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In between races, we took some time to browse our hard drives and look at photos taken throughout the year. We’ll highlight each shot in a daily post, with the image sized to fit your computer screen or smartphone and described with a small backstory…

Shooting photos in places you’ve never been is most any photographers dream, and rolling into Sugo Sportsland last Saturday was no exception for me. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a handful of places thanks to my trusty Nikon cameras, and this specific trip to Japan has been among the highlights of my journeys. One thing to mention though, I speak 0.00001% Japanese – Konnichiwa and Arigato are pretty much all I know, and also to bow politely when greeting someone – yep I’m clueless. I haven’t felt this confused while shooting a race in my entire life, but the action and standard race format made some sense of it all.

At the end of the day I shot this photo of Makoto Ogata (I had to look up his name in the results online) and I saw genuine happiness in his expression. I didn’t even need to know his name –he was just excited and happy, and my clueless American self could at least completely understand that. I had also just watched him pass his way through the pack for 1-1 moto scores, and this was a cool moment that made for a particular favorite photo from the day. The cool part of it all this is that emotion and facial expressions are universal, and you know that Ogata is happy no matter what language you speak (or don’t!) just by looking at this image. I hope to be able to come back to Japan again and shoot some more All Japan Nationals, and maybe next time I’ll learn some Japanese!

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PHOTO INFORMATION Photographer | Mike Emery Camera | Nikon D4s Lens | Nikon 50mm f1.4 Shutter Speed | 1/160 Aperture | 2.2 ISO | 64

Flash | Not Used