Our 10 Golden Rules are the essence of the "Don't Think, Just Shoot!" mentality and Brooklyn-based photographer Kazuto Nakajima encapsulates just that in his lively street photography. He recently tested out the Atoll Ultra-Wide 2.8/17 Art Lens and talked to us about how he captures the bustle of the city on film.
Hi Kazuto, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Could you please tell us about yourself and your work?
Hello! Thanks for having me! I’m Kazuto Nakajima, people call me Kazu. I’m a Japanese photographer currently living in New York City, I moved here a year ago.
I’ve been living in the United States for seven years now. I picked up a camera in 2019 and started off by taking photos of skateboarding in California. At that time I was not satisfied taking photos of skate tricks so I decided to bring a camera to the street and took some pictures of strangers. I immediately got hooked and since then I have fallen in love with photography. I always have a camera with me.
A lot of your street photography shots feel very intimate with the subjects. How do you approach shooting?
Thank you! To me, photography is all about feelings. My approach is very simple: when I walk through the world and notice something that makes me feel something, I am available for my feelings and when something stirs in me, I just step into their world and press the shutter. That’s it. I also don’t usually ask for permission. It changes the whole story.
How did you develop your style of photography?
Well, I guess looking at the work of other photographers is a huge part. I don’t know much about history but I learn so much from the greatest. Also, when I’m in the streets, I always look for stuff that I’m never going to able to see again.
What did you think of your results with the Atoll lens?
I had so much fun with that lens! I was surprised when I got the negatives back. The lens is extremely sharp. It shows lovely colors. What excites me most is that you can see the world in a way you've never seen before, especially shooting from below the subjects. That angle really appeals to me visually.
Do you have a favorite photo taken with the lens? Is there a story behind it?
I like the camera kid one. I don’t think it’s technically good but I like it. That kid was standing in the crowd and shooting hundreds of pictures even though his dad was trying to stop him. He was in the zone. It reminded me of my childhood so I took the picture and left. I photographed myself in that photo. That was a self portrait.
Do you have any tips or tricks for budding street photographers looking to shoot with a wide angle lens?
Shoot as many as you can and don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s cliché but there’s no rules. Shoot whatever you like. That’s the best way to improve I think.
If you could take the Atoll lens with you anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tokyo. I would love to explore Tokyo’s crowded neighborhoods with Atoll lens one day.
Anything else you'd like to share?
All of my pictures are developed and scanned by 992 Photo Life INC.
If you're interested with seeing more of Kazuto's work don't forget to follow him on Instagram!