Japan Over The Years… Part 1…

After chatting about it a bit on the latest podcast, I was asked if there were photos that I shot back then that I’d like to go back and reshoot. I thought about it a bit and was perfectly frank in admitting that I’d pretty much like to go back and reshoot everything that I captured since I first started shooting. With photography, there is so much to learn and improve on. Styles change over time of course and you just gather more information and develop better technique as you keep shooting. I myself have never claimed to be the best photographer in the world, but I see my fair share of cool shit and I think I do a pretty decent job of capturing it. These past two years have been the best for me, in terms of personal development of my photography skills. I’ve learned so much just from shooting a lot and watching Tiffanie Marie shoot. She’s shown me things that I never even knew existed about photography and I’ve just been watching her develop into a better photographer as well and trying to learn along side with her. Photography is a fantastic hobby and I’m fortunate enough that a lot of the stuff I shoot gets me paid as well so everything just sort of works, you know?…

With The Chronicles heading into it’s tenth anniversary, I thought it would be cool to go back and dig up some old photos from my early journeys to Japan. I didn’t start going to Japan until 2013 but the content I’ve captured since then while visiting has helped me develop a pretty big following. I’ve always shot more for content instead of strictly to shoot for ‘art’ I guess you can say, so I shot as much as I could while in Japan. Looking back through my old hard drives now, I’m actually pretty pleasantly surprised but what I had collected and thought it would be cool to pull some of my favorite photos from back then and re-edit them with the new techniques that I’ve learned in the past two years. I wanna say that it won’t make too big of a difference to some of you, but they look night and day different to me so it is fun for me to mess around with these older photos. For Part 1, I went through years 2013 and ’14 and grabbed about 50 or so photos that really stood-out to me. Some were because of the photos themselves and how they were captured, some were chosen because of the content that was in said photos. I won’t dig too deep into the backstory of these photos, as the old coverage still exists, but I’ll give you guys an idea of what you’re looking at…

The photos will be in the order in which they were captured from 2013-14. Enjoy…

2013

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Salem, who has been with me on our Japan trips since the very beginning, missing only one year due to a last minute illness…

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This train station seemed like a ghost-town with no one remotely in sight…

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Seeing the Kakimoto Racing NSX for the first time in person was pretty awe-inspiring. The car is just simply beautiful and incredibly raw. Of the probably thousands of cars I’ve seen in all my years at TAS since my first trip, this NSX still continues to stand-out…

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Carbon air box set-up on the Kakimoto NSX for the individual throttle bodies on the six-cylinder engine. It’s always a little cool to go back and look at old photos because I don’t even remember even taking this photo or having it in my possession after…

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Another car that always stands out in my memory is this UCF20 Celsior with a Toyota Century front-end conversion. I remember the guys from Super Street trying to shoot this car after TAS on the streets of Tokyo and almost got arrested for it…

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The first-ever Rocket Bunny Scion FR-S (It was a LHD USDM model) in Japan, parked inside the Enkei wheels booth back in 2013, then promoting the new Enkei RS05RR wheel…

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The famed RE Amemiya ‘Hurricane7’…

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I regularly ran into Jonathan Wong back when he was the head guy over at Super Street magazine…

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My buddy Nick Caster came along with us for our first trip to Japan to enjoy all that it had to offer, which often times was raw fish…

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Ryan Basseri from Rywire taking a Sake shot out of a fresh crab shell…

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During our travels would often run into random car things while taking piss breaks at rest stops. This was definitely one of the more unique encounters….

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The memorable Castrol #16 Accord Touring Car wearing its signature livery, parked inside the Honda Collection Hall…

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Raybrig Kaneko NSX. I remember being inside the Honda Collection Hall and just being overwhelmed with things to look at. Crazy to think that they regularly rotate vehicles in and out of this display area. Imagine what they have in storage…

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It wouldn’t be a collection of classic Honda race cars without the original #16 Mugen E-AT Civic with the centerlocking Mugen MR5 wheels. This is the livery that later inspired one of my current decals which pays tribute to the Mugen Motul livery…

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The Beams Racing DC5 Integra Type R endurance race car, once piloted by famed driver/drifter Keiichi Tsuchiya…

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Der was stoked to be in the presence of anything remotely related to Ayrton Senna….

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My good friend Takeshi Kobayashi was kind enough to take us to Twin Ring Motegi to visit the Honda Collection Hall. This has always been one of my favorite photos…

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Motorcycle circuit racing was going on that day at Twin Ring, and this Repsol bike was one of the ones I captured in the paddock…

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Yosiyuki Hatano’s S2000 Type-S before he went with both the Spoon Sports and Mugen variations of it…

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Takeshi always driving something left-hand drive….

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The Tactical Art EG6 race car long before it was completed and long before it eventually was wrecked on the track…

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The earlier years of Tactical Art when all the Civics weren’t even close to being the show-winning cars they are now…

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Yasutaka Shimomukai working the JBBQ grill during one of our first big dinners in Osaka. We’ve since had many, many, memorable nights having amazing dinners with our Japanese friends…

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I honestly really miss some of those earlier days when everything seemed simpler and everyone was just around to have fun…

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Our first time visiting J’s Racing in Osaka, with their Fit endurance car and GT widebody S2000…

2014

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One of the many incredible RWB Porsche builds at the annual Rauh Welt Begriff Party in Roppongi Hills…

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One of the more interesting sights at the RWB party. Completely random and awesome…

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I thought it was really cool how this Kei car looked wedged in-between two mini vans in the parking lot at Tokyo Auto Salon 2014…

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Fujita Engineering (FEED) FD3S RX-7 with its crazy front end and headlights. One of our favorite things to do whenever we went to Tokyo Auto Salon was scouring the parking lot for cool builds….

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A year later, another photo of the insanely aggressive RE Hurricane7…

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The all-carbon Overtake R35 GTR showcasing the debuting Volk Racing TE37 Ultra wheel at the Rays Engineering booth. Such a fucking cool build…

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One of the more popular builds during 13-14 was the Ben Sopra R35-powered RPS13 180SX wearing Rocket Bunny aero. This was when the whole ‘no rear bumper’ look was at its peak…

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On this particular year, the GReddy display at TAS featured model Dannie Riel, someone who the Japanese were not aware of at all, haha. The GTR drift car however, looked spectacular under their spotlight…

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I made it a mission to get at least one photo of the Top Fuel S2000RR every year since I first saw it in 2014. One of the greatest Honda builds ever. EVER.

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Liberty Walk Performance and there always over the top displays. On this occasion they brought out their Kenmeri Skyline…

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Ryan enjoyed his many beers in Japan…

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Hiro Ueda, long before he realized that every restaurant we ate at was actually the #1 restaurant wherever we went…

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One of the coolest cars I ever found lurking in the TAS parking lot was this BN Sports JZX100 Chaser…

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R32 Skylines are plentiful in Tokyo, but not too many sat as great as this one did, nice and low on bronze TEs…

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One of the craziest things I ever saw was seeing an Ferrari F40 LM on Roberuta air suspension. This vehicle also happened to have its own private security watching over it…

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2014 was the first time we got to meet the guys from Lowered2Perfection and saw their collection of amazing, classic, Honda builds…

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Kohei Taguchi’s Integra Type R on the move…

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Takeru Tojo, who now owns a Mugen RR, then driving his Honda Element SC while Shota Mori shot photos of us taking photos of them…

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Masaki Fukuda’s EG6 SiR is one of the best EG builds ever, especially in Spoon Sports-form…

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Der and I taking in the sights at Arvou, which was deep in the middle of nowhere, Tokyo. This was perhaps one of the coldest days we had ever experienced…

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Arvou is known for their fast S2000 builds, this white one wearing Amuse aero featured an HKS GT Supercharger…

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One man’s trash is another man’s treasured photo. This Kakimoto Racing exhaust was just wasting away outside of Arvou, but turned-out to be one of my favorite photos ever…

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FEED RX-7 on Advan Racing wheels at the famed Tatsumi PA lot where Japanese car guys often congregated for late night car hangs….

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Porsche with a minimalist-take on a Martini livery, looking like something straight out of Wangan Midnight parked at Tatsumi PA…

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It wouldn’t be a trip to Japan without a visit to Spoon Sports and Type One. I’ve come to see this S2000 race vehicle quite often during my many return trips to Japan. I always wanted to turn this photo into a poster. Maybe I will one day…

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To be honest, the Spoon Sports EG6 build that you see above was so much better before it was completed. I loved how the car looked in this stage before they installed the yellow CR93 wheels on it. This too will some day be a print…

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The Kanjozoku when we first started meeting up with them to go explore the Osaka highway system…

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One of my top 5 favorite photos ever, captured luckily in focus with a member from every Kanjo club that cruised with us that night (Top Gun, Club Wharp, No Good Racing, and Law Break) all in one photo. This later turned into a poster and there is one actually still hanging right above my computer monitor now…

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It wouldn’t be Japan without all that amazing food.

Part 2 coming soon…

3 thoughts

  1. Your a very good photographe,all my friends in france asked me how do you know this and that? I just say its because of you. Keep it up .

    Damien

  2. It is always good to look back at the great work you’ve done over the years! Also, I would definitely take one of the Spoon Sports Eg6 poster since I already have one of the S2000 signed by the man himself (Tatsuru Ichishima) when he came with Dai Yoshihara to Honda Day at Englishtown, NJ a few years ago.

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