The Natural World
Our World Through an "Explorer’s" Eyes
THIS GALLERY is a compendium of images from a wide array of assignments over a 30-year period. I always felt that this was the kind of work I was meant for. To be absolutely frank, I have a lingering sense of disappointment that I did not do more of it. When I was working in the wild I became so intensely concentrated on the photography that I invariably lost track of time, would forget to eat, and could barely sleep. In some instances I had initially looked at the locations to be photographed and the stories to be told as unattractive or featureless, but in every case came away with a new knowledge and a new respect for what I had seen and photographed. While working in some of the remote, difficult locations was indeed exhausting, there was always a sense of loss -- a sadness in the parting -- when it came time to leave and return to the grey urban maze of contemporary Tokyo with all its 'modern conveniences.'
In many cases I was working alone or with only a single individual helping me (as driver, coordinator, occasional photographic assistant, translator/interpreter where needed, etc.). This allowed me to slip more easily into the rhythms of the place than I could if I had a large crew with me. I far preferred to be out in the wild alone, away from cities and crowds of people. There I could make photographs that would draw the viewer into the place as if he were a modern explorer seeing it for the first time.
There is no particular order to most of the photographs in this gallery. Occasionally a few related images may be in sequence because of they are in series or in some other way drawn from the same topic. I may in the future add a few galleries that each center on a specific place or species. For the nonce I think this random selection provides a good introduction to my work in this field.
Since so much of our planet is covered with water, I have long thought it unnecessary to divide work into, say, 'terrestrial' or 'dry' and 'underwater' or 'wet' genres. Although there are obviously specific and disparate technical aspects to these, in the final analysis they are indeed complementary. In many cases, both are absolutely necessary to tell a full story, especially when the topic is a wetland or coastal area. Even when shooting in a desert environment, I would carry at least one set of basic underwater gear just in case we came across an oasis, a pooling spring, or a billabong. There is no telling what interesting images might result.