Four + 1: Tsutomu Takasu

Introducing a brand spanking new section aptly named,  “Four + 1”.

We will be interviewing sports photographers from all over the world via email as sometimes they don’t have a phone or Skype or the time.  Each interviewee will be given four standardised questions, followed by a +1, a special question just for them.  It will be a regular feature from here on out, so check out what they have to say about sports photography and check out their work on their websites as well.

First up is Tsutomu Takasu from Japan.








1. How did you start shooting sports photography and what is your bread and butter sport?

I started out trying to become a journalist, but when I realised that it’s probably not a wise choice for a person like me who was never an avid reader.  Therefore, I thought “Why not a photographer?”.  I don’t have a “bread and butter” sports.  But indoor sports, volleyball, handball, and basketball are sports I’m not good at as it’s difficult to shoot them.

1. スポーツ写真を撮り始めたきっかけは? 得意とするスポーツは?


2. What is something that you think is really obvious now that took you a long time to get?

Catcher pop-ups in baseball.  I’ll be focused on the batter and when there is a pop-up, I couldn’t re-focus on the catcher fast enough to get the shot.



3.Funniest / Strangest story from one of your shoots?

Nothing of note recently.  But as digital cameras have evolved and camera manufacturers advertise their latest inventions, they still try to get us with the megapixel counts.  When I’m on an assignment outside of Japan or fighting with a deadline, I’m compressing 20MB files into 2MB and sending them to the clients.  I laugh when I see myself doing that.



4. Advices to the kids (or a mid life crisis sufferer) who are aspiring to become a sports photographer?

Sports photography is more varied than people think, as it is comprised of so many different sports as well as clients who want the images for different reasons. Most importantly, please enjoy your shoots as much you can.



+ 1 From one of your recent shoots, were there any athletes you wouldn’t mind going for a beer with?

Not really.  There are photos that you can only get if you are friends with the athlete, but for me I consider myself as “air” when I’m on a shoot.   The reason is that this way, I can get them when they are at their most natural (relaxed) state.  For example, when the subject is feeling down after a loss and if I’m friends with the subject, I would be hesitant to point the lens towards him.  But these are the moments that I want to capture and I consider athletes as subject and prefer to keep a healthy distant between us.

+ 1  最近撮ったアスリートで、プライベートで一緒に遊べに行けたら楽しそうと思ったのは?


*Please Read Below*
Big Lens Fast Shutter is funded solely from the pockets of Ryu Voelkel and Matt Cohen. If you think the information we give you about sports photography is making you a better sports photographer and as a result a well balanced human being, please show us your appreciation by supporting us on Patreon and send some of your hard earned dollars/euros/Brixton pounds our way. People who donate will be mentioned on our next show unless you want to remain anonymous. Thank you for supporting us and may the force of sports photography be with you, always.

2 thoughts on “Four + 1: Tsutomu Takasu

  1. This is a great idea for hearing from photographers who can’t do recorded interviews. I love to see the different shooting styles and perspectives of photographers from around the world and I look forward to seeing more interviews like this.

    Ryu and Matt, you do a wonderful job of keeping BLFS interesting with fresh ideas and cool features. There is always something new to enjoy on the podcasts and the blog. Thanks guys!

  2. Ken,

    We’ll try to get a lot more sports photographers involved in this section. Some of them are a bit too shy to speak on the podcast or like our first Four + 1, they dont’ speak English very well. :)


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