Try 1x for free
1x is a curated photo gallery where every image have been handpicked for their high quality. With a membership, you can take part in the curation process and also try uploading your own best photos and see if they are good enough to make it all the way.
Right now you get one month for free when signing up for a PRO account. You can cancel anytime without being charged.
Try for free   No thanks
Amatou T : Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 
Published the 11th of April 2022


Amatou T is an outstanding Japanese architecture photographer.  He enjoys the world of science fiction and dystopia.  In that world, he blocks out any other external factors.  All his works are NOT based on "realism". Amatou creates his very own vision on the world and wants to share it with others through his photographs. I invite you to read a lot more about the artist beyond his work through this interview.  


'Tokyo 0'


Dear Amatou, please tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.

I am 26 years old and started photography when I was a 21 year old college student. As a student, I was active in travelling the world and starting my own Internet-related business. I am currently engaged in consulting on corporate strategy and management. It is very hard work, but I am also passionate about photography as a side business. In addition to photography, I enjoy indoor and outdoor activities such as cycling, watching movies, and reading.


'Tokyo Bayside'

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?

Since childhood, I have enjoyed the world of science fiction and the near future through anime, video games, and movies. In particular, the style of "Akira" was the catalyst for my devotion to science fiction films, and I learned many things about politics, religion, technology, and human evolution from this movie. "What is dystopia? " and "What is the world of science fiction? " I still review this when I am stumped by my own work.




What first attracted you to photography?

When I was a college student, I enjoyed travelling and taking commemorative photos using my smartphone, but I decided to buy a digital camera because I wanted to take beautiful photos. At first, I mainly photographed natural scenery, but I discovered many landscapes that I would not have seen if I had not started using a camera. It was a great experience.




Describe your overall photographic vision.

When I am looking at a subject through the viewfinder and later on my computer screen in Photoshop, I can be completely in my own world. This is centred on the afore mentioned themes of "science fiction" and "dystopia". In that world I block out any other external factors.  All of my published works, including 1X, are not based on the theme of "realism". I strive to share my world-view with others.


'Dystopian Tokyo Olympic Village'

Why are you so drawn by Architecture Photography?

When I started photography, I mainly photographed landscapes. Natural Landscape is so majestic, pure, and fantastic. I still take landscape photographs as well, and it is one of my favourite subjects.




Nevertheless, I am currently attracted to architecture photography because it allows me to better express my view on the world. As mentioned earlier, I am influenced by "science fiction" and "dystopia". When I thought about how such a world-view could be expressed, it turned out to be "the gap between reality".

I grew up in a reasonably large town, so natural scenery gives me a taste of the unreal just by being there. Conversely, there is too little room to add my own world-view to it.
In contrast, I see buildings and towns on a daily basis. Therefore, this makes it easier to add one's own interpretation and world-view, resulting in a more impactful work. I often receive comments from people who have seen my work, "I know this town, but I feel as if I am seeing it for the first time.

Architecture photography allows me to express my world-view in such an unrealistic way in the real world. Another factor is that I have been inspired by the wonderful images of many great architecture photographers.
It was a great event in my photography career to be able to experience their world-view through 1X!




What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?

I believe it is about expressing oneself. Of course, technical perfection is important and must be acquired. Are the weather conditions and situations perfect? Is the combination of compositions well thought out? Can noise be processed without compromising the detail? All of these elements are essential to the creation of a work of art. However, I believe that perfect technique is only a tool to express oneself. Our first priority is to consider what kind of vision view we want to express when we face the subject. Pursuing artistic freedom is difficult but very essential.


'Torii gate flanked by buildings'


What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?

Again, when I am confronted with a subject, I immerse myself in my own world. Although I have no expertise in architecture, I try to understand the structure and contrast of the building or city in my own way, and think of the best way to express my feelings and vision without making the subject a mere record of the event.




Sometimes I'm prepared for the location and sometimes I don't. Distinctive or famous buildings can be found on the Internet. I also check the position of the sun beforehand, such as what time of day would provide the best sunlight for the subject I want to photograph. However, there are also cases in which I take a photo without doing any research at all.
I like to ride a bicycle, and I make time to ride my bicycle in the city of Tokyo without a destination in mind. This way, I can find spots and compositions that I would not have found just by researching. However, by either means, I almost always visit more than once. The first time we check the structure and shape of the building, the way the light hits it, etc. We take pictures on the first visit as well, but it is not often possible to capture the ideal one on the first visit. I learned this process in landscape photography. Weather is very important in landscape photography, so it is not uncommon to visit a far away place only to return home empty-handed because the weather is not good. Therefore, it is important to read the weather, and I am able to utilize this method in architecture photography.




What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?

I have a SonyAlpha7RIII and 12-24mm f/2.8 and 24-105mm f/4.0 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lenses. There is almost nothing I cannot shoot with these. However, the ratio of frequency of use is 60% wide angle, 30% standard, and 10% telephoto, so I rarely carry a telephoto lens.  In addition, we have a standard ND filter and a gradient ND filter. I often take long second exposures during the day, so a high density filter is a must.
I use an RRS tripod. It fits in my bag and is light and sturdy.


'Tokyo Skytree'


What software do you use to process your images?

I think this is the same as for many other photographers. I use Lightroom for photo management and do most of my editing in Photoshop.




Can you tell us something more about your work flow?

First, photos are imported into Lightroom and selected and flagged for editing. Import photos into Lightroom, select the photos to be edited, and flag them. The flagged photos are then processed in Pure raw to improve image quality and remove noise. This is great software. 
Basic corrections such as overall exposure and contrast are handled in Lightroom, and then I use Photoshop to create my own world view. Shooting takes a long time, but editing takes even longer. It depends on the photos, but some of them take close to 5 days.
The most nerve-wracking part of the editing process is creating the masks. The sky and the ground, of course, but even the same building is divided according to its shape. After breaking down the mask by shape, the mask is further broken down by luminance. The highlights are particularly important for expressing your world-view in a photo, so you will need to adjust them pixel by pixel. The luminance mask is done efficiently by using plug-ins such as RayaPro and my own special actions. The more complex the shape of the subject, the more masks I need to create, and I create approximately 30~50 masks, sometimes more. In some cases, I add the sky to express my world view. In addition, since we often shoot with long-second exposures, colour noise is generated. Therefore, care is taken to remove noise so as not to spoil detail.


'Tokyo Metropolitan Government'


What is your most important advice to a beginner in Architecture Photography and how do you get started?

Look for a good subject, shoot it, edit it, get critiques, reflect on it...  Look for a good subject, shoot it, edit it, get critiques, reflect on it... and repeat endlessly this process. You may have your own view of the world, but you will not immediately acquire the techniques to realize it. Also, the vision on the world you want to express may change through repeated practice or by looking at new photographers. Just don't be in a hurry if you are not living solely on photography.
Don't be too excited about what you are doing now and just keep on practising. If you do that, your personal vision and the techniques necessary to express it will come naturally. 1X is the perfect place to see, shoot, edit, critique and reflect on great work!


'Tokyo Bayside'


Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 

Mr. Franklin Neto is a very fine photographer! When I saw his work for the first time, I was shocked and felt that I would like to express this kind of world view myself. I am very interested in his point of view as well as how he edits his work. His photographs made me feel strongly that I want to learn more.




Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?

In Japan, the emphasis in photography is on how faithfully it reflects reality. Of course, such a culture is wonderful.
However, I would like to make aware as many people as possible that it is acceptable to freely express oneself in photography, including incorporating more of the artist's expression and intention. To this end, I believe it is important to communicate my activities and thoughts on 1X through social networking sites and other means. I do not expect everyone to approve my ideas. I just want Japanese people to know that there is such a way of thinking.


'Framed composition'


Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you? 


'The bridge'


This photograph is the origin of my architecture photography. I photographed the world's longest sea bridge from above and was able to express a world in which the bridge seems to continue into the clouds. It was the first work to receive an Award at 1X, and it was also the 2nd to win an award at the International Photograph Awards, so it has left a lasting impression on me.

Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you from the world's premier photography website.  My workflow has changed dramatically with 1X.  Don't be discouraged if you get rejected. It's not an easy road and it takes practice. You have to create your work the way you really want to express yourself, and then submit it. 1X is the best place to do it. To end this interview, I want to share my favourite quote : "Habit is second nature."


'Continue to the big city'






'Hibiya II'



'Rainbow bridge'


The space, the light, the tone rendered the melancholy into beauty. So awesome!
Thank you for sharing. Awesome fine art photography.
Davvero impressionante capacità di ricreare mondi nuovi...
Beautiful collection
Truly spectacular photos in every respect! In my opinion it is necessary to dwell on each one to fully appreciate them. Thanks a lot to Yvette for showing them to us!
Always so nice to present excellent photographers to the readers, Giorgio !
Thank you very much for sharing your work and story of your life! Excellent architecture, edit and fantastic mood! Congratulations!
Thank you!!
Stunning creative work, thank you very much for sharing your story and advice Amatou T.
Thank you!!
Very impressive portfolio! 素晴らしい写真です!
Thank you!! ありがとう!
Amatou is a photographer prodigy, I am deeply grateful and honoured for inspiring you. Keep up the good work, success is your destiny. Congratulations bro
Thank you!! I am so honored that you saw it! I will continue to do my best.
I was very fascinated by your work, I like your way of seeing things "differently", I like above all your processing of images, the processing of color, light and shadow, I see that it requires a lot of work, so I congratulate you.
Thank you!!
Dear Amatou T, your architectural works are fascinating and with the highest processing qualities. Thanks for sharing your work process and thoughts on photography on 1X. Love your gallery. Looking forward to seeing your more of your works. My compliments also to Yvette for another excellent interview.
Thank you!! I'm glad for here that.
Thank you, dear Arnon !
Photographer of the week おめでとうございます! 独創的なCITYSCAPEの数々!これからの活躍もご期待しております。
You will be fascinated by the wonderful architectural works! And congratulations on your publication in the magazine! I am looking forward to the wonderful works in the future.
Thank you!!
I really love and admire your style and your art, thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and thank you dear Yvette for letting me discover them!
Thank you!!
It is thanks to the magazine and the readers that I want to discover the many talented photographers on 1x, Gaby !!!
Very nice work and retour style.
Thank you!!
Congratulations on the 'Photographer of the week' feature, Amatou. Well deserved ... It was fine to interview you and to know more about you. Cheers, Yvette
Thanks for taking it up! We will continue to work hard!