Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
My nickname among the Reuters photographers in Tokyo is “Crasher”.
They call me that because I always seem to get pictures right at the moment of a crash whenever I cover motorsports.
One colleague sometimes teases me saying “You’ve got to stop pouring oil on the track,” and I answer: ”I would never use oil — I only use banana skins!”
In motorsports the most exciting moment you can capture in a picture is a crash.
That instant can be the difference between life and death, and it’s a picture that is most difficult to capture.
For the national holiday, Sports Day, I had a fitting assignment – a women’s bodybuilding competition in Tokyo.
It was my first time to cover bodybuilding, and as soon as I entered the venue I heard cheers from the 1,500 spectators eyeing 68 athletes from across Japan.
On the last day of Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso’s campaign for last week’s lower house election, I went to cover Aso’s speech in Kamakura to get pictures out as early as possible.
A large crowd of people waited for him to speak, but only a handful of cameraman were at the scene, perhaps reflecting the view that the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was on its way to defeat.
When you pack scores of journalists into a room and they’re all trying to listen to, photograph, and film one person – like the head of a political party – it’s easy to get blocked by the people and things in front of you.
For a photographer, this is the kiss of death. It means not getting a picture. Next, your phone rings with an angry editor on the other end - a brief conversation is followed by a lengthy period of woe and despair. For this and other reasons, photographers go to great lengths to get a good photo position.