I create my strongest work when I’m just outside my comfort zone and I’m drawn to experiences and moments that will teach me. This could be anything from hiking a new mountain to travelling to a new country. It was this concept that inspired my road trip around central Japan in November 2016 to capture the fall colours.
I planned the trip with a friend three months in advance and we scrambled to book accommodation and a car rental, which is surprisingly hard for that time of year due to the high demand and increased tourism in the country to see the fall colours. The plan was to fly in to Tokyo and drive north in to the mountains then begin working our way to Kyoto, then Mount Fuji, before returning to Tokyo. My goal was to capture Japanese landscapes along with the culture and people that exist in and around them.
I packed the Canon 5DIV as my main body and the Canon 6D as a backup body with my 16-35L f/2.8 lens, 24-70L f/2.8 lens and the 70-200L f/4. This is my go-to set up for all my travels because the 5DIV captures incredible quality, it’s built extremely well and its weather resistance has put up with the harsh conditions I often shoot in. Altogether, this setup is easy to travel with and doesn’t weigh too much while still giving me access to multiple focal lengths.
My favourite locations on this shoot were in the mountains around Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, along with Arashiyama in Kyoto. The fall colours in Japan were truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve photographed.
The entire trip was a huge learning curve for me both as a photographer and a person. We were faced with lots of challenges but an equal amount of moments that left us speechless which ultimately made this a trip of a life time.
As far as creative pursuits go, photography is my only medium. I have other passions that include backcountry hiking, travelling, and winter sports and my career in photography has been formed around these passions. My love for photography was born in high school and my love of nature, I didn’t truly pursue it until I immigrated to the Canadian Rockies at the age of 18 on my own. It was then that I wanted to document my experiences and share them with friends and family.
I photograph purely for selfish reasons, I have this creative drive inside me that forces me to capture a scene to replicate how I saw it. The feeling I get when I fulfill that drive euphoric and addictive.
I believe that photography purely comes down to creativity and thats something that lives within each photographer, it can’t be taught at school or from a textbook but it can be developed and it grows over time. The gear I use is an incredible tool that allows me to capture what I see with beautiful quality. The Canon 5DIV has pushed me to be more creative with better quality images at a higher ISO, with its time-lapse feature and 60fps 1080 video capabilities.
I will be returning to Japan again this year and early in the new year to build on this body of work and to search out some new locations. I have a few places on my wish list right now, I want to capture the landscapes and culture in Western China, Mongolia and Nepal.
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