When you discover Noppakun Wiropart’s Fotolia portfolio it’s as if someone put you on a plane and whisked you to Japan. But forget the neon lights of Tokyo. His photos capture the stunning but natural, dramatic Japanese landscapes (as well as other gorgeous Asian scenery) and we contacted him to find out more about his journey into the world of stock.

Fishermen in Inle Lake at sunrise, Shan State, Myanmar

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been working as a data engineer for over eleven years. Currently, I live in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, in Southern Thailand. My adventure in photography started nine years ago and since the very beginning, I started with digital photography. My photographic style mainly represents landscape and travel pictures, since I love watching natural scenes and sharing this moment with someone else.

Bromo volcano at sunrise, East Java, Indonesia

How did you start photography?

When I was in high school, I went on holiday with a friend. He had a SLR camera and he showed me how to use it. I was so excited. It was the first time I had the opportunity to be in contact with a reflex. When I received the pictures developed by the lab, I was extremely impressed with the difference between these and the photos you’d get with a regular compact camera. At that point, I knew I would dream about getting a reflex, but I couldn’t afford one since it was some expensive equipment. As a teenager, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a camera. However, I knew from that moment that photography was going to be my dream hobby. After I graduated and got a job, I could afford my first camera, a Nikon D80. I spent an incredible amount of time learning things about photography, which had become much more than a hobby: my soul and passion. I’ve travelled a lot across Thailand with my cameras as well as in other countries, in order to capture and share many special moments

The floating Torii Gate, Miyajima island, Hiroshima, Japan

How would you define your style?

I take travel and landscape photos using as little editing as possible. I use all kinds of filters to make my pictures as beautiful as they can possibly be from the start, so they don’t need much editing.

Why have you become a Fotolia contributor?

In 2010, I had lots of pictures in my collections, but I didn’t know of any marketplace that would have agreed to give a novice photographer like me a chance. That is when a friend suggested a book by Sura Nualpradid, which mentions an illustration images marketplace. I’d like to thank her here. Thanks to Sura Nualpradid’s precious advice, I joined the photographic community of image bank contributors, along with plenty of Thai photographers.

I think it is a wonderful opportunity for me to earn money while doing what I love. I am free to photograph what I love, and if the pictures are good enough, then they can be sold.

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

What are your feelings on Japan?

Japan is a fascinating country since it offers a cultural mix that tactfully combines ancient society and modern society. Furthermore, Japan owns magnificent outdoors landcapes as well as many tourist attractions. I think that any photographer who’d have the opportunity to visit Japan would fall in love with this country.

White Swan with Mount Fuji at Yamanaka lake, Yamanashi, Japan

How do you express it in your photos?

Before I start taking pictures, I strive to plan my trip. I use several mobile apps in order to help me forecast weather, sun position, etc. I do a preview of the scene as well as careful planning to choose the best moment of the year to get to meet with my photographic target face to face. Once I get there, I visit the place so I can find the best spot, the one that will offer the best composition, and then I wait for the light. And it’s all a stroke of luck. Landscape photographs are strongly influenced by chance, because they mainly depend on light quality.

Path to bamboo forest, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

What material do you use?

My main equipment is the following: Canon 5DMKII, 5DSR; Sony A7R with metabones adapter; Canon 16-35/4 IS; Canon 24-70/4 IS; Canon 70-200/4 IS; GND Lee filters set; ND Lee filters, Hoya and Haida, CPL Heliopan et B+W CPL filters.

Are there Japanese photographers that you’d recommend/who you are inspired by?

To be honest, my inspiration doesn’t come from Japanese photographers. My biggest inspiration is David Noton, one of the best UK photographers. Many pictures from social media are also inspirational to me.

A big thank you to Noppakun for taking the time to speak with us. Discover his full Fotolia portfolio here.