Stories 2017-11-03T10:34:43+00:00

Being the Chosen One in this century-old Japanese Shinto tradition is both an honour and cause for trepidation. The Shin Otoko will be part of a select group of initiates who have survived the pummelling, pinching and grabbing of 10,000 half-naked and semi-sober men.

PHOTO STORIES

Trying to tell a story in images requires the ability to distill all sensory input into a visual output. Taste, touch, smell and hearing all combine with vision in how one experiences a situation, an exotic destination, a crowded marketplace or a frenzied festival.

Photography only has the visual aspect to convey this richness and in order to be successful the photographer has to be skilled in the art of omission. Omit everything that doesn’t help suck in the viewer into feeling present. Exaggerate, get up close, try an unusual angle and don’t be afraid of shadows.

And above all photograph with your heart.

The Konomiya Hadaka Matsuri festival takes place in Konomiya near Nagoya during the first lunar month. The festival, which has a 1200 year history, centers around a man called Shin Otoko or God Man.

Inle Lake is a photographer’s paradise. A large body of freshwater situated at an altitude of 880 meters in Shan State in the north east of Myanmar. It is an extremely picturesque area with villages dotted all around the lake’s shoreline and even build on stilts in the lake.

A gathering of thousands of well groomed camels, hardened traders, devote pilgrims and holy men, gypsy dancers, moustached macho men, traveling troubadours, wall of death daredevils and scores of camera touting tourists.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of Thailand’s more enigmatic festivals, held annually during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese Calendar on the island of Phuket.

Built between the 15th and 18th century, the historical temples and pagodas of Mrauk-U in the far west of Myanmar, near the border with Bangladesh are younger than the architecture of the country’s best known archeological site, Bagan.

From the day I landed in Saigon in 1991 the motorbikes of Vietnam have always fascinated me. The numbers on the street and the expert use of the bike as the vehicle of choice in transporting products, produce and people simply blew my mind.

SUBSCRIBE TO HANS KEMP PHOTOGRAPHY NEWSLETTERS