James Delano Borneo Rainforest Photo Workshop in Tokyo 2013.9.1~10

Tokyo-based photographer, James Delano will be conducting a workshop focusing on his Borneo Rainforest series.  The workshop is ideal for environment-conscious photojournalists or those that just want to have a meaningful chat about photography.

For further information, contact Mr. Delano directly via Facebook.


Delano also did a piece entitled “Black Tsunami” which documents the aftermath of the Tohoku disaster.  What I admire most about the Black Tsunami prints are the images of the cherry blossom trees just stretching, yearning out of the debris of despair and hopelessness.  Holy cow!  Talk about visually representing the notion of “resurrection, rebirth, hope”  Damn!  Very inspiring photos.  Let’s go, Tohoku!


A couple of months after 3.11 in Japan, I had the opportunity to join James and another Tokyo-based photographer, Bahag, to document the situation in the Fukushima area; specifically, in the tsunami-stricken areas of Minamisoma, Iwaki and village called, Kawauchi.  At the time, over 90% of the village had been evacuated because of its proximity to the nuke reactors.

The experience for me personally was significant in two aspects.  Firstly, the trip was my idealistic leap into the serious world of photojournalism; tagging along with two professional photographers.  The experience and circumstances were completely different from the things I would normally shoot in Tokyo, e.g., Japanese festivals, bizarre fashion trends in Harajuku, temples, cute girls, etc.

Secondly, the arena for my debut, nuclear-stricken Fukushima, scared the shit out of me.  It was May of 2011, we were near the 20 km exclusion zone, police were all around, streets were empty;  I was a photojournalist virgin not knowing what the hell to expect.  Moreover, we had a geiger counter in the car and we would occasionally hear it go off when we drove through certain “hot” area.  This freaked the shit out of me.  As a proud hypochondriac, I was certain I was going to die of radiation exposure a few weeks later.

Some of my photos here.


James Delano, Iwaki, Japan


Bahag, Iwaki, Japan


I learned a lot from that trip with James and Bahag.  I learned a lot about myself and what it means to use a camera to tell a story.  Most importantly, I observed how seasoned professionals operate in the field and the dedication they put into their work.  It’s one thing to simply read about photography and look at photos in a book or on flickr, but very different when you actually talk face-to-face and get dirty with the storytellers.

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In sum, take your camera, go out into the field, join workshops, talk with the pros, do anything; just stop posting over-filtered shit on Instagram.

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