Tokyo Institute of Technology: Second online photo contest unites students, staff online

The Japanese Section of the Institute for Liberal Arts (ILA) hosted the 2nd Online Photo Contest on June 10 to bring local and international students together with staff and faculty for exchange. A total of 37 students, staff, and faculty members joined the event. Six international students, three Japanese students, and guest participants introduced their photographs through entertaining virtual presentations.

The contestants, who each had roughly five minutes to present their photographs and answer questions from their audience, could choose from one of two topics this year — “life in Japan” or “hometown landscape.” Participating international students had a variety of photos and stories to offer. One student presented a wonderful shot of the Wat Arun temple in Bangkok, while another showed off a collage of the cherry blossom trees on Ookayama Campus in mid-winter and in full bloom. A third student’s photographs had all been taken with a camera made using a 3D printer. Some students impressed the audience by giving their presentations completely in Japanese despite having just started their language studies in April.

Guest participants, including Japanese students (TAs) from the Tokyo Tech Photo Club and staff and faculty members, also presented their works. These included shots of the starry sky visible only during the new moon, collages of traditional dances from the Tohoku region, and photographs of fresh homegrown vegetables, all of which fascinated the participants.

During the Q&A session, topics also varied broadly. Some participants wanted to know about shooting locations, while others were more interested in technical matters such as image resolution and shutter speed when shooting stars in the sky. Some even asked about how to best cook the photographed vegetables.

The event ended with a vote and the presentation of awards to two of the contestants. Hira Satter, a 1st-year doctoral student at the School of Environment and Society, was selected as the recipient of the Best Photograph Award for his photo “Dance with waves.” Research student Saksucha Submakudom, also from the School of Environment and Society, received the Best Presenter Award for his eternalization of “Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).”

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