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.
It's a Cat's Life
Interview: April 15, 2015;
Posted: August 4, 2015
Aged 19, Mitsuaki Iwago embarked on a life-changing trip to the Galapagos Archipelago. His encounter with the natural wonders of the islands inspired him to become a wildlife photographer. Since his twenties Iwago has specialized in photographing cats. His Chotto Nekoboke (Spending a Moment with Cats) (Shogakkan, 2005) became an instant bestseller. In 2012, he began making Wildlife Photographer Mitsuaki Iwago's World Cats Travelogue for Japan's broadcasting network NHK BS Premium. Crevis publishers recently brought a book based on the hit TV show, and a spin-off photography exhibition of still from the show is currently touring Japan.
An insight into the dedication of the people who keep Gion Matsuri going
Interview: June 4, 2015;
Posted: June 30, 2015
A native of Toyama Prefecture, a mountainous region in central Japan famous for the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Hiroyuki Yakushi began his photographic career at the Alpine Ski World Cup of 1969. He has continued to cover international skiing at the highest levels, including world championships, world cups, and winter Olympics. He earned his first official Olympic accreditation at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games and has since documented twelve winter games, most recently Sochi in 2014. In 1993, he was responsible for organizing the media coverage for the Shizukuishi World Championships. He has also covered a number of other major international sporting events, including the Tour de France, The Open Championship, and Wimbledon.
Studying the laws of nature in the rainforest
Interview: March 27, 2015;
Posted: June 3, 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. His book Camouflage and Mimicry of Insects (Pub: Heibonsha) earned him the 1994 Photographic Society of Japan Prize, and a sequel is due out in 2015. He is chairman of Japan's Society of Scientific Photography.
Kazuo Unno's digital insect diary can be accessed at: http://www.goo.ne.jp/green/life/unno/
His Komoro Diary can be accessed at: http://www.goo.ne.jp/green/life/unno/diary/
Repeat visits bring insight and understanding
Interview: February 17, 2015;
Posted: April 20, 2015
While at high school, Natsuki Yasuda traveled to Cambodia on a program run by Japanese educational NGO Children Without Borders, where she documented projects that provided children and young people with working and life skills. Now a professional photojournalist, she reports on wars and natural disasters in Southeast Asia, the Near East, Africa, and Japan. Since the Tohoku earthquake her main base of operations has been the city of Rikuzentakata, from which she has documented developments in the disaster zone. In 2012 Yasuda won the eighth Younosuke Natori Photography Award for her work on Uganda's HIV-AIDS orphans.
Official Website: http://www.yasudanatsuki.com/
Catching the moment shows the sitter's true face
Interview: January 28, 2015;
Posted: March 25, 2015
Though primarily known as a portrait photographer of people in the public eye such as actors, singers, athletes, and politicians, Yamagishi has enjoyed a varied career, encompassing glamor, editorial, and advertising photography, and the publication of 350 photographic books. He has documented Ban-ei sled-horseracing, publishing and exhibiting his photographs of this important part of Hokkaido's cultural heritage. His work in Hokkaido led to his appointment as tourism ambassador for the city of Obihiro, capital of Tokachi Subprefecture, and he currently holds that post for the whole subprefecture. The Olympus Gallery exhibition Shunkan no kao (Face of the Moment), which Yamagishi launched in 2007, is now in its seventh year. In 2009, Yamagishi was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, but he continues to work while undergoing treatment, maintaining that taking photographs every day helps him to remain in good spirits.
Official Website: http://www.yamagishi-shin.com/
Shooting every documentary photograph as if it were a work of art
Interview: November 7, 2014;
Posted: February 26, 2015
After a three-year apprenticeship as Toshinobu Takeuchi's assistant, Shimizu embarked on his career as a freelance photographer. He specializes in landscape photography seen from unique perspectives, for which he uses a wide variety of formats from snapshots to documentary photographs. In 2005, his “Street Boy” won the first Younosuke Natori Photography Award. In 2012, he published “CHANGE,” a collection of images taken in Mongolia over 15 years. In 2014, he was awarded the Photographic Society of Japan's Newcomer's Prize for his work in Mongolia.
Official Website: http://www.tokyokarasu.net/