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Arif Iqball — Tokyo, Japan – 2009 Spring Tour
  • monks
  • Archer
  • Drums
  • Prayer
  • Child

I am extremely happy that I selected this tour over the others. Robin did his very best to give us opportunities including access to normally forbidden places which I know cannot happen without his extensive knowledge of the country and his extensive relationships built over many years.  I feel that the tour was just perfect for what I wanted to do and I will be back at a different time of the year.  I have travelled to over 40 countries and this was perhaps my most favorite trip. I will continue to add photographs to my website So please check occasionally when you have some time."


Two cameras - Leica M8 with 35 summilux (F1.4) and Nikon D3.  Lenses for the Nikon include 14-24 F2.8; 24-70 F2.8; and 80-200F2.8.  I found the combination of the Leica with the 35 and the Nikon with the 80-200 a very good combination and hence hardly used the 24-70 on the road.  For the festivals, I used the 14-24 to define the environment and for tight spaces and the 80-200 for the close-ups.  For a similar trip in the future, I would use my 28F1.4 since light was really low and tripods would not have worked in the rapidly changing scenes of dancers etc.  Manual focus Leica was difficult as well under those scenes.  I also carried two flashes and a set of pocket wizards remote triggers but I never used them.  The tripod and the portable reflector were helpful and I should have used them more ;)  I also carried the Epson P-7000 and the colorspace 0 for daily backups (carried extra batteries for them).  Memory was about 32 gigabyte cards and on days of the festival, I could easily shoot 16G with the D3.  For filters, I used the polarizer on a few occasions but since most of my photography was people related, I did not use any of the other filters I carry i.e. Neutral Density.  I did use my lightmeter for some panoramic shots but that too was limited.  I used a Billingham vest all the time and a Tamrac 69 bag which was just right for the equipment I was carrying.  Also in my bag were rain covers as well as camera manuals in case I needed to look at some settings.
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