Japan

What's your favorite lens?

Recently I’ve been asked this question quite a bit. It seems everyone wants to know what gear other photographers like using. What’s your favorite camera, your favorite lens, your favorite light, these days?

Over the years I’ve had many favorite lenses, but at this very moment, I have one lens that stands out above the rest and it keeps blowing me away every time I use it.  The Nikkor 105 f/1.4 lens is one incredible lens.

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Yesterday, I went to Kamakura, Japan for the Yabusame ceremony (horseback archery), which is a traditional Japanese archery where an archer shoots arrows at three wooden targets while riding horseback. It was my first time attending this ceremony and I arrived later than I should have to get a good spot to take pictures. I took my new Nikon D850 camera and my Nikkor 105 f/1.4 lens. Before I left home, I decided to shoot at f/2.8 for the entire day. The bokeh (quality of blur) on this lens is insane and I wanted to test it in this situation.

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For this ceremony, archers are dressed in beautiful Samurai attire and compete for the top honor. It is an amazing ceremony to see in person and even better to photograph.

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After the event, I looked over my images as I took the train home. With the Nikon SnapBridge app, my images are transferred instantly to my smart-phone so I can share high-quality photographs instantly on social media or send to friends and family. I was blown away by the sharpness I was able to achieve as the archers flew by at lightning speed. The D850 camera and the 105 lens makes for a powerful combination.

For more info on photography check out the webinar this week.

 

Always dream big,

Matthew

 

Thanks T.E.A.M.

Having the right team is the secret to moving forward no matter where you are in the world. I have always loved the creative process and nothing feels better than meeting new people and creating great work together.

A big thank you to all the teams I've worked with in Tokyo over the last few weeks. I look forward to working with all of you much more in the future.

TEAM

TOGETHER

EACH

ACHIEVES

MORE

 


Adult Day

Today in Japan,  I experienced a beautiful celebration called Coming-of Age-Day. The holiday is held to celebrate all those who have turned 20 years of age. Girls dress up in the beautiful intricate Kimonos. Some use the day to make their own personal statement by going against the norm but none-the-less it's a great day to take pictures and photographers were out in full force.

You never know

It's funny how things come up once you put them out there. I'm now back in Los Angeles and the first call I get upon landing is to produce a shoot that includes shooting time-lapse images. My client wanted to see examples of some I've done so I sent the most recent time-lapse movie I just completed a few days ago in Tokyo.

Build it and they will come.



Always Dream Big

The Perfect Camera Bag

Are you happy with your current camera cases or bags? This week my podcast (Master Your Lens) touched on one of the 10 tools that photographers need to take better pictures.  # 10 on the list is camera bags because you can't concentrate on getting great pictures when you are worried about your camera gear how you will carry it.

The last few weeks I've been traveling all over, from South Carolina to visit my family to Tokyo, Japan to speak and have an exhibit. I've used my Lowepro backpack on all of the recent travel and it has been great on these trips. In the past I've had a problem finding a backpack that allowed me to include my laptop and ipad when I travel, something that is always a must for me. My current backpack, the fastpack BP 250 gives me everything I need to be able to travel and carry my gear. 

The other day, I did a hike up to the top of Tokyo's Mt. Takao with all my gear.  I wanted to get a view of Mt. Fuji, but the sun was too bright and you couldn't see it.  I was hoping to get a decent view before it was too late because you don't want to hike down the mountain in the dark. I was about to give up when I saw a cloud start to move toward the sun and it gave me a brief window that allowed me to photograph Mt. Fuji in a beautiful way. 

Photographed with Nikon 810 and the 35mm 1.4 lens

Photographed with Nikon 810 and the 35mm 1.4 lens

Patience paid off this time and I got my shot. I was still hiking down in the dark, which is another story for another time, but it was worth it to get my first images of Mt. Fuji.

To get the list of 10 tools click here:

Always dream big.

 

 

Who Moved My Cheese?

Years ago I read the popular business book, Who Moved My Cheese. I have thought about this book often as I witnessed the photography industry changing before my eyes. The old method's that worked in the past are no longer adequate for the photography market today. To stand out in the saturated photography market today you must think differently and not be afraid to show your most personal work.

Always Dream Big

Unexpected Trip To Egypt

Nothing expands your view and appreciation of the world like travel. With so many amazing places to see, it can be difficult to decide where you’d like to visit.

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre compiles a list of the most incredible places to visit each year. At the present time there are over 1000 sites consisting of cities, monuments, buildings, deserts, mountains, etc.

I have always wanted to travel to Egypt and see the pyramids, but I didn’t expect to see them anytime soon.  On the day I shot this image, I woke up at the Kawaji Onsen in Tochigi, Japan. Shortly after checking out,  I found myself standing in front of Egyptian pyramid’s at the Kinugawa World Square, (or Tobu World Square) an incredible park dedicated to world heritage sites.

Egypt

The miniature versions of these locations are so well put together that they really give you a sense of the beauty of the actual location.

Tobu World Square - Taj Mahal    

Tobu World Square - Taj Mahal 

 

Tobu World Square - Temple of Heaven

Tobu World Square - Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven - Beijing, China 2014

Temple of Heaven - Beijing, China 2014

I’ve been to quite a few of the world heritage locations, like the Taj, in Agra, India and Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China, but there are so many more I now want to see after experiencing this park. I now have a deeper curiosity for discovering amazing places around the world and know that I must photograph as many of these places as possible, especially after thinking about the earthquake this past weekend in Nepal.

Tobu Square - Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan   

Tobu Square - Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan

 

Tobu Square - Greece   

Tobu Square - Greece

 

Leaning Tower of Piza

Leaning Tower of Piza

Tobu Square - Myanmer, Burma   

Tobu Square - Myanmer, Burma

 

One of the joys of photography is that it is a way to document your life. Every image you take is not only a way to remember the moment, or create a powerful image for a client, it is also a document of YOUR history. Today as you take pictures keep in mind that you are also recording your personal history with every photograph you take.



Always Dream Big

Egypt

Forbidden Japan

Last April I traveled to China for an exhibit at the Temple of Heaven. It was an incredible experience that climaxed with an award ceremony and receiving the Power of Image award. This April I am in Japan looking for representation in Asia and looking to show my fine art work as well. 

While in Japan I have taken time to see some incredible temples, shrines and sites. One place that truly blew me away gave me a glimpse of all the amazing places in the world and reminded me how important it is to travel. If you have ever been to China, it is a good chance you have been to Forbidden City, or maybe you have watched "The Last Emperor" which is filled in Forbidden City. 

Forbidden Japan

You could never guess by this image, but it was taken in Japan, not in China. This image is a miniature version of the real Forbidden City and it is done perfectly. To photograph this image I used a Nikon D4S and a 35mm 1.4 lens. This week I will share more from this incredible location along with stories from my trip to Japan.


We enhance our lives and grow in three ways: The people we meet, (you always meet people when traveling), the places you go, (like Japan in this case), and the books we read. Very soon I will share information on how you can make my newest book, Future American President special in enhance your families life for decades to come.

Always Dream Big