The photographer HASEO is known to take dynamic narrative photos, which appear like a baroque painting at first glance. He has gained popularity through his unique style.
We had an opportunity to join him for one of his studio sessions.
How much of his work is actually photographed as opposed to computer graphics? These days we convert RAW files and process them on a computer, so the questions may not be so relevant. Just like everyone else, his work will never be complete using the aid of a computer. “I never add anything that is not there,” he says.
“Really? There is no scenery in Japan; like what you see in the picture,” people generally react just as how we reacted.
“Come to my studio in advance. I will show you how it’s done,” he said.
We arrived at his studio one day prior to the session. The studio is as big as a gymnasium. As we went inside, we saw him hammering nails and sawing wood into pieces. He was working on a prop for tomorrow’s session. For the past few weeks, he has been preparing; working on the prop whenever he found spare time in between his work. He was working on the final piece, getting it ready for tomorrow.
A photographer creates his / her world in a frame, but there are only a handful of them who actually spend time on constructing the set like him. HASEO certainly gets help from the staff, but he oversees the whole concept as well as bits and pieces of the scenery.
A painter paints to fill the desired elements in his creation. HASEO hand makes the needed elements for his photographic work.
As we witnessed the work in progress with our own eyes, our doubt had gone away.
His work has rich detail. The prop and the set are very complex and there are many models in a frame.
During the meeting prior to the photo session, he directs the models on how they should pose. He explains the concept and the relationship between the models. Every piece in the scene and every model have their role and expression, and he makes sure that everyone understands it. There are no elements that do not have a meaning in his work.
Perhaps because of it, he prefers wide angle lenses, especially that ones that deliver sharp images. That way he is able to tell his story with all the details.
He was very satisfied with the GF23mmF4 lens performance. The image quality that the lens delivers is superb. The image remains sharp in the high frequency range. The distortion is minimized as much as possible. One would find it difficult to believe that the lens is wide angle. And all this will be used for the medium format sensor.
Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. Studied under Tetsuro Takai.
Member of Japan Advertising Photographers' Association. His works have been published in magazines such as Playboy. He also writes on photographic technique on magazines. He has won various national and overseas award for his work.