Nikon Europe approached me in 2017 to shoot a spread of iconic images from Tokyo, the birthplace of Nikon, for the company’s centennial. The concept was deceptively simple: cutting through the chaos. That is, use a range of Nikon telephoto zoom lenses to cut through the chaos of the Tokyo metropolis to find moments of calm and clarity amidst the bustle and commotion. This simple seed took me on a photographic journey throughout the metropolis over the span of a few weeks.
Though I shoot with Nikon gear myself, I was loaned the latest and greatest kit from Nikon Japan. Armed with a Nikon D5 and a bag of lenses (as well as a Nikon D500 and the at the time as-yet-unreleased Nikon D7500) I set to shooting the city, in which I’ve made my home for the past decade, with a new vision. The project stretched my imagination and skill in a direction I have not gone before. Primarily, shooting street photography at focal lengths often well over 100mm was something of a foreign concept to me. However, in the end the results speak for themselves.
It was a pleasure and an amazing opportunity to be able to work on such a project at the behest of a legend in the imaging industry. In the end, the team from Nikon Europe also created a series of videos, starring yours truly, in which I talk about my experience shooting with the Nikon cameras and glass. You can also read a write up the Nikon Europe site—Cutting through the Chaos.
Van Moof — Street Language
I was approached by Ultra Super New, a creative agency based in Tokyo, to produce a series of photos for their client—Dutch bicycle company Van Moof. They were launching a new electric bicycle in the Japanese market, called the Electrified X. The bicycle has a very distinctive shape—a unique X-frame geometry. The idea behind the photos was ‘street language’—a synergy between the bike’s form and the shapes and symbols naturally present on the streets of Tokyo. With this in mind, we searched around the city for a variety of locales and environments where the bike could be paired elegantly and seamlessly with its setting. These photos went on to be used in the Van Moof’s Tokyo launch event as well as in online and social media campaigns.
EYExplore — Behind the Mask
Shot for EYExplore in 2017, Behind the Mask is a series of photos telling the candid story of a young ‘Maiko’ ( 舞妓 ) or apprentice geisha). In the first part of the series she is depicted in her daily life kimono and makeup—her unmasked self. Then as the sun sets in the heart of the Gion district, one of the ‘Kagai’ ( 花街 ) or ‘Flower Towns’ of Kyoto, we see her donning her evening ‘mask’—her true geisha self. This duality of the young woman that plays the role of geisha is the central concept behind EYExplore’s ‘Behind the Mask’ experience, where in the company takes travelers on a journey into the geisha’s world and—through conversation and photography—allows us to peak behind her mask. This series of photos was created to complement the experience in the EYExplore marketing materials.