Other than beautiful natural landscapes and rich street life, Japan also has another perfect subject for your photography, especially if you’re into architectural photography. Traditional Japanese houses are rich with unique design features that each hold their own importance in the country’s culture. Many such features are also made a part of more modern houses due to their importance and practicality.

This makes Japanese houses very interesting subjects for photographers visiting Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the best features of traditional Japanese houses before going over some tips for interior photography.

Maximum Use of Light

Your camera will love Japanese houses because of the amazing light that is made part of the indoors. The use of paper screens that slide in and out of spaces as needed is a great way not only to connect and divide spaces but also lets in a lot of light into the house. This light is also diffused, which is great for photography as there are no harsh shadows anywhere in sight. The screens themselves are sometimes so beautifully crafted that they become very interesting subjects.

Connecting the Outdoors with the Indoors

The Engawa is a corridor that is present all around a traditional Japanese house. This becomes a great place to sit and relax, but it also serves the purpose of connecting the outdoor nature with the indoor spaces. This is also why Japanese houses are so well lit, as this space around the house allows light to come in from all sides.

Unique Indoor Spaces

Japanese homes have multiple very unique spaces that each serve a purpose. All of these make taking interior photos of Japanese houses a very fun experience. Spaces like the Ofuro which is a space for bathing usually made separately from the toilet, and the Irori which is a sunken space that is used for heating a room during winters and also as a cooking space make Japanese homes completely different from what you may have ever seen before.

So Japanese houses have some great features that you can photograph, but how should you be photographing them? Let’s talk about some tips and tricks you can try:

Use a Wide Angle Lens

Interior spaces can be very small at times, and a standard lens may not always be able to capture the scene you are trying to photograph. This is where a wide angle lens comes in handy. It will help you take photos that are not only dramatic but also contain a lot more information in them than a ‘normal’ lens would.

Use a Wide Aperture

Using a wide-angle lens with a wide aperture will ensure that your photos are not underexposed. Yes, Japanese homes are well-lit, but a wider aperture will also allow you to use a faster shutter speed. This means you can shoot hand-held, and therefore faster than you otherwise would be able to. It can be very helpful if you’re short on time.

Make Sure You Clean Up

An otherwise perfect shot can be ruined by something small that doesn’t belong in the scene which you missed. So be careful to set up your shot properly and clean up your scene. It doesn’t hurt to make a few changes in the space before you press the shutter to ensure that you end up with the best possible image.

Learn to Post-Process

Cleaning up your images after you’ve taken them, on a computer, is a very important step in professional photography. There are many impressive photo editing software programs available today that make this process very easy. You can not only fix the exposure and contrast of your photos but can also remove objects you don’t want in your frame, change the white balance if you’ve shot the image in RAW, work in multiple layers, create composite images, and much more. To find the best image editor for your needs, it’s best to try them out first to get a feel of what you like most.

So the next time you’re in Japan, don’t just get caught up in the street life and the natural sights, take some time to visit some traditional homes and capture some of the architectural heritage the country boasts. I assure you it will be one of the best indoor shooting experiences you’ll ever have.

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Imagine this: you’re in Japan and taking photos on your camera. You like to shoot in RAW so that’s what you’re doing. You take heaps of photos and open your laptop to process them in your favorite RAW editor, be it Lightroom, Aurora HDR, or Capture One. This is when you realize that your laptop is dead and you don’t have access to a power outlet to charge it up. What you do have is your phone that you can also charge with a power bank. How great would it be if you could just edit your RAW files on your phone?

Enter, Snapseed

Well, that is precisely what you can do with modern mobile apps like Lightroom for mobile and Snapseed. These apps have really pushed mobile photography and editing to a whole new level. You can not only use them to edit RAW photos that your phone takes (if your phone supports that function) but can also import various RAW formats from your professional camera and edit those. You will need Wi-Fi or NFC on your camera to transfer your photos to your phone, but many cameras these days have such functions.


All the Basic Editing Needs Fulfilled

Once you have imported your RAW files into a mobile app, you can get pretty much all the basic editing done on your phone. Of course, these apps don’t have all the capabilities of a standalone computer program, but you’d be surprised to see how much you can get out of your RAW images. From adjusting exposure to dodging and burning, mobile apps like Snapseed give you a lot of features to make the best of your photos when on the move.

And the best part of editing photos on your phone? You can share them instantly with a platform of your choice!

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Many professional photographers and even enthusiasts know the benefits of shooting in RAW. However, there is a large number of people who aren’t familiar with all they can do with RAW photos.

RAW Photos are Generally Better Quality

A RAW photo contains all the image data your camera’s sensor captures. This means that the files you end up with are not compressed into JPEGs by your camera, hence giving you the maximum quality possible from the sensor. Why is it important? Because you can edit RAW files without destroying your image as RAW processing is not about artificially enhancing your photos but rather lets you tweak the image data to get the look you want for your photos.

They Let You Be a Little Free

Since a RAW photo can be processed as needed after you’ve imported the file to your computer, you don’t have to keep worrying about nailing every single aspect of your photo while taking it. While a blurred image cannot be salvaged even if taken in RAW, you can easily tweak your photo’s exposure, highlights, sharpness, color balance, and much more.

Making HDRs is Easier

If you want to create HDR images, then the format again is the best way to go. Merging multiple RAW images to create an HDR photo means that you can manipulate the final look of your photo without ruining the image quality while editing in an hdr photo editor.

You can be Creative

Once you have a RAW file in your hands, you can do all manner of changes to it later on. This means that your creativity can flow unhindered. Sometimes you don’t always know what you’re going to do with a photo when you are taking it and it’s only when you see on your computer that you want to make it look a certain way. A RAW file lets you do that while maintaining the integrity of the photo.

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Being a travel photographer, while very exciting, can be a little tricky sometimes. You can’t just go to a place like Japan and start taking photos, hoping to capture something amazing. I mean, you can do that if you a tourist and your main motivation is to have a vacation. But if you are a photographer and want to really capture the essence and beauty of Japan, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

  1. Choose Your Gear Carefully

The first thing I always tell travel photographers to do is to carry the right gear. Yes, you can take along a heavy DSLR with multiple lenses, but do you really need all that? If not, then it’s better to take along a lighter and more compact camera. This will allow you to see more without worrying constantly about all the things you have to carry with you.

  1. Wake Up Early

The golden hour is arguably the best time to capture photos of landscapes because of the quality of light you can utilize. To make the most of this light, wake up about an hour before sunrise and you’ll be able to see things in a completely different way.

  1. Be Mindful of Where you Stay

If you are traveling to Japan mainly for photography, then it is vital that you make the right choice when it comes to accommodation. If you want to capture the urban life and the people, then find a place in the center of the city. Otherwise, choose a place where you’ll be able to capture those amazing landscapes the country has to offer.

  1. Get to Know the Place

Don’t just take your camera and start clicking that shutter button. Get to know the area you want to photograph. Go out, talk to people, try the local food, and roam the markets. Once you get to know the place, you’ll have a much deeper story to tell through your photos.

  1. Look for the Little Things

Try to take photos of things most people don’t take photos of when they visit Japan. Look for deeper subjects than the beautiful landscapes or the friendly people. Your photos should tell your point of view of the place, not that which is being told by hundreds of others.

  1. Be Nice

If it isn’t obvious already, if you want to be a successful travel photographer, you need to be nice to people. Learn to say hello to them in their language, greet them with a smile when you approach them, ask them politely if you can take a photo of them, and don’t take a photo of them when you know they don’t want you to. Always remember that if you treat your photography subjects with respect, your chances of getting a good photo of them will increase.

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If you’ve read the previous posts on this website, you should have established by now that photographing Japan is a joy for those who enjoy photographing different cultures and people. However, as a traveler you will mostly be on your feet, walking around with your camera and trying to capture all that you can. A lot of the moments you want to capture will go by very quickly, as they often do in street photography, so the following tips might be helpful in getting the shot you want.

  • When indulging in street photography, always try to use a fast shutter speed if you’re trying to freeze the action around you. While this does reduce the amount of light getting into your camera, it ensures that you don’t miss an important image thanks to the blur caused by slower shutters.


  • A black and white image, usually, can be taken in a lesser amount of light than a colored one. So if you’re using a high shutter speed but don’t have enough light to create a well-exposed image, consider shooting in black and white.


  • And finally, if you don’t already know, shoot in RAW! This will help you immensely in editing your photos after taking them. You can tweak the exposure, sharpness, colors, and a lot more without degrading image quality if you shoot in RAW.


Street photography in Japan is something you simply have to take a shot at the next time you’re there. The culture, the people, the architecture, everything in Japan deserves your attention as a photographer, and with these tips in mind you can be sure to take some great street photos.

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If you have gone through my previous blog posts, you may have already decided to take a trip to Japan yourself. But an important question to ask yourself, especially if you’re a photographer, is what kind of camera should you take along with you?

For Good-Looking Travel Photos – Go Compact

If you’re taking a trip to Japan simply to enjoy as a family and just need to take some photos to record the memories, even a basic compact camera of these days will serve you well. Compacts have come a long way in recent years, providing excellent image quality for their price. While not as robust as a DSLR in image quality, compact cameras are small, lightweight, and better than your average smartphone.

There are many high end compact cameras available as well with larger sensors than usual, allowing you to take some very good photos that can be printed if needed. So don’t be afraid that carrying a compact camera will not let you get some fine art photography done if you’re into that.

For Enthusiast Photography or Professional Work – The Choice is Yours

Now we come to the whole debate of whether a DSLR is better or is mirror-less the new pro. The fact of the matter is that both these technologies have improved over the years, but mirror-less cameras being the newer tech have taken the world of DSLRs by storm.

Mirror-less cameras are smaller, lighter, and easier to carry around than DSLRs, and have a vast array of features and accessories just like a DSLR. I personally prefer mirror-less technology because of these reasons, but there are many people who don’t. So based on your personal taste, choose between a DSLR or a mirror-less camera if you want to take photographs that you can print or sell on a professional level.

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Traveling around the world is one of the most therapeutic things one can do. Meeting new people, seeing new cultures, and experiencing things different than what you are used to can help open your mind to new possibilities. I personally love to travel, and since I am a photographer as well, I tend to take loads of pictures on my trips. One of my favorite tourist destinations, as you might have already figured out from my previous posts, is Japan.

There are multiple reasons for this choice of mine. The primary ones are that Japan boasts a very colorful and interesting culture, and the people of Japan are quite friendly and accommodating. If you are also planning to take a trip to Japan for some photography, here are some things you should remember:

People Love the Peace Sign

Whenever you are taking a posed photo of a Japanese person, expect them to make the peace sign almost every time. I can’t explain why the Japanese love this symbol or why they feel compelled to make it in every photo, but you need to accept the fact that you’ll have a lot of these symbols in your pictures.

Know How to Capture the Cherry Blossoms

If you happen to visit Japan during springtime, you should definitely plan your trip according to the arrival of the Cherry Blossoms. The country just transforms into an explosion of pink, you will see a huge number of locals and tourists picnicking under these trees all over the place.

When photographing Cherry Blossoms, you should keep a few things in mind. The first is to look for the perfect light. The color of these trees is so light that even the slightest of light at the wrong angle can disrupt your image. You should also be careful about what you add in your frame, and how the color of the trees will be used to accentuate your shot.

Another thing you can do is to take multiple photos of the same scene at different exposure settings and combine them into an HDR photo with the help of an HDR processing software. Aurora HDR 2017 does this job wonderfully. An HDR shot will ensure that you have the right kind of light in your image and that the details are maintained in the highlights as well as the shadows.

Be Mindful of the Privacy

In Japan, people take their privacy seriously. So whenever you take photos of people with the plan to publish them online, you might have to blur out some faces if you don’t have the permission from the subjects to share these photos. I know it looks weird, but you should keep this in mind prior to taking photos so that a good shot doesn’t get compromised later on.

Japan is, without a doubt, a beautiful country that I would suggest everyone to visit. The rich culture, the friendly people, and the breathtaking landscape all combine to make Japan one of the best places to visit for your next photo expedition.

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When I tell people that I love listening to Japanese music, they look at me like there’s something wrong with me. However, there are some things about Japanese music that I just find a lot better than American music. Here are the top three reasons why I like Japanese music over American:

  • They Give Importance to Melody

Now this certainly doesn’t mean that American music doesn’t focus on the actual melody on the song, but the Japanese just give it more importance than the lyrics or the story sometimes. This makes their music very pleasing to listen to right off the bat.

  • Songwriters Write Songs

Lately, in America, the concept of singers writing their own songs has been gaining a little too much importance. This is fine, but I personally think that music written by someone who is inherently a songwriter is better and has more depth to it than any singer who sings about the troubles of their own life.

  • The Songs are ‘Happier’

If you look at some of the songs that are topping American charts, you’ll realize that most of them are just about sad or generally negative stories. Japanese music, on the other hand, gives a positive and happier message most of the time. You will, of course, find sad songs from Japan too, but their music focuses on a wide array of emotions and messages more so than American music.


So before any of you think I’m crazy for listening to Japanese music over American, I suggest you give it a try and see for yourself the stark differences that exist between them.

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Let me tell you that, as a photographer, there is nothing more rewarding for me than to photograph a culture that is different than anything I’ve ever seen. I am, as the title clearly states, talking about the weird and wonderful world that is Japan. From the extreme cuteness of things and the colorful festivals to karaoke, Japan has a culture unlike any other. And if you are a photographer like me, that is the best thing you can wish for.

However, I am not just a photographer but a musician too, as many of you may know. So instead of talking about everything you can photograph in Japan on your next trip, I am going to talk about some of the best music events and venues you can hit as a music lover, while also taking photos of the eccentric culture.

Visit The Country’s Largest Music Events

Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival is the country’s biggest outdoor musical event that has been held annually since 1997. If you are a music fan and love to listen to live music, then this is the event you should be heading to.

One the flipside, you could also choose to attend Summer Sonic, the rival musical event to Fuji Rock Festival. This is also a summer event, held in August, and features some of the world’s biggest names in pop and rock music. Both these events are perfect if you want to see how Japan’s music culture operates and no matter which one you choose to visit, you’re bound to have a great time.

Give a Shot to Some Night Life

There are a number of bars and clubs all over the country that play live music. You may be thinking that these kind of venues exist all over the world, and you’re right. But the thing is, Japan has some really good places where traditional and folk music is played. Also, many of these places used to be Sake breweries, and still serve it along with live traditional music.

If you want to experience something other than music that pays homage to Japanese culture, you should head to Kyoto. There exists a place called Minami-za, and it is the oldest Kabuki theatre in the country. Now if you have never had the chance to go to a Kabuki theatre, you definitely should. It is a form of Japanese drama that has existed for centuries. Trust me, the exaggerated gestures, the dramatic costumes, and the overall atmosphere will be perfect to bring your inner photographer out.

Go Buy Some Records

As any seasoned musician will tell you, the quality of music stored on a modern CD simply pales in comparison to the quality that an LP record delivers. If you’re in Japan and would like to head out and shop for some records, you’re in luck. There are a number of music retailers all over in Japan that sell records. Tokyo’s branch of Tower Records is one of these. Not only is it a great place to buy records, but it’s also the biggest music store in all of Japan. You can also head to Disk Union in Tokyo, with its six floors all filed with records for you to sift through. Each floor of the store caters to a specific genre of music, and you are sure to find whatever you are looking for here.


Japan is, without a doubt, one of the most vibrant countries in the world. Whether you are a music fan or just a photographer who likes to travel around and capture the beauty of different cultures, Japan is a good place to be for you. Take my word for it.



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Today, most of the photographers are also musicians. Rudyard Kipling is a classical guitarist and also being a very passionate photographer. He was one of the most famous artists as well as print making studios photographer. I have been a life-long musician and my mother was a music teacher. My mother made me took many lessons and also learnt one-hour of music for everyday. Later in my life, I was good enough musician in playing the best guitar performance. In fact, the music has also played in some part of the photography. Even many musicians can also take the photography and many photographers can also play the music at the same time. But it is indeed possible to do both such as listen the light as well as play it. However, these two disciplines like photography and music can share several traits. The musician also loves editing photos and then applies to any kind of photography.

I often write the music and use it in my slide shows and then occasionally do it in live. As a musician and photographer, I would like to use several phrases such as rhythm, texture, energy, shape, dynamics, pattern, repetition, color, balance, tone, line, dominance, form, dissonance, harmony, perspective or weight. Even the musicians are story-tellers too, because the same type of effortless transformation of ideas, whether it may be in form of a photo or music. They can also put many things to learn in single discipline while practising another. However, I strongly believe it is necessary to learn to become a good musician and photographer too while learning to play a musical instrument. When you are thinking about these forms of creative process, you just thinking less and feeling more, which is a single-way ticker to do excellent things. I am writing this especially for those who are open to find out art forms in order to become a great photographer.

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