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AS IS | Hiroshi Watanabe


From Sapporo, Japan

Based in Los Angeles, US

Hiroshi's begins with a personal interest in a place or culture which he then sets off to explore and capture through his lens. However, when the moment to take the photo comes, Hiroshi's mind goes blank and starts to move intuitively...

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into photography?

H: I was born and grew up in Japan. I went to a high school which was well known to send students to good universities and I lived in the dormitory. I was sick of studying by the end of high school and tried to find an easy way to go to a university without studying much. So, I decided to go to a university with art department (it seemed to be easy and fun at that time). I knew I had no artistic talent but photography seemed to be something I can handle. Thus I became a photographer. Although I was not serious in the beginning, I became interested deeply, especially after studying of the history of photography.

A: What inspires you the most?

H: Curiosity. Puzzlement. Uncertainty. Before I embark on a project, I must first get tickled by a question mark. What? Really? Why?

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

H: Blanked consciousness when I hold the camera.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to photography, what to begin with?

H: When you see nothing to photograph, keep looking and wait with intention to photograph. They will come to you and once you see one, you will see them everywhere.

A: Top 3 components for great photography?

H: Straightness to the subjects, center of interest, story not told in words.

A: I’ve never taken pictures of ... but would love to:

H: Universe.

A: Must-read books to understand the art of photography?

H: Looking at Photographs by John Szarkowski and On Photography by Susan Sontag.

A: If you could change one thing about your art of photography - what would it be?

H: Cameraless photographic memory – being able to record/make images just by looking without a camera.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to the photography)

H: "Distribution of wealth has nothing to do with distribution of intelligence."

Thank you!

For more: visit or IG


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