Born in Tokyo. Mainly focuses on people as the subject of his photographs. Contributes photos and articles to camera magazines. Shoots gravure photographs, photos of actors, talents, politicians and others for weekly magazines and other publications. Travels overseas in pursuit of portraits and snaps of townscapes. His work has been featured in many exhibitions. Member of Japan Professional Photographers Society.
In New York, I wandered the streets, letting my heart be my guide sometimes taking a right and then a left. The lighting is beautiful. The unguarded expressions on passers-by was wonderful. Every corner was alive with the history of the city and vitality of the people who live there. I aimed my X100 at anything that moves my heart. As I ponder how a particular scene will come out if photographed, I feel my imagination ignite.
On a certain street, my eye was caught by a wall plastered with bills and notices. I supposed that they were official notices from some government bureau. They gently reflected the light from the street as if presaging a road opening on the future.
Using the soft “bokeh” effect of the F2 lens, I wanted to express a bridge to tomorrow enveloped in a gentle light. The resulting photo revealed an image that was indeed just as I imagined. Afterwards, I dropped by a café where I captured the natural beauty of soft light streaming in through the window over a cup of coffee. That soft look captured when shooting at a setting of F2 to 2.8 is perhaps the inherent attraction of the X100 for me.
It is rare to find a modern lens that can produce a bokeh effect with just the right quality and amount. This soft touch stole my heart. Together with the X100, I continued my stroll through the city, filled with the desire to shoot more of the streets of New York – mainly with an open aperture of F2 and occasionally closing it to around F2.8.
When I turned right at an intersection, the afternoon light was falling on a colorful fire hydrant. Indeed this was a chance moment. When I looked through the viewfinder, the view captured people purposefully striding through the city in the background. I had a good feeling about the scene. In the optical viewfinder mode (OVF), I framed the hydrant, people and light, and released the shutter. While the 35mm lens is a bit wider than a 50mm lens which has become fairly standard, the sense of distance felt good.
Unlike LCD monitor or the viewfinder of an SLR, the OVF does provide 100% coverage of the shooting area, but instead lets you see the periphery of the entire scene and enjoy rough but comfortable framing. The captured image is just as my eye saw it, powerful, natural and free of dramatization.
The “coincidence” of turning a corner and coming across a scene spread out before you, or the “great luck” of having exactly the right focal length, angle of view, and sense of distance for the shot you want, or the “unexpected” shot of something you never imagined would happen… For me, all these are snapshots that fall into the category of “encounters”. Grateful for the wonderful encounters that I have experienced and hungry for new ones, I continue to exercise my imagination as I walk the streets of the city.
At the intersection, a policeman was absorbed in the task of directing traffic. I turned my camera at him as he hurriedly blew his whistle and controlled the flow of pedestrians and cars, and as I pressed the shutter several times, he noticed me. Through the viewfinder, I caught him smiling at me. He probably thought I was photographing him with a classic film camera, and in the smile he sent my way, I sensed a certain tenderness, which in turn, gave me a sense of relief and put me at ease.
In the X100, there is a elegance that does not overpower the subject. With both the photographer and the photographed at ease, the result is a photo that has a gentle quality.
Free newspapers stacked in an ad stand on a street corner. If I were trying to shoot it with the LCD monitor, I would stretch out my arms and hold the camera at a low angle to shoot this subject, but shooting with the viewfinder is more fun so I squatted down to take the shot. I noticed that there were people behind me, probably wondering what I was photographing. When I showed them the photographs and explained what I was doing, I heard the compliment, “Oh, that’s beautiful!” Encounters like this are also a lot of fun.