Hagi: Japan’s ancient Castle Town & Samurai Festival - Greg Gorman, with George Nobechi & Joshua Smith


Dates: november 6-15, 2019

Length: 9 Nights
Location: Hagi (with round-trip travel from Tokyo) & one location TBC
Cost: Announcement Pending, Sign Up to be Informed

Includes: Accommodations, Domestic Transportation (incl. airfare), Breakfast everyday, Most dinners, Travel information packages, local bilingual guidance and special access, use of printers/paper, use of Rotolight portable LED lighting kits and Sunbounce reflectors, participation in group exhibition

Does Not Include:
Lunches, some dinners, alcohol, international travel, travel insurance (highly recommended), tips for staff, camera equipment.

Shooting Level: All serious amateurs and professionals welcome. Non-shooting partners and spouses also welcome.

Hagi is a beautifully preserved ancient town on the Southwest coast of Japan. In the feudal age, it was governed by the powerful Mouri Clan. In the 1800s Hagi also became the launching point for the famous Meiji Restoration, which industrialized modern Japan with unprecedented speed. Hagi is home to several World Heritage monuments and its ancient castle town remains one of the best preserved in all of Japan.

Hagi’s natural setting in a river delta flowing into a harbor that faces the Sea of Japan makes it an ideal place for photography, from lively fishing docks with active auctions, to streets lined with faded old town walls, several gorgeous temples and shrines, a park created around castle ruins, quiet beaches and golden rice fields.

Every November, Hagi celebrates its samurai era history with a magnificent period costume festival and our workshop will be timed to for this event.

It is also known for its ceramics, with “Hagi-yaki” pottery being one of the most famous in Japan. 

Nobechi Creative first produced a workshop in Hagi in November of 2017, led by Sam Abell, with the cooperation of the city. In 2019 we once again have the full support of the city for our workshop, this time led by the incomparable Greg Gorman, allowing us incredible access to locations and people (including artisans, fishermen, farmers, etc).

This is Greg’s second Japan workshop with Nobechi Creative, following 2018’s highly successful Takayama workshop, which received great acclaim. Greg will share his wealth of knowledge on lighting, portraiture, and master photography while working with natural light, portable LED lighting and reflectors. 

George Nobechi, with his local knowledge accumulated over many visits to the area will curate a program rich with variety and beautiful settings. He will also give pointers for shooting landscapes and settings in Japan, filling in the cultural nuances and subtleties of this peaceful, beautiful country.

Joshua Smith will bring his distinct vision and style of patient coaching of unique street photography to the table.

Accommodations will be arranged at a traditional, luxurious Japanese style inn, which gives us the full range of the cultural experience in Japan, allowing us to dive into the culture and appreciate the people and country we are photographing. Classroom instruction will take place in a modern facility provided by the city.

During the workshop, Greg will give a community lecture, which will create a wonderful opportunity for participants to interact with locals. We will also be making prints of the photographs made during the workshop for the purposes of exhibition. Participants will have their names included in an official group exhibition in Japan, which can be added to their artist CVs.

For a look at what a Gorman-Nobechi Creative workshop in Japan involves, please watch this 5-minute video:

Click on the following link for more information on Tokyo Portraiture Master Class Option, November 16-18, 2019.


To sign up for the official advanced notice list for this workshop, please fill in your contact information below

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