Had I not been charged with capturing the photographs for Coral Expedition’s 2024 promotional collateral, I’m confident it would have been me receiving the accolades from Mr Nakashima (below) for making the best chopsticks Japan had ever seen (of course, those who know how practical I am, may beg to differ).

Chopsticks-making was one of the many guest activities included in the 16 day cruise of Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, from which I’ve just returned.

It was Coral Expedition’s inaugural trip through Japan which started at Fukuoka and headed down to Nagasaki then stopped off at several southern Islands before tying up in Taiwan to end the journey.

The cruise offered a full itinerary for those of us not wanting to miss anything. There were pristine islands and sandbars to be explored, snorkelling and diving to be had, caves to descend into, two volcanoes to see, and a primordial forest to be wandered. We learned about making silk, sampled different Sake’s (at least the guests did. This two-pot screamer would have had to be carried back to the ship if he’d tried), and we benefitted from the wisdom of several guest lecturers who spoke on Japanese history, the culture and the environment as we made our way from port to port. We also managed to squeeze in a couple of museums and art galleries, palaces, castles, temples and gardens (phew).

With all of this to photograph, it was a productive shoot (and, thankfully, there was good weather for the drone when I most needed it).

Following is a sample of a few of the images captured:


Note: Shuri Castle was covered in scaffolding for renovations when we visited so I’ve included a couple of photographs of the castle and a Ryukyu cultural performer which I shot during an earlier assignment to Okinawa.

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.




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