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Photographer Naoki Ishikawa’s Extraordinary Perseverance To Capture The Insurmountable

With a hefty medium-format camera on his back en route upward toward some of the world’s highest peaks, photographer Naoki Ishikawa is unbothered. With a solid steel objective, his aim is the journey and capturing the unique landscape, people and moments that all form a spectacular visual narrative through his anthropological and ethnological perspective. Ishikawa’s images are unintentionally breathtaking, as his interest lies in capturing the heart of the world and its inhabitants. Yet in lesstrodden and at times extreme environments, it's hard not to imagine what Ishikawa endures to pause at an exact moment to capture an intended frame -- most likely at a gruelling elevation of 8,848 feet -- such as Mt. Everest on the crest of the Great Himalayas. Having climbed “The Seven Summits,” reached both North and Poles, and travelled through Japan’s most remote and unique regions, photographer Naoki Ishikawa’s images are an exercise in duality: both challenging and refreshing, with restraint yet all-encompassing. His incessant curiosity of the world and love of travel has led him to what most of us can only imagine, including a second ascent of Everest. The summit of Everest is the point at which Earth’s surface reaches the greatest distance above sea level, and it is through Ishikawa’s photography that we can experience a fraction of the insurmountable through his lens.

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Text: Joanna Kawecki All images copyright: Naoki Ishikawa, “EVEREST” (CCC Media House, 2019)