Join Kevin Raber and Blain Harasymiw
For An Unforgettable Journey Through Japan
January 17, 2019 – January 28, 2019
Workshop Price-all inclusive
US $10,300 per person based on double room occupancy
Single supplement: US $1,000
Small Group no more than 12 Participants
Japan is 3000 kilometers long with 6,852 Islands however surprisingly enough only 30% of that is populated.
Japans wildlife is incredibly diverse and has flourished for millenniums. Thousands of animal species thrive in Japan, and over 600 bird species have been recorded to date. Winter in Japan is a wildlife photographers paradise, and let us not forget the breathtaking landscapes and samurai architecture. Japan truly is the Exotic Winter photography adventure of a lifetime.
All our workshops are highly customized, from the golden hours and between you will be mesmerized by the never-ending beautiful, breathtaking photo opportunities. Our team is familiar with the terrain and all advantage points for the best time to photograph.
You will enjoy the comforts of business class and explore Japan with our experienced staff on and off road in the newest SUVs. Kevin and Blain will be there to help with those little tips that turn good compositions into gallery hanging prints.
Who better to write about Blain, then his sister. Blain grew up in a wilderness town in northern Canada. Summers were short, yet filled with fun and excitement. His first trip to polar bear country was at age four, and he can still recount that experience. Also, our family went on month-long canoe trips that were only accessible by canoe or air and is still the same to this very day. Wilderness is a way of life for us, and everyone did their part as survival depended on it. At eight, Blain went on his first canoe trip, and even at that young age, he knew to respect and appreciate true wilderness. Our luxury was watching the bright evening sky filled with stars and the Borealis dancing around us. Our camera gear was light and compact, and our mother custom made watertight cases to ensure our memories were kept safe. Film was even more safeguarded. I can still envision the 70′ (21 meters) escarpment that we climbed with our supplies and three canoes to bypass the cascading waterfalls mere feet away. On another trip, we came across a beaver dam like none we had ever seen. The river disappeared, and we were in a boundless lake of an entwined forest. Blain was so eager to investigate, yet at age ten we took caution, and he stayed in the canoe. Years later, where is Blain? He’s on the front page of a national newspaper for canoeing. This was no ordinary canoeing; this was early spring canoeing. Bystanders on shore thought he was stuck in an ice jam. I know my brother well, and the reporter’s pictures confirmed that he simply walked off the ice pulling the canoe.
Blain is one of the few that I would trust in a canoe or on a wilderness adventure. In Blain’s late teens we spent many summers together adventuring waterways that few maps could tell us what lies ahead. A few years later he took those adventures to new heights and with a camera in one hand and ambition in the other he set off to the Canadian Rockies to make his mark. This is where he met his wife, Manami. His stories of the outback and mountain climbing came to life when he sent me the first of many photos. As time passed Blain’s passion turned towards becoming a professional photographer, and to no surprise a few years later he was offered a position in an acclaimed Japanese photography company.
For more than 20 years, Blain has called Japan home. His photography assignments have taken him to remarkable places throughout the world, and many of his photos were published in magazines, books and displayed on billboards. Now as a freelance photographer and with a busy schedule, Blain and Manami always find the time to take me on non-stop adventures when in Japan. Imagine hiking through thick brush and forest, no trails, no markings, what incredible fun! Then it appears in all its glory; Mt Fuji. With me, Blain takes no beaten path. Blain’s wild spirit can find adventure anywhere; just around the corner of his home or up to the highest accessible regions of Japan. To experience the true beauty of a country, as a photographer or simply wanting to take in the sites, a professional photographer is the way to do it and my brother Blain will truly deliver to you a new perspective of Japan like no other.
I see the world through the lens and a frame. Photography for me is an extension of who I am. I have gone through many stages in my career. At one time I was a portrait photographer with many prestigious clients. Over time I grew restless for something else in the field. I truly enjoy my current work as a fine art landscape photographer. There is something special about examining and photographing everything from grand scenes in nature that are there for a moment and then gone to industrial landscapes and focusing on the incredibly minute details of peeling paint and rust. I am most fortunate to be able to travel to many wonderful places.
I have fond memories of nights and weekends spent in the darkroom creating prints. The stereo blasting. It could be fun and it could be tedious. You didn’t always know what you were going to get and, at times, it required extensive hands-on darkroom manipulation. I can still smell the chemicals. I was taught by masters of the darkroom.
Today, that has all changed thanks to the advent of computers, digital cameras and Photoshop. The darkroom is the computer. Some things are still unpredictable, but the tools to achieve the final result allow you to see them immediately on the screen in real time and right in front of you. Digital allows you to capture a range of tonalities and exposures that were impossible with film. Variables such as emulsion, temperature, chemistry and exposure are taken out of the equation. What you see on your computer monitor is what you will get when printed. One thing that hasn’t changed is the music. It goes along with creating and working on images. Thank God for iTunes.
I embraced digital early on. It continues to evolve and provide flexibility to all who embrace it. The digital age is still young and has completely transformed our industry. Never before has a switch from analog to digital been so prevalent as in photography. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next ten years takes us.
My career in photography has evolved since 1972 when I first began making a living with photography. Today I am also CEO of the Luminous-Landscape.com, one of the most visited and prestigious websites for the photographers on the internet, with over 1.5 million visitors a month. I lead photography workshops to edge of the planet locations as well provide instructional videos to photographers on how to improve their craft.
There doesn’t seem to be anything that can dampen my passion and enthusiasm for photography. It has opened doors to the world for me and I am most grateful I can share my experiences with others.
Our first nature adventure starts at the snow-capped Mt. Fuji; we will photograph this iconic symbol of Japan between the golden and twilight hours.
After visiting with the snow monkeys, we transfer by plane to Japans most northern island Hokkaido. Wow, get ready Look Up! Red-Crowned Cranes. Their courtship dance is as graceful as ballerinas. They bow to one another, then raise their heads towards the sky and call in unison, the pair or the entire flock will leap into the air at the same time commencing in the courtship dance.
After photographing the Red-Crowned cranes in the low-lying marshlands, we make our way inland to the high alpine lakes of Hokkaido’s northwest. Comprising of Akanko, Kushiroko, and Mashuko Lakes, which are among the clearest and cleanest on our planet, the mountainous landscape is breathtaking, and home to the first nations people of Japan the Ainu. The Ainu are world-class wood carvers and storytellers; we will visit with them photographing their museum-quality arts and crafts. We will experience the Ikor theatre, the Ainu performance of spiritual cultural awakening, during the evening’s lomante fire performance we may take photographs.
After breakfast in Akanko, we drive for Lake Kushiro where we will find over 300 whooper swans who return every winter. Geothermal hot springs that mix with the lakes cool water create steam and mist and prevent ice forming on the sandy beach. This is where we will photograph the pure white giant swans and spend the day exploring the region.
We will enjoy breakfast then check out of Akanko. This ice packed adventure takes us to the Pacific coastline where we will board a chartered vessel to photograph the Steller’s Sea-eagle in their natural ice packed feeding habitat. The Steller’s Sea Eagles are said to be the largest and most powerful bird of prey. You will have hundreds of great images of them clutching fish in their talons, feasting on fish and in flight. The region is home to the largest herds of Sika deer on our planet, and we will also photograph the red-tailed fox, white-tailed eagle, black kite, golden eagle, and many other subarctic species. Sunrises and sunsets are extraordinarily beautiful on this stretch of coastline.
Day 1, Arrival and pick up Tokyo, Haneda Airport. After meeting, travel to Mt. Fuji. Golden hour, twilight photography at Lake Yamanakako of Mt. Fuji. Overnight at Hotel La Vista (1night) – Our Lodgings have private and communal hot springs/male and female bath separately.
Rooms have bath shower and western toiletries.
Day 2, AM golden hour op of Mt. Fuji, travel to Matsumoto Castle, then to Jigokudani Joshinetsu-Kogen National park. Overnight at Sibu Onsen Ichionuy Katei (3nights, day 2-4) – Our Lodgings have private and communal hot spring/male and female bath separately. Rooms have western style toiletries.
Day 3, 4, Visit and photograph the wild Japanese snow monkeys in the hot springs and around their home. There are approximately 200 monkeys in the area.
Day 5, Transfer to Tokyo, Haneda Airport (HND) and fly to Kushiro, Hokkaido Airport (KUH) Overnight at La Vista Kushirogawa (2nights, day 5-6) – Our Lodgings have communal hot springs/male and female bath separately. Rooms have shower and western style toiletries.
Day 6, Travel to Kushiro Shitsugen National Park winter home to the Red-crowned crane.
Day 7, 8, AM Red-crowned crane. Travel to Lake Akan. Winter alpine Landscape photography, Giant Whooping Swans Lake Kushiro. Ainu first nations Japanese. Overnight at Tsuruga Wings (2nights) – Our Lodgings have communal hot springs/male and female bath separately. Rooms have showers and western style toiletries.
Day 9, 10, Travel to the Pacific coastline. Wildlife, and landscape photography at Lake Furenko Steller’s Sea Eagle, White-Tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Sika Deer, Red Tailed Fox, plus other sub-arctic species. Rausu (chartered boat) through pack ice, to the Steller’s Sea Eagle feeding ground. Sunset Notsuke-Hanto Peninsula.
Overnight at Hotel Kawabata (3 nights, day 9-12) – Our Lodgings have communal hot springs/male and female bathe separately. Rooms have shower and western style toiletries.
Day 11, AM Rausu Steller’s Sea Eagles Sunrise photo op. Transfer to Kushiro, prepare our gear for our flight to Tokyo. Farewell dinner and toast, we will take a moment to reflect on our adventures together.
Day 12, AM Flight to Tokyo, Thank you, and we look forward to our next adventure together.
• All Group Transport, Sports Utility Vehicles With Business Class Seating
• Domestic Flights in Japan
• All Accommodations
• All Meals
• All Entrance Fees
•Flights to Japan & from Japan, Alcohol Beverages, Travel Insurance, Hotel Amenities
Registering For The Workshop
This promises to be an incredible adventure. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Raber by email or call at +1 317-379-7482. This is an all-inclusive workshop. We will pick you up at the airport and return you to the airport. Everything from the time we pick you up and drop you off is included except as noted above. To reserve your spot on this workshop a deposit of $1000 USD is required on registration. The balance is due 90 days prior to the workshop date. For cancellation and refunds please see Terms & Conditions.