri kansatsu zukan (A Field Guide to the World's Mantises) (Soshisha) and Shizen no damashi-e Konchu no gitai: shinka ga unda kyoi no sugata (Nature's Trompe L'Oeil Insect Mimesis: Amazing Sights Born out of Evolution) (Seibundo Shinkosha). He is chairman of Japan's Society of Scientific Photography.