We talked to one of our 3 esteemed judges for the upcoming Canon PhotoMarathon, EOS Professional landscape photographer Goto Aki, to find out more about his distinctive style and what he would be looking for in the winning images.

EOS Professional Goto Aki

Having travelled to over 50 countries and capturing stunning landscapes as a professional photographer, do share how your own journey as a photographer started.

I’ve been travelling around the world since I was 21 years old. It was in 1993 that I came across a Japanese photographer 7 years older than myself in the Sahara Desert. I spent a couple of days with him and I wondered what if I became a photographer so I could keep travelling. It was this vague sense of longing that sparked my interest in photography.

EOS 5D Mark IV | F/8 | ISO 800 | 30s

Your trademark is creating image world views. Do share your thoughts on this and why you have chosen this style?

You can view the scenery from around the world on travel and photo websites today so easily that photos of faraway locations are no longer exotic. I want to convey an undiluted photographer’s perspective of what was discovered and extracted from the location at that moment. That to me has become more important.

EOS 5DS R | F/8 | ISO 400 | 1/320s

How much time do you spend taking pictures in one place?

Sometimes I spend one minute, 3 hours or 12 hours shooting in one place. It all depends on Nature, which I cannot control. I just keep paying attention to the movement and change of lighting condition in my surrounding field.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 50 | 30s

Which camera and lenses do you often bring in your shoot?

I use the following camera bodies and lenses:

 EOS 5D Mark III| F/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/800s

What is the most fulfilling achievement you have had as a professional photographer?

It was an honour to shoot all the images for the Canon Calendar 2015. I also had an exhibition of my landscape work in 6 major cities all over Japan.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 400 | 1/8000s

What do you often look for when you shoot?

I enjoy walking and observing light, colours, textures and lines in nature, using my eyes as the lens. I use my real EOS lens as soon as I find something interesting and beautiful with my eye.

EOS 5D Mark IV | F/5.6 | ISO 800 | 1/8000s

Where would you like to travel to take pictures next?

Mountainous areas in Nagano and Hokkaido in Japan during winter. I am also interested in shooting volcanos and the surroundings in Indonesia.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/22 | ISO 100 | 30s

What advice do you offer to those who would like to follow your style?

It is simply a matter of noticing things around you and organising them. Our world is 3D. Photography is 2D. Try finding something interesting and beautiful from a 2D-viewpoint. As I have mentioned earlier, I observe light, colours, textures and lines in nature. That’s the key.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/22 | ISO 200 | 1/400s

As one of the judges of the upcoming Canon PhotoMarathon, what advice would you give to the participants of the upcoming competition?

First of all, please enjoy shooting and aim to be creative even under a limited time constraint. I will be checking relevance to the theme, originality, technical excellence like the composition, lighting, exposure, focus, contrast, colour and impact of your work.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/22 | ISO 100 | 30s

Are there any exciting projects we can look out for from you this year?

I am holding a seminar and workshop in Cambodia on 11th & 12th November with Canon.

EOS 5DS R | F/11 | ISO 400 | 1/40s

Lastly, are there any links/websites to share with our readers who are keen to know more about your work?

http://www.gotoaki.com/