Japan is a country of contrasts. Modern cities teeming with life sit alongside tranquil temples and pristine natural scenery. It is this juxtaposition of old and new, urban and rural, that makes Japan such a unique and beautiful place. The country is home to centuries-old traditions, as well as cutting-edge technology. From the dazzling lights of Tokyo to the snow-capped mountains of Hokkaido, there is something for everyone in Japan. In the past, we shared the work of David Lazar’s Travel Photography, and in this article, we wanted to expand our coverage to showcase some of his beautiful pictures from Japan. We’ve also asked him for some insights into his vision, his gear, and more. Read the interview below.
Interview with David Lazar
What inspired you to create these pictures of Japan?
Japan is a country with a distinctly unique culture. This provides the opportunity to create images that could not be taken anywhere else in the world. I am always excited to return and travel to this amazing country, with every season having something different to offer. The people, the culture, the landscapes, the wildlife – Japan has it all!
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of these pictures of Japan?
Finding models for planned people and culture style photo shoots is difficult in Japan, compared to countries in South East Asia. It takes some work to meet people and find contacts, and a local guide/fixer can be very useful for this. For example, the right guide with contacts in the geisha world is crucial for organising a meeting with a geisha (or geiko as they are called in Kyoto).
What cameras, lenses and lighting gear were used to create the pictures of Japan?
I used a Nikon D800 camera body with Nikon 24-70mm and Nikon 28-300mm lenses. All photos were taken with natural light – no flashes or reflectors were used.
For photographers looking to create impactful images like this, could you share your process of coming up with your concepts and ideas?
Always think about the overall scene and not just the subject you’re shooting within it. Every element has to work together for the shot to be impactful, so carefully considering the background and exactly what is included in the photo is crucial. Also, it’s important to be up early and out at a location at sunrise – not only to get the better early morning light but often to avoid the crowds at the popular locations. The concepts often rely on the scene and background you are working in, so it’s good to research and find locations that you think will be photogenic. Then with the right location and a good subject, the creative ideas will form and everything should come together!
What are you currently working on? What’s next?
I am currently editing new Vietnam photos now from my recent trip there, and am looking forward to leading a photo tour in Bali this September, and then another winter workshop tour in Japan next January.
More Pictures of Japan by David Lazar
See a few more from this series of pictures of Japan by David Lazar.
Bio and More Information
David Lazar is a travel photographer from Brisbane, Australia, who captures moments of life, culture and beauty through photography. He is drawn to locations which have a rich cultural background steeped in tradition and is especially interested in portrait photography. David is a contributor to photography, travel and in-flight magazines, as well as newspapers, books and journals such as National Geographic, Asian Geographic and Lonely Planet. He has also published a coffee table book of his work from Myanmar entitled ‘Myanmar A Luminous Journey’ which is available for purchase worldwide. David works as a photography tour leader for Luminous Journeys and conducts photo tours and workshops over nine different countries in Asia. He has been a travel photographer since 2005 and has continued to travel frequently to countries in South Asia, Africa and parts of Central and South America.
To connect further and see more pictures of Japan (and around the world), see the following links: