TIFA 2023 Interview with Yoshihiko Wada
1st Place winner in Architecture, Professional, “Dark Soul: Scenes from Korea”
Q: Can you briefly tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue photography?
I’ve been a professional sound designer in the Japanese gaming industry for decades. Besides, I started photography 10 years ago, and now dedicate myself to Black and White fine art architectural photography.
Q: What drove you to submit your work to the TIFA competition and your thoughts on how winning this competition impacted your artistic journey?
For TIFA, I found that I had a good chemistry with them.
Since I received 1st place in 2016 and 2017. (non-pro architecture category) plus “Discovery of the Year” in 2017. Although I’ve skipped recent TIFA (and other photo competitions), I would like to challenge myself with my very recent images, which were shot for my E-Photo Book “Dark Soul”. (will be released in early Summer, 2024)
With these winning images, I hope more people get interested in Korean cityscape (and purchase a copy of my book)
Q: Could you describe any challenges you faced while capturing this moment (winning image/s)?
Honestly, I have only good memories while capturing all the images there. Securities in Korea were so kind that they never stopped me from taking photographs.
Just one thing that annoyed me was “Google Maps” in Korea; you could use it, but it never showed me the right “walking root” (for a destination).
They always told me via train or bus, no matter how close it was!!
I heard about it because of some security reasons in the country.
Looking at Google Maps, Inchon Bridges (the last image of the series) looked not so far from my booked hotel, but in reality, it required a very long walk. I was so exhausted that I picked up an abandoned toy kickboard that eventually just gave me extra fatigue.
Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating great images?
Go outside and watch with your eyes (and a finder)!
Today, we can accumulate so much information before we visit there, but
We can take advantage of them, but don’t waste your time too much on the research. Get up early, go outside, and take photos. Then you’ll always encounter something more interesting scene than watching Google Street View.
Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of photography?
Finding and concreting your style, finding and executing your theme of photography.
Keep shooting and constantly ask yourself “Why did I shoot this?”
“What makes me get interested?” Finding the right answer takes time, but we need to keep seeking them.
Q: What motivates and drives your photography?
As a cityscape photographer, visiting a new place, a new city, and watching great and unique architecture are always my motivation for photography. Both cultural differences and common aspects among different countries are some of the reasons for me to keep shooting.
Q: What’s next for you in your career as a photographer?
First, I need to finish all the images for my E-Photo book [Dark Soul]. I want it to be released in early Summer of 2024. I am also writing my first tutorial book “From Start to Finish: B&W Fine Art Architecture and Cityscape”. So now, I need to spend a lot of time with Google Documents instead of shooting cityscapes which I love the most.
Thank you for reading my interview, and hope to see you guys in your city soon.