After a longer break, some website changes and just not getting around to working on it, I’ve hooked up with Kenji Haruta who has been making a name for himself with his photography skills, featuring shots in several magazines around the globe and continuing to push out good material. Read through this short check-out about Kenji after the jump!
Tell us a bit about yourself: who are you, where do you come from/live
My name is Kenji Haruta aka HALTAC. I live in Okinawa,Japan. Currently I’m 27 years old and have been skating for 11 years.
How did you get started with photography?
Originally, I bought a camera to take photographs for doing web pages. Then I realized, instead of taking those kinds of photographs, I could be taking skate shots of Tetsuharu Sai who is a sick skater that lives close to me. That’s the big reason why I got started in photography.
Your photos have been recognized by many and published in magazines and online quite a few times. Who have you worked with/for in the past years?
I’ve worked with Transworld Japan, Sb Skateboard Journal, RUA Magazine, Expression(Sweet’ Chillin), Board Kill in Japan and Focus Magazine, Slap Magazine in U.S.A.
And also I was featured on the 5th District web site. ( http://www.5thdistrictskate.com/)
What makes a great picture for you?
When I take a photo, I feel eager to capture a scene . Like a scenic shot even if a skater doesn’t enter the photograph. Then, with a skater in the shot, it adds another dimension making it more complete, and it reflects the mood of the moment and is good as a complete photograph.
Is there something you have always wanted to photograph but have not had the chance to do it?
I always wanted to take photos of weird circus people. Clowns scare me.
I’ve never made it over to Japan. Do you see any major differences in the scene to other countries in the world?
This year I stayed twice in New York for several months at a time. Moving from spot to spot was a painful ordeal because most of the skaters and photographers just move from place to place by skating on the street with heavy bags in hand.
The environment in Okinawa, Japan is perfect not just because of the spots, but especially the skaters.
Are you currently working on some new exciting projects?
A guy who lives in Montreal in Canada. He will put together a new online skate magazine at the end of the year. I’m going to help out on the visual side on the that project.
What is your favorite choice of photographic equipment for shooting skate photographs?
I use a Canon 1d mark2 but getting a good shot is a thing I owe to sensibility and skating that make me manical about the quality. Good photos don’t just depend on the equipment.
If you had to choose three of your favorite photographers, who would they be?
Anthony Acosta, Scott Pommier, Me
Good last statement to round off this interview with Kenji – hope to see a lot more from him and the Japanese skateboard scene in the near future here on Europeskate.