Japan Trip Report

My Japan workshop has just finished up and I am back in Jersey, but only for a few days as I fly to Norway for my first Northern Lights-Norway workshop in Lofoten. Paul and I had a very nice group of talented photographers. They all seemed to get along well and I look forward to seeing them all again. Our guides were on point once again, making sure that every one of our needs were met. In addition to the outstanding photo opportunities we ate some fantastic food!

Our first stop was at the monkey park before heading to Hokkaido. In Hokkaido, we photographed Red-crowned crane, Whooper Swan and Steller’s sea eagles in Rausu. Our guides took us to photograph 2 of the most adorable Ural Owls, a single gorgeous Eso Red Fox and much more. In addition to our regular schedule we scouted a couple of new photography spots during our trip. They both worked out quite well so they will be added to our main itinerary for our 2020 Japan in Winter Photo Tour. If you’d like to join me, you can find out more about the workshop here. One of the locations was a secret beach, it was much better than the Jewelry Ice Beach that we visited last year. There were lots and lots of larger chunks of ice on the beach. Also, we shot at a new spot for fighting eagles on a frozen lake that turned out to be a lot of fun.

This year I worked on some tighter shots as I brought along my Canon 600mm II lens with my Canon 1.4 and 2x teleconverters and got in extremely close for some nice high-key images. I also concentrated on more landscapes instead of just birds in flight since I have so many already.

We didn’t have white out conditions this year but we did have a snow day at the monkey park and it snowed twice for the cranes. Our early morning Lake Kussharo visits were fun and we also had a chance to do some evening shots with the swans; the entire group loved that—including me.

It’s funny how on my very first visit to Japan I felt a bit homesick while I was there. Now, each time I leave, I can’t wait for my return visit.  Below are some of my favorite shots from the trip. You can see my entire Japan photo gallery HERE.