Glenn's idea of a meditative photography tour was immediately appealing to me.
Little did I know how much it would mean to me in terms of my personal growth and the magical world that opened up in front of me eyes.
Prior to going to Japan I have always just been the onlooker with other people snapping away and I always told myself - I keep the memories in my head.
However, with my new camera in hand, we arrived in Japan, and the real fun began. Where I could only shoot on AUTO before the trip I was immediately confronted with shooting on manual. It was quite a challenge, but under Glenn's masterful eye and attention, the students quickly learnt how to adjust their settings. We were almost fluent in aperture, and ISO lingo by the time we left Japan :) If I review my photos from Japan the AUTO photos look so dead, almost pale against the colourful MANUAL pictures.
Glenn's mastery does not remain with photography and I was really impressed with the line-up waiting for us, both in terms of guides, hotels, restaurants, tea ceremonies, etc., the list goes on and on. Nothing was left to chance. Even with rain forecasted for most of the days, he also bought his luck with good weather along and we had only a few drops here and there adding to the ambience. With immediate photo opportunities of toddlers with umbrellas. There was just the right balance between the organized parts and the slightly more impromptu moments, which was really fun - like having lunch in the park together with thousands of enthusiastic Sakura loving Tokyokiens.
Glenn's meditation on SUN ART really set the tone for the trip. I even had a beautiful vision while listening to the meditation. It was a bit unexpected. But then again, working with him is sometimes like that :) Since a little girl in my family I am known as "Sonnie" which literally translates to "sunnie", due to my sunny personality. The meditation touched me deeply as I realized, besides being able to be the artist in front of the lens/ our canvas in this world, I can also add meaning to people’s lives with my warmth and thereby painting beautiful pictures off canvas as well. I call these people who touch my life and who I love dearly - my "little lights" (like stars filling my sky).
Highlights include: Tea Ceremony, Yoyogi park with Sakura twirling in the air, Magical Kyoto with our wonderful Model Say, Sake and Yamazaki at Glenn's favorite haunt in Shibuya
What to expect: FUN FUN FUN, inner growth, being able to use your camera to its full potential
What was unexpected: I don't think I would ever just be able to look around me without seeing through a lens, seeing LIFE happening in multi-color, being able to apply your imagination and trying to predict beautiful moments.
Motto / PHRASE that will stick with me: THE WIND IS RISING, LET'S ATTEMPT TO LIVE (Paul Valery) Very appropriate in Yoyogi park.
Will I do it again? I would go back tomorrow, I felt so 'LIGHT' after the w-end in Japan, it was hard to get back to everyday routine.
Group dynamics: it was a wonderful bonding experience among the photo-team, and we will definitely remain friends connected through this unique experience
In conclusion - This experience has brought some positive change to my LIFE, thank you for your vision and guidance Glenn.”
(from the heart)