Specialisation is for insects.

I recently heard this term and I began to wonder what it meant. If googled it relates to “The competent Man” a character type found within story telling. These characters have a wide range of abilities and knowledge.

Could you apply this to photography? I have heard on a number of occasions to be specific or to specialise. While I understand the concept and I admire many specialist photographers I don’t believe this has to apply to everyone. I believe somebody like Art Wolfe is a great example of this. He loves photography, if you visit his website ( there is Landscape, portraiture, nature, abstract photography, all sorts. You may not like everything he shoots but you get the distinct impression he really likes taking photos and he is very good at it.

Some people find comfort in specialisation. For me though I think my comfort comes from childish curiosity about the world around me and how I can harness that to fuel my photography. If you asked me what I like to photograph the most? I would reply without hesitation that it is Landscape photography. I love the peace and solitude found in nature and the methodical process to finding a photograph. Everything slows down and when done correctly feels like you are in a zen like or meditative state. You begin to appreciate the Earth, it’s power and how small you really are. I feel humbled to be surrounded by its beauty, diversity, its strength and its peace. I hope that is something that comes through in my photography.

Like most people however I cannot always get to the places I love being in easily. This does not stop me from taking photos though. I want to fuel my curiosity and creativity. Can I apply techniques I learn taking landscapes and apply them to street photography. Will studying street photography help take better portraiture? Is Cityscape and Landscape photography a similar style? It goes on and on constantly learning. Ultimately can you apply what you have learned in other genres to the style of photography that pleases you the most and take a better photo? I firmly believe for me that the answer is yes it can and does. Never stop being curious and don’t be afraid to try something new it might lead you down a path no one has traveled before. Maybe next time you are itching to go and explore a beautiful landscape but cannot just take a walk around where you live you might find something you have never seen before.

To be honest I am not a fan of the term “Specialisation is for insects”. I think it sounds negative in someway to the people that pursue mastery of something and to insects (insects are incredible creatures)! Many regard the Samurai sword or Katana as a perfect blade. When you see the dedication and understanding that goes in to the making of one you can understand why. However I bet the Japanese sword-smiths of old took teachings and refinement from many different areas and over many years to arrive at the process that we now know that creates a Katana blade. If you wanted to specialise in something maybe it could be being yourself in what ever it is you love doing. You are unique after all.

I believe a better term to live by is “Be like water”. There will be more posts on its meaning and the person who said it (if you don’t know already) in the future.

Until then though - Thank you very much for reading.


Lightroom importing photos tip.

Hi There,

I just wanted to write a quick message mainly to help me remember and hopefully it might help you.

If you ever wonder why your photos don’t look like they do on the back of your camera when you import them into Lightroom the following may help you alleviate some of the problems.

When you import photos into Lightroom it appears that nothing is really done. You just view the photos as they came out of the camera once they have finished being imported. Is this really the case though?

If you don’t know, when you make any adjustment to a photo a small +/- symbol appears in the bottom right hand corner of the photos thumbnail in grid view of the library module. This would imply that if there is no +/- on the thumbnail nothing has been done to the photo. However changes have already been made. In this way I feel that Lightroom can be a little misleading.

If you pick a photo and open the develop module at the very top there is an option named “Profile” and by default it is set to Adobe Colour. In older versions of Lightroom this option can be found in the calibration drop down menu. There maybe some cameras that shoot in the Adobe colour profile but I am not aware of them and my camera does not. If you prefer a profile that is built into the camera you should select it from the dropped menu. I am pretty sure Adobe has simulated profiles for most of the major brands of camera, especially the newer models. There are some older models of camera that have no profiles so you are stuck with the Adobe stock profiles. This is first thing that has been changed.

The second area to look at is the detail tab which is the 5th tab down by default. If you open it on any newly imported photo by default Lightroom applies a considerable amount of sharpening and colour noise reduction to the entire photo. As far as I am aware this setting is always the same regardless of model/brand of camera or the quality of the equipment. Sensors, lenses and everything else are not created equal (some gear is better than others) so I am not sure why these universal settings are being applied automatically.

To get around this problem you can create a preset that can be applied during the import process. I pick the profile I like and the amount of sharpening I like and remove the colour noise reduction. I also turn on Remove Chromatic Aberration in the Lens Correction tab (6th tab down by default). These are the only settings I change and then on the left hand side of the Develop module I click the + symbol on the preset drop down menu to save it as a preset.

Once the preset has been saved the next time you import some photos you can pick the preset you want to apply on the right hand side of the import menu under Apply During Import. The only caveat to this is the fact that once the photos have been imported they will all have a +/- symbol on them. Which is a little counter intuitive because you are actually removing settings. This applies even if you just remove all the changes Lightroom made. The photos will still display the +/- symbol.

Either way this helped me get my photos back to being much closer to the way they looked on the back of the camera. I believe this is a much better starting point to move forward from and it saved me a huge amount of time. I hope it helps you as well if you are using Lightoom.

Thanks for reading


It has been a while since my last post. I have been struggling to think of how I can use this blog. What can I say or add to the conversation that has not been said already by lots of people before me. I was lost. I was not sure I could write anything worthwhile. Then I was reminded that before anything good can be created a lot of bad needs to be. You need to learn, refine and get better bit by bit. That is how anything creative is done, you practice, practice and practice some more. Then you start to get better. You begin to focus and hone in on what you want to say weather it is in a photo, with words or anything else creative (It is all the same).

If you don’t write anything or take any photos you cannot say you are not any good because you haven’t started. You do not know. That was my problem with this blog not knowing weather it will be good or be read by anyone. That is not the point though. Just like photography I think a blog should be something that pleases you the creator first. If it does not turn out the way you wanted figure out where you went wrong and try and try again and never give up. You will fall a lot but getting back up and moving forward is how you get better.

I know I will stumble a lot writing this blog but I will keep going. Learning as I go and developing as a writer and hopefully a teacher of how see photography and what is important to me when it comes to taking a photograph. The more I write and the more frequently I write the sooner it will become a habit and the easier it will become. I hope I can document how I grow as a photographer with insight in to techniques and things I learn but maybe more importantly I hope I can look back on this and see how I have grown as a person.

Please stay tuned and thank you for reading.


The Last of the exhibitions is done.

It has been a little over a week since the last exhibtion came to a close in Osaka (30/01/2019). I wanted to wait a while before posting anything to try and collect my thoughts about the experience I have had.

During the exhibition in Osaka Masae and I were overwhelmed by the support we got not just from our family and friends but from people we had never seen before. There were so many people of all ages that came to see my work. It really took us by surprise, there was so much positive energy in the gallery space. I never expected to feel anything like that. I was proud to have been able to exhibit my work in galleries that are as nice as Canon’s and without their support I could not have done this. I did not expect the amount of people that came to each exhibition and the passion they had for photography. I feel extremely humbled by the experience and want to try and keep the energy alive. From the first guest to the last guest Masae and I tried to greet everyone we could and we loved talking to as people as possible. We are very sorry we could not talk to everyone. I hope I get the opportunity to exhibit my work again and talk to more people.

Before any of the exhibitions had started I had no idea what to expect. I had never really shown my work outside of my website before and have been put off of using services like instagram for a while. That maybe starting to change though. To tell the truth in the begining I was terrified but with a bit of help from Masae I got on the right track and started to believe in what I was doing more and more. I wanted the exhibition to reflect me and the way I see things. The exhibition was not of just one subject or even style. I believe every photo is unique and not every style works for each subject. I feel like each photo had a strong compostion and to me it was important that each piece could stand on it’s own. I wanted to try something different and I felt that I could make the flow from one piece to another work. I wanted people to see something different as well. In my mind I didn’t want them to feel tired at the end, I wanted people to be able to remember at least one of the photos they liked. I just needed people to come and have a look. If I am honest I did not think that many people would come to the exhibtions outside of family and friends. If a hundred people turned up in total I would have been happy. There was more than that - a lot more. I feel the way I decided to exhibit my photography worked more that it did not. All the people were extremely positive towards it, that made me feel extremely happy. Going forward I hope the experience gives me more belief in myself and to show my photography on a more regular basis.

The feeling I got when I put my work on display for the public to see for the first time was a mixture of fear and nerves. In each of the galleries we hung the work in when the pieces where being unboxed and put on the floor I have to say I did not like any of my work. I was so worried, but the minute they started to get hung on the wall the fear and nerves gave way to pride and honour. When they where all hung and lit correctly all of the anxiety was washed away by such a warm feeling of accomplishment that it made me quite emotional. I got a very similar feeling when I got my first credit on a feature film. When you have a goal and achieve it I imagine it feels like winning a gold medal at the Olympics or the World Cup.

When it was all done I felt inredibly sad. It was a long journey to go one but one that was so incredibly rewarding and it was a privilege to be able to share it with others. From the beginning I was so happy to be able to hang my work in a gallery. Not one photo amongst others but an entire space, it made me feel incredibly small and very lucky to be able to accomplish one of my dreams. When starting on this journey it started with the photos and hanging them in a gallery. This was the driving force and the one that I thought was the most important. What I did not realise was what the gallery would do to others. It brought people together in a way I did not anticipate. Family and friends came together to see my work initially but then they became reunited. People who had not seen each other for a very long time had a chance to meet again. Some where planned but a lot happened by chance. That was the most incredible part I think for me how people came together. Strangers would talk to each other about the photos, friends would see each other. I loved it and that was not something I thought would happen.

It took a lot of work to make the exhibitions the way I wanted them. There was something greater than the work that was needed though and that was the support of so many people. Thank you to everyone at Canon that made this possible, Shimbo-san, Akita-san, Iwata-san, Furusawa-san, Hayashida-san, Koda-san,Katsuki-san and Fukuda-san. I am honoured that you like my photos enough to allow me to display them in your galleries and I hope I will be able to again in the future.

Thank you to all our friends we where so happy to see you all. I am very glad you could come and catch up with each other. As well as all the people we met for the first time, thank you all so so much.

Maki and Shintaro thank you so much for helping out bringing us snacks and coffee. You where both amazing, we could not have done it with out you. Yuji, Risa, and Shutaro thank you so much for coming to the gallery. Seeing you gave us so much energy. If you told me when I was younger I would have brothers and sisters in Japan I would not have believed you. However I am very glad I do - you are all incredible people. Mami-chan and Ta-Chan thank you so much for spreading the word in Tokyo and letting Masae and I stay at your house while the exhibition was happening.

Mum, Dad back in the UK. Thank you so much for everything and believing in me. I owe you a lot and I am enternally greatful. I wish you could have seen it! Maybe next time. Otosan, Okasan thank you for all your help and support I am so happy to be a part of such a lovely family.

Lastly a huge Thank you to my amazing wife Masae. You give me so much confidence and believe in me so much I can never repay you. Your inspire me everyday to create and pursue my dreams. Without you none of this would have happened. I feel extremely lucky to have you by my side and to be your husband. I love you with all my heart.

What is next? I want to try and make a photo book. I will keep everyone posted on the progress! I will also travel more and keep taking photos. I want to be able to exhibit my work again, it is such a good feeling and if you get the chance to do it yourself go for it!

Thank you very much for reading!

To be continued…

The Osaka Ehibition

The Osaka Ehibition

Masae and I standing outside the Canon Gallery in Osaka.

Masae and I standing outside the Canon Gallery in Osaka.

The Start of a New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

As it is the start of a new year I am setting myself a goal - a resolution if you will. Each month I would like to try and take 1 photo I am really proud of to add to my portfolio. I hope each photo will say something about the time of year and the place it was taken. When December comes around it will be interesting to see what I have come up with and I hope I have twelve images that I am really proud of.

This is the first time I have set myself a photographic goal over the course of a year, and I hope it will encourage me to keep getting outside and exploring the world around me.

During the Christmas break Masae and I went to stay with Robyne and Ken in Australia (Masaes Australian Mum and Dad). It surprised me how early they got up in the morning everyday. It is something I have often thought I need to do myself. One morning we got up and went for a walk with Robyne and it reminded me how nice it is to wake up with the world and not with everyone else. I loved that feeling and it is something I want to carry forward to help with my photography. Once we got back from the walk it amazed me how much time there was left in the morning! Not only is it great to be outside in the morning, you can do so much more when you get back home.

I love the beauty of a sunset but usually I feel distracted even if it is amazing to look at. It might be everything that has gone on in the day or the location itself, I feel like I have a hard time to settle my mind. The time before and during a sun rise however is completely different I feel like my mind is calm and the world is calm. I can focus and feel as well as see the beauty around me, I hope that will come through in the photos I take over the coming year. As I get used to waking up earlier and earlier I am going to start carrying my camera more. One thing I am very aware of however is the feeling of having to carry my camera versus wanting to carry it.

Pressure is frustrating and putting pressure on yourself is never good. Having a goal is good but I don’t think it should consume you. When I feel I want to take a photo I will and all the other times I will just enjoy being outside and hopefully being with Masae if she can wake up in time ha!

I think that will do for now! If you have any goals set for the year good luck with them and what ever they may be I hope you achieve them!

Thank you for reading see you next time!

The end of the year...

Wow 2018 is nearly over! This year has gone by so fast. Thank you to everyone that helped make this year so much fun! Two exhibitions have gone by, there is 1 more at the end of January in Osaka which we are looking forward to.

Masae and I spent Christmas in Australia with Robyne and Ken. Masae calls them her Australian Mum and Dad because they are so close. It was the first time I met them and they are both amazing people, thank you so much for welcoming me in to your family. I love Australia and cannot wait to come back!

I took my camera with me and I did take a few photos however I felt like I just wanted to relax and enjoy myself so there. Sometimes it is better to just be in the moment and experience everything around you, instead of focussing on taking photos. I needed the break and I hope it will help me going forward into 2019.

I have no idea what to expect in 2019 but I aim to try and continue the momentum and enjoyment from 2018 on into the future.

Thank you everyone once again for an amazing year! See you soon!

Left to right Ken, Robyne, Masae, Mark. Outside Kens and Robynes home in Australia.

Left to right Ken, Robyne, Masae, Mark. Outside Kens and Robynes home in Australia.

Nagoya exhibition finished and looking forward to Osaka.

Hello all,

Wednesday the 5th of Decemeber 2018 marked the end of the exhibition at Canon Gallery in Nagoya. It was a fantastic experience. Before the exhibition began we had thought that it would be a lot quieter than Tokyo, we were very wrong. The response to the exhibition was amazing. Masae and I cannot thank everyone enough who came to see the exhibition. We met many many people of all ages, made new friends and many old friends came to see us as well. Some people came from a really long way. People from Shiga prefecture and friends from Takayama came, that is amazing thank you all for travelling such long distances and taking time to look at my art and see us, we are extremely grateful and humbled by your support.

Thank you to everyone, the people at Canon, the people that visited, and thank you Masae you are the biggest help and support to me.

Nagoya you are amazing and me and Masae cannot wait to come back!

Now there is a little break and then the exhibition in Osaka will start at the end of Janauary next year (which is just around the corner - crazy!) . I am super excited for it to start as it is our home town. We are looking forward to seeing you all there!


Nagoya Day 2 just finished 30/11/2018

Wow day two of the exhibition at the Canon Gallery in Nagoya is over and I am extremly humbled by the people that visited. The warmth and enthusiasm towards my work they gave me was overwhelming. One guy Motoki came all the way from Shiga prefecture to see the exhibition because he thought he could not make it to the exhibition in Osaka, amazing! Me and Masae spoke to him for quite a while and we made a new friend.

There was a professional power boat photographer who was really into the work and we spoke about all types of photography. Some school children came to see the exhibtion as they go to Canon to learn about the cameras and what Canon does. They were very sweet and enjoyed looking at the photos. Masaes Mum came all the way from Fukuyama to help (Thank you so much!) and brought her friend Hisami who lives in Nagoya. So many characters from all walks of life, they all liked different photos and had all different opinions. Some people say an exhibition should only be one type of work but I am glad my exhibition is varied but coherent that many different people come and leave enjoying what they have seen.

Yesterday some friends from Hong Kong came to the exhibition (Tony, Winnie) and their friend Kyoko. I am so happy you could make it! Thank you so much for the flowers they are pride of place on the table in the middle of the exhibition! We look forward to seeing you again.

After the exhibtion in Ginza which was very busy I had thought that the exihibiton in Nagoya would be very quiet and even though it is not as busy as Ginza I am still shocked by how many people Masae and I are meeting. We are very tired at the end of everyday not because of stress but because of how much fun we are having on this crazy journey.

Thank you to everyone that we have seen so far you are all amazing and I look forward to the days to come.

Motoki with me and Masae

Motoki with me and Masae

Tony, Winnie from Hong Kong and their friend Kyoko with Me and Masae

Tony, Winnie from Hong Kong and their friend Kyoko with Me and Masae

Me and Masae with Masaes mum Mariko (light blue cardigan) and her best friend Hasami

Me and Masae with Masaes mum Mariko (light blue cardigan) and her best friend Hasami

Canon Exhibition in Nagoya starts tomorrow!

Hello everyone, I just wanted to say that the Canon Exhibition in Nagoya will start tomorrow (29/11/2018) and will run until (05/12/2018). I am super looking forward to seeing what the reaction will be to it and meeting new people and seeing my friends too.

I will post more from the days ahead hopefully in the evenings.

But before all that the day before we came to Nagoya I had the oppotunity to photograph some of the Autumn/Fall colour around near where I live in Japan and just wanted to share a photo from the trip. I hope you like it and I will add more to my Galleries in the coming days.

Thank you very much for reading and see you again very soon!


The end of the exhibition in Ginza Tokyo. Next stop Nagoya!

Yesterday the 8th November 2018 was the last day of my exhibition in Ginza Tokyo. It was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in my life. We met so many people from so many walks of life it was so nice to talk to them and see what they thought about my exhibition. Some people came back a second time!

The staff at Canon were so helpful, kind and welcoming to me and Masae we made a lot fo new friends. We have to thank Shimbo-san, Akita-san, Furusawa-san, Hayashida-san, Iwata-san you are all amazing and the exhibition would not have been the same with out you. Thank you for believing in me and Masae.

Thank you to Frame-man and Iwata-san for doing the mounting and matting, the prints looked incredible hanging on the wall!

I feel kind of sad that it is over but ultimately I am filled more with happiness that I believe the exhibition was a success. It did not matter weather it was Sunny or pouring with rain there was always people looking at the prints.

The next stage is just around the corner and I hope we get to see many more people.

See you in Nagoya!

Akita-san, Masae, Me and Shimida Maki-san.

Akita-san, Masae, Me and Shimida Maki-san.

Furusawa-san, Masae, Me, Hayashia-san, Iwata-san.

Furusawa-san, Masae, Me, Hayashia-san, Iwata-san.

A very grateful first 2 days of the exhibition

Before the exhibition opened on Thursday the 1st November 2018 I hoped some people would come and see my photos. Me and Masae did not expect to see the amount of people we did in the first 2 days. To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. We met so many people from so many walks of life and of all ages. It was amazing and I was so pleased that people all found images they liked and where different from the next person. We enjoyed talking with everyone we spoke to and where just very sad that we could not talk to everyone.

I really hope it continues into next week as well. If you are in Tokyo and have some free time come to the Canon Gallery in Ginza and say hello. Over the coming days and weeks I will try and post some more photos about from the exhibition as well.

Thank you very much for reading.

Me and Masae and the Canon Gallery

Every story has to start somewhere...

That is how I chose to start the introduction to my very first photography exhibition that is to be held at Canon’s Gallery in Ginza Tokyo. Over the coming weeks and months it will be in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. I hope to use the start of this blog as a way to document the adventure from start to finish. I thought starting this blog in the same way as my exhibition would be fitting.

On Thursday 01/11/2018 my photos will be on the walls of a gallery in Tokyo. I never thought that would happen to me and I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity. I have to thank Masae my wife for believing in my skills as a photographer and giving me the confidence to submit my portfolio, without her I would not be writing this.

It has been a long and exciting road to get here but it is finally just around the corner. On Wednesday we go to the gallery to hang the photos in the evening and I am very much looking forward to that. I love printing my work I believe photos are objects that you can pick up and feel. It has been a lot of work but I am really happy with the results and I hope the people that come to view the photos will feel the care that was put into each print.

Once the exhibitions are complete I hope to use this blog to share some information and thoughts about photography from my point of view. I will post the photos from the exhibitions into my galleries on here.

Thank you very much for reading and I hope to see some of you at the exhibition!

Many thanks