Tokyo Portraits: Ochiai Yoichi for Nature Index Mag

I photographed this portrait of Ochiai Yoichi in Tokyo in February, 2017 for the cover of Nature Index mag.

For the brief, I was told that Ochiai, who is phD  is considered a ‘wizard’ at manipulating matter using computer-controlled invisible forces, such as waveforms or phase arrays. I’m not really sure what all that means, but it sounds impressive, and the editorial team wanted to keep the wizard/magic theme going in the images. Short of a pointy hat and a grey beard, I came up with a concept that Ochiai could have lights on his fingertips, which would give him the ability to lightpaint and ‘manipulate’ the matter around him at will. Also, the lights would look kind of like the wands from Harry Potter- wizards!

Short of an actual, LED glove, I decided to make one myself. Using a bunch of cheap parts that I bought from Akiba (below), I constructed a really rudimentary but functional LED ‘finger light’ accessory, that I would tape to Ochiai’s arm, if he was ok with it.

Luckily, once he saw my contraption, he was excited about the idea of trying it, and he let me (without an assistant) attach the somewhat awkward (but elegant!) LED fingertip glove to his hand.

At first I was intending to photoshop out the wires however I kind of liked how they looked in the photo (kind of a cyberpunk vibe), and left them in. The editorial team at Nature Index were stoked with the photos and ended up using a select for the cover. Here are some outtakes below!