Dave Powell

“I think you’re successful when you see things people haven’t seen before.”

Urban Observer

Dave Powell

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo subway station

Escaping the routine.

I have a full-time job in tech, and a few years ago I decided I needed some work/life balance. Photography was an easy hobby to pick up. I started a blog called ShootTokyo.com, and it quickly evolved into an obsession. I began using photography as a way to really see Tokyo and the places I traveled to for work. I’m too busy to go out and spend half a day shooting landscapes, so I focus on street photography, taking shots while walking to and from my office.

Dave Powell's SmugMug website

My top 84.

Before SmugMug, if someone wanted to publish my photos, I sent them to a bunch of different blog posts to see my best work. Now I send them to my SmugMug portfolio, where I showcase my favorite 84 images, with a subset for sale. I chuckle when people offer every photo they’ve ever taken for sale. I think filtering yourself is important, and SmugMug helps me do that by being so clean and easy to navigate. I like that my portfolio looks just like my blog, but with all the features of a fully integrated e-commerce site.


Seeing the unseen.

SmugMug helps me showcase what I’ve seen, simply and beautifully, to the thousands of visitors I get to my blog daily. I talk about a weird mix of things, but mostly just thoughts around really good photography. My photos always prompt the same question: where should I go to take photos in Tokyo? I tell people: smoky Yakitori Alley in Shinjuku, and Golden Gai, with its little bars all crunched together. It’s very Japan, and very easy to walk by without knowing what you’re walking by.

A page from Dave Powell's website
A busy restaurant

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