my photos

The Orchestra of Nineteen

Tweet I’ve photographed the Tokyo Sinfonia a few times over the last couple of years. The first proper shoot was just a week the March 11 earthquake[L] when they bravely went ahead with a concert in Ginza. I remember the rehearsal being interrupted by aftershocks. This shoot was in rather more relaxed circumstances. I took […]

Magic Mountains

Tweet Explaining the Shugendo religion would be a job for a book, not a blog post. But let’s just say it’s a colourful mix of Buddhism, Japan’s ancient Shinto religion, and even more ancient native animism. Shugendo’s adherents are known as Yamabushi – men (and a few women) who undertake arduous ascetic training in the […]

Stars in his eyes

Tweet I’ve done a few fun interview portraits recently. This one was of planetarium designer Takayuki Ohira. He started off making papercraft projectors in his bedroom and eventually came up with a professional-grade device that could show orders of magnitude more stars than any other. He’s quite the nutty professor, and a household name in […]

Taking to the streets

Tweet It took me quite a few years of working as a photographer to get round to a proper project, but In 2012 I started not one but two. This is the second. (The first is here). Hard to believe now with the pro-nuclear LDP just voted back in, but last Spring and Summer there […]

Night and Day (More Parkour)

Tweet Oh dear, I’ve been badly neglecting this blog recently. Apologies. As a first installment in a substantial backlog, here are a few more photos from my Tokyo Parkour project. (Must get that going again).  They come from two shoots: one in Shinjuku after dark and the other in Shibuya in the early morning. I […]

Yo-yo performer BLACK

Tweet These portraits were for another inflight magazine story, an interview with yo-yo performer BLACK. BLACK can tell his own story far better than I can, so check out his TEDxTokyo talk below. You’ll understand when you watch the video, but it’s always a privilege to interview someone with a dream and the passion to […]

Cabaret time

Tweet I was in Roppongi recently taking photos of cabaret (and I don’t mean a cabaret club). The main reason I was there was to shoot one of the performers, yo-yo artist BLACK (blog post to come). But I got some of his co-stars too: Lu Nagata, Kiyoshi Ibukuro, Juan and Agatha, Philippe Aymard, Paul […]

Returning to the path

Tweet Rather a personal shoot for me this one. About ten years ago, after my first stint in Japan, I was thinking hard about what do with my life. I decided to walk the famous Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage – all 1400km. I suppose it worked because after I got home to the UK I […]

Brass monkey time

Tweet Probably the coldest shoot I’ve ever done. And that includes going to photograph the Arctic ice-flow in Northern Hokkaido. The story was on wakame seaweed in Shikoku. One February morning I was up before dawn to head out onto the frigid inland sea in tiny flat-bottomed boat. I wore just about every item of […]

A day at the seaside

Tweet When I was asked to photograph freediver Ai Futaki, my first thought was ’where do I get an underwater housing?’. Turned out that wasn’t necessary though. Futaki already has a brilliant collaborator in Aaron Wong and the inflight magazine that commissioned me wisely decided to use his underwater photos. (He has some great shots […]

Cherry blossom + Parkour

Tweet This is beginning to turn into a proper photo project. (Previous shoot here). More Tokyo Parkour, this time with a Japanese flavour, early morning in Ueno park in the middle of the cherry-blossom season. (It was beautiful but very cold). I used a 16mm manual focus fisheye on my D700. Not easy to find […]

A FabLabulous idea

Tweet Wouldn’t it be great to make household items just by downloading instructions from the internet and turning on a 3D printer? The digital fabrication revolution started at MIT in the US a few years ago and last spring it came to Japan. I was really lucky to be one of the first people to […]

Tokyo playground

Tweet This was a fantastic commmision. How much more photogenic can you get than people doing acrobatics in the middle of the city? The principle behind Parkour (AKA freerunning) is pretty simple – the quickest, most natural way from moving from A to B. There are a couple of Parkour groups in Tokyo, but it’s […]

Nothing much by the sea

Tweet December 31st 2011. A near deserted beach in Chiba prefecture. Iron seagulls. Broken shells. Coloured glass tumbled smooth by the sea. Sunlight on peeling sky blue paint. In December Japan has ’forget the year parties’. Change the mind’s tatami, throw away yellowed memories. Nothing much is happening here. Once, I used to psyche myself […]

Give it some stick

Tweet My first shot at photos of kendo, at the All Japan Kendo Championship last December. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan ran them in their January issue. I did Kendo for a few years when I first came to Japan, so this shoot brought back a few memories. As usual, the annual event was […]

Pray for Japan

Tweet Each January crowds of people visit Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo for “hatsumode” – first prayers of the year. I took these portraits right in front of the main shrine. Some people bent their heads for seconds, some for minutes. I was hard not to imagine what people were praying for. Perhaps for a better year in […]


Tweet Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2012! (From last year’s Daruma Fair at Jindaiji temple in Chofu near Tokyo)      

The Chiba Jeebies

Tweet Wandering around the wilds of Chiba prefecture a couple of months ago. By the time I took the last photo I was hopelessly lost and eventually someone had to come and find me. My mobile phone battery had run out and,  as I discovered, there aren’t many public telephones in the Japanese countryside. Apologies […]

Trip to the top of the Tokyo Sky Tree

Tweet The Tokyo Sky Tree isn’t scheduled to open to the public until next year but the good people at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club organised a press tour late last month. Here’s a story I did for the press club magazine. It was a good trip, though the weather was terrible; quite a view, even […]

Moving on

Tweet My time as editor of EURObiZ Japan came to an end on Friday. But here’s my swansong, some portraits of my talented colleagues at Paradigm. Thanks for a fantastic two years (and for letting me take your photographs)! (Tokyo photojournalist on Facebook)   David   Paddy   Naoko

Some more corporate portraits

Tweet A last selection from the corporate portraits I’ve been doing for EURObiZ Japan. With these I always try to include something from the person’s work in the photo. Some people/occupations can be harder than others. But I always do my best to make them look relaxed, and happy with their jobs. I get the […]


Tweet Here’s one way to cool down a little during the Tokyo summer . . . Back in 2008 I took part in a press tour to the Shiretoko peninsula way up on the northeast tip of Hokkaido. It was a fantastic trip, including a visit out to the ice-flows on an ice-breaker. Sadly, global […]

Tsukiji portraits

Tweet Not only is Tsukiji fish market one of best places in Tokyo to visit, its one of the most photogenic too. A few years ago I did a small project photographing people who work in the market. I have around 100 impromptu portraits. Usually, I just approached people explained what I was doing, asked […]

Sento painter

Tweet Sento bathhouse painter Toshimitsu Hayakawa was one of the most remarkable people I’ve photographed. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, only a couple of years after I took these photographs. One of the two last sento bathhouse painters in Tokyo, he was in his seventies and still working. He was a modest and kind […]