A Hokkaido Photography tour and our Hokkaido Private Photo tour workshops are a dream come true for those who wish to view and photograph the unseen minimalist landscape scenes across Hokkioaodo, Japan and experience the untold stories of Japans unique society. I love pre-dawn to early mornings driving though amazingly dramatic snow-covered hilly sceneries; they are artistically minimalist, especially with the right lightings and dusting of snow the night before. On all my Hokkaido photo tour itineraries, I include minimalist landscape photography, but again the light has to be just right. Twenty years ago, I used to religiously photograph in Bie Hokkaido and visit the blue pond several times per year. The color of the blue pond ranges from vibrant turquoise to emerald to cobalt blue, depending on the seasons, the wind, clouds, and rain can all change its color appearance, which is uniquely beautiful before the ice covers the pond and there is snow in the trees. In mid-winter, it's a waste of time visiting a frozen pond, with trees sticking out of the snow "sorry that's just my opinion", but they do light up the snow at night with blue lights; yes, it has become another (tourist trap) I can think of a thousand other places across Hokkaido off the beaten path to photograph mid-winter, without the ordinary tourist, taking snapshots and milling about walking in front of our tripods as we are filming our scene. I embrace all themes of photography, and on my group Winter Hokkaido wildlife photo workshop tours, the highlight is the Steller Sea Eagle, and The White-Tailed Eagle and their epic battles for survival, also we have the Ezo Red Fox, Sika Deer and the sweetheart bonny of a bird the Shima Enaga, I even, include Mt. Fuji, the snow monkey, and an original samurai castle, and a very special PowerPoint shrine in the valley of the dragons.
Too often, I see photographers focusing on one, or possibly, two themes. As a teacher of the visual arts, I feel this is a catastrophic mistake. As the zen master, D.T. Suzuki, said, “I like zen because everything is zen.” My vision is to explore and always experience life with the beginner’s mind. A beginner sees myriad possibilities in each theme and pursuit, and that is the mindset I bring to each project I participate in. Many colleagues and fellow photographers feverishly hold onto their pride and feel that because they are experts, they know the best expression of a theme and therefore limit the potential of the photographic subject. My goal is to discover the emotion, the personality, and connection expressed in the subject to myself and fellow visual artists. That subject can be wildlife, landscapes, flowers, or street photography. Virtually anything that has light cast upon it can be that subject, even if I am the author of that light source. And I do have a deep passion for Minimalist Zen-inspired Photography.