night shot landscape photography of japanese streets

“I Think a lot Photographers Suffer from Photo Theft” | Interview with Koukichi Takahashi

Koukichi Takahashi a Tokyo based photographer talked about his love of umbrellas, rain and what he does to create the perfect shot of dying flowers. Takahashi also reveals his shock of discovering the scale of photo theft.

Your recent work is frequently in the rain , are there any particular reasons for photographing in such weather?

The blurring and reflection caused by the raindrops attached to the umbrella are beautiful, but I like that the photo is incomplete. I put umbrellas and restrict the field of view on purpose. A lot of my social media followers are from overseas, and I often see the comment saying "It is my dream to go to Japan" and I believe shooting through an umbrella makes the photo livelier for them. It could emphasize the subjective viewpoint and it is possible to give the presence of actually being there. So if you can imagine "I am standing in the city of Tokyo now” then you can experience and enjoy the photos more. If I ever had the opportunity I would like to shoot rainy cities in Europe, with "From My Umbrella" as the theme.

Night shot of an illuminated street in Japan

From the series “From My Umbrella”.

You’re also an amateur botanical photographer. Your flower pictures are beautiful and impressive. What are your tips when it comes to flower photography?

In order to look beautiful, I put some water misting and shooting with strobe light to reflect the light on the droplet, and take care of the color scheme. I try to express the flower’s emotions and pleasures so that I can move someone´s own emotions. Also, I am shooting on the theme "dead flower (Shinibana), which means beauty with limited life. After purchasing flowers, I am using it for photography until it withers and the petals are scattered and fall off.

nature photography of flowers

What do you think about using the COPYTRACK service? Have you ever experienced any kind of copyright infringement?

I noticed since I actively use various social media platforms copyright infringement increased. Using COPYTRACK service made me realize that the illegal use I saw was only the tip of the iceberg. I am pleased that COPYTRACK has already calculated a fee for unauthorized use for me. Since it was an overseas website, I think that it was difficult to collect the fee unless you use the COPYTRACK service due to language barriers as well. Before that, I do not think that I was even aware that I could collecting fees.I am happy to be able to upload in bulk by linking with EyeEm. Detection accuracy is high, such as when color photographs are monochromatized, even photos that are considerably edited. The image overlay tool is also useful to compare images with useful quickly. The Functions are also outstanding, such as each result can be managed easily with tags and status settings, and unclear points can be asked through chat on the COPYTRACK app. By using the COPYTRACK service, it was possible to reduce the time I had to check for image theft, this perhaps the greatest merit of use. The time I can use for photography and editing has increased. I think a lot photographers suffer from photo theft, and with API also possible, lots of photographers should track image theft in the future.

street photography of tokyo

Photographs collected for the first time by Koukichi using COPYTRACK

If you have any Koukichi’s favorite photo on his social media, you can also request it as some products such as iPhone case as well as other prints. For details, click here.

Koukichi Takahashi

Shibuya, Tokyo based Photographer. December 2014, he was inspired by 500px and started his carrier to the world of the photograph to sell his creations.

Awards: EyeEm Mission with COPYTRACK, CUBE Berlin Best Award / with Land Rover, QUARTZ Excellence Award / Other prizes 9 times / The Year on EyeEm 2016, Visual Trend 2017 ss featured in total 19 times. 500px Editor’s Choice selection / feature 2 times. Photograph collection Tokyo / Japan2016.12 / 2017.01 publication / Berlin photograph exhibition 2 times.

Other works of Koukichi Takahashi can see reguler updates on Website or Instagram.

© COPYTRACK | Shiori Nakano



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COPYTRACK was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt. Our service is aimed at photographers, publishers, picture agencies and e-commerce providers. We enable free detection of stolen images on the Internet, as well as, international legal enforcement.


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