I’m Always Looking to Evolve

Get to know the talented Trope photographers through in-depth interviews, each offering unique insight into their craft. 

Based in Tokyo, Shōgo Misawa (@nbwpic) has made the city his playground. Originally a jewelry designer, it was when Shōgo first started shooting his motorcycle around the city that he discovered a passion for photography. Motivated by the lives of the people who come and go, his work focuses on expressing the old and new, capturing the magic through fashion, portraiture and street photography. His photographs are featured in the Trope Tokyo City Edition.

I first started shooting the city and my motorcycle. I tried to shoot a lot of different locations in the city with my motorcycle as my subject. My vision has changed since I started taking pictures. A change in values for the smallest things and places, as well as the philosophy that we only live once, and that moment is once. I've come to feel that I'm happy to capture these things in my own expressive way and to share them so people see them.

Photography can create many expressions depending on the weather and location. They change a lot depending on how the photo was taken and how the photo is edited. Of course, the original expression of the camera and lens is good, but it is the same as changing the color temperature and lens, even if you use the same camera. I try to capture the drama that arises in each moment, such as towns and people. I try to maximize the drama of the moment through editing. Because I love people, I try to capture the space that contains them.

My favorite part of shooting in Tokyo is the constantly evolving cityscape and people. Tokyo attracts people from all over the country and from all over the world. It's the newest city in Japan. I look for the old and the new in Tokyo, and I like to capture them. My motivation is to photograph spaces that never stop, and to capture the lives and spaces of the people who come and go in these places.

I shoot as I feel. I feel the air and space with my body and look through the viewfinder as it feels. My favorite environment to shoot in is the historical part of a city. A place that is a mixture of new and old. That, and the sunsets, including nature, such as by the ocean and in the mountains. I often take in the space, mood and the air. 

Instagram is essential for how I express myself. It allows me to share freely and for fun. It can also inspire my next photography goal. I like it because it's free and easy for everyone to post and view. And I'm inspired by the variety of great photographers and artists I see, and respect. I think it's a good environment.

I'm all about moods. I'm not just shooting for the record. I'm trying to express the mood of the moment. Seeing it with my eyes and feeling the air on my skin motivates me to shoot, as well as the city and its people. I am also inspired by the wonderful photos of many photographers on social media. Apart from photography, art inspires me.

All professionals start out by looking at different artists to learn how good or bad they are. If you are starting out in photography, maybe you should look at a lot of photographers you like and use them as a reference. You learn what's good and bad by imitating others. Then, you will naturally evolve and express yourself in your own way.

Photographs show the personality of the photographer. No matter how much you try to imitate someone else, the humanity of the photographer will come out. It may help you to reevaluate the photos you have taken and become more aware of your own humanity. In other words, it's a place to share your senses and to express yourself. And the importance of the moment. That's what I've learned.

To me, my art means one that sees the truth... captures it and expresses it in its own way. Sometimes that includes ideals. Its real-time essence and values are preserved as art. I'm always looking to evolve. Satisfaction is never complete. I want to improve my ability to express myself, so that people who see my photographs are more impressed with them. Light, shadow and real life.