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Unearthing Oahu’s Gems



Itsuka Yakumo celebrates the Hawaiian island with the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 G2 zoom lens.


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By Jenn Gidman
Images by Itsuka Yakumo



Nearly two decades ago, when Itsuka Yakumo was still mainly working as a graphic designer, he started taking his own pictures to incorporate into his design work. “I could’ve had a professional keep taking the photos, but I decided I wanted to capture them myself,” he says.

The Tokyo photographer’s subjects weren’t the ones you’d typically see in commercial spreads—think tangled electric wires, asphalt slick with rain, rusted pieces of metal—but his images soon caught the attention of various companies in the advertising industry. “Even though I had little experience, I began to receive offers to take pictures for those firms,” he says. “It was a lot to handle at first, but the more pictures I took, the more my ability to express myself with my camera grew. It’s not like I just decided to get serious about photography one day—I simply had a series of projects that needed to be completed, and I stayed busy putting my own unique spin on them.”

Soon, Yakumo found himself enraptured by the photos he captured while on the road. “I head out on many trips each year, and even if I visit the same place more than once, it gives off a different feeling every time I go,” he says. “In every landscape, there’s something new that emerges. It’s interesting to me to notice something that I didn’t pick up on the first time around. I wanted to start documenting these little discoveries, so I started leaning more toward travel photography.”

Recently, Yakumo visited Oahu, an island replete with stunning landscapes, colorful cities, diverse vegetation and wildlife, and interesting people. To capture his photos, Yakumo used the new Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III VXD G2 high-speed zoom on his Sony mirrorless camera. “Being able to explore the island, with all of its varied treasures, without having to constantly swap lenses greatly expanded the scope of what I could do photographically,” he says. “From before dawn to after dark, from the ocean to the cities to the mountains, being able to capture it all with just the 28-75 was as exciting as the trip itself.”

© Itsuka Yakumo
28-75mm (60mm), F/4.0, 30 sec., ISO 200
Click image to view larger

© Itsuka Yakumo
28-75mm (35mm), F/2.8, 1/2000th sec., ISO 400
Click image to view larger

The 28-75 impressed Yakumo from the get-go. “The ability of this lens to create bokeh and atmosphere with its F/2.8 maximum aperture, and to turn each photo into a work of art, was beyond my imagination,” he says. “I think the reason why photography is always more picturesque than reality is that a lens like this allows me to create that picturesque reality.”

With its Minimum Object Distance of 7.1 inches and a maximum magnification rate of 1:2.7 at the wider end of the lens, the 28-75 allowed Yakumo to take in some closer views. “I’m a vegan, and ever since I’ve switched over to that lifestyle, I’ve found myself wanting to capture the beauty of food, flowers, and small insects more than I used to,” he says. “With this lens, you can get in so close—the tip of the lens can touch the subject, and you’ll be able to see details that you couldn’t with the naked eye.”


© Itsuka Yakumo
28-75mm (28mm), F/2.8, 1/80th sec., ISO 200
Click image to view larger

One of the vegan restaurants on Oahu put forth extra effort to accommodate Yakumo’s photographic endeavors. “If you let them know when you order that you’re going to be taking pictures, they’ll serve up even more gorgeous presentation than usual, whether it’s a breakfast waffle with the works or a carefully prepared appetizer,” he says. “The autofocus on the 28-75 works so perfectly, even when the tip of the lens is close enough to touch the food, so dynamic compositions are easy.”

© Itsuka Yakumo
28-75mm (28mm), F/2.8, 1/100th sec., ISO 100
Click image to view larger

© Itsuak Yakumo
28-75mm (32mm), F/2.8, 1/100th sec., ISO 100
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The 28-75’s high-speed autofocus allows Yakumo to focus on fast-moving subjects. “For the photo you see here of the surfers heading out to sea at dawn, I was able to track the surfers, keep my focus on point, and take one shot after another,” he says. “Meanwhile, for the photo of the kids chasing bubbles, in which I reduced the brightness so that my subjects became silhouettes, the autofocus again was quick and precise. It never failed me in all of the shots I took.”

© Itsuka Yakumo
28-75mm (28mm), F/2.8, 1/4000th sec., ISO 400
Click image to view larger

© Itsuka Yakumo
28-75mm (35mm), F/2.8, 1/8000th sec., ISO 100
Click image to view larger

© Itsuak Yakumo
28-75mm (38mm), F/2.8, 1/8000th sec., ISO 100
Click image to view larger Thanks to his camera, Yakumo is able to make a connection with locals during his travels. “It’s hard for me to talk to people,” he says. “The camera compensates for that. It serves as a tool to communicate with the person on the other side. As a bonus, I’m able to take a picture of my subjects they wouldn’t take of themselves and present it to them as gifts.”

To see more of Itsuka Yakumo’s work, check out his Instagram.






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