Tokyo is one of the most photographed cities in the World. VIEWBUG community member briankemper tells us why Tokyo should be on your photography bucket list, read and enjoy!

What inspired you to be a photographer?

I’ve always admired photography, but never really did much of it myself. Then, a few years ago, I started joining in on photo walks with a group of local photographers I met in Tokyo through Google+. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?

The first camera I can remember owning was the Kodak DC20. At 0.2 megapixels, the results weren’t spectacular. My first DSLR was the Pentax K-x, the camera that really got me started. Today, I shoot primarily with the Canon EOS M3.

When someone looks at your photos, what are you trying to say?

Tokyo is heaven for photographers. There is always a sensory overload waiting around the corner. My hope is that I can convey at least a bit of that feeling in my photography.

What is it that you love about photography?

I love being able to capture a moment and share my experiences with others. I love how cameras blend generations of mechanical engineering with modern technology.
And I love that no matter how long you’ve worked at it, there is always something new to learn.

What has photography done for you?

It’s introduced me to so many great people and driven me to explore places that I otherwise would have missed.


Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?

I prefer to capture the feeling behind a photo and keep a realistic look.

How do you describe your style?

I suppose my style is a bit darker, I like to play with shadows and also tend to shoot from low angles.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

Of my limited collection, I’d have to go with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon. I like how it performs in low light. It’s my best all-around performer.

Have you received negative feedback from your work? 

I’ve received mostly constructive criticism, some of which I've learned from. But as an amateur, I don’t really worry about meeting others’ expectations in my photography. I shoot how I want to shoot.

Where did you learn to take photos?

Tokyo. It’s almost cheating because there is so much out there to shoot.

Raw vs jpg and why?

Always raw. I love the freedom if gives you.

What do you carry in your camera bag?

I tend to travel light during my daily commute. Typically, I will carry the EOS M3, the EF-M 11-22mm, and the Sigma 30mm or a Pentax 50mm.

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?

Not sure I could pick a favorite photographer, but the trait I most envy has a good eye for what to shoot on the fly.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?

I don’t spend much time worrying about others’ mistakes. I make enough of my own.

What is your dream location to shoot?

The International Space Station

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?

I don’t really have a formula. Living in Tokyo, the locations usually come automatically.

Check out briankemper's profile to see more inspiring shots and to get ready for your Tokyo adventure.