Photographer rises to occasion at spectator-less Olympics in Tokyo

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TOKYO (WFLA) — Without any foreign spectators at this year’s Olympics, Japan is finding other ways to shine on the world stage.

One photographer is using his skills to help show off the country and its culture at the summer games.

Mark Edward Harris’ photos have been featured in hundreds of articles in magazines like Newsweek and Vanity Fair. Harris himself has published books on Japanese culture, including one about the ancient tradition of bathing in Japan’s natural hot springs.

Harris has documented tragedies like the tsunami that hit ten years ago, and now he’s documenting the Olympics, something he considers to be a turning point for the country.

“I think people are going to feel, I’m glad we did this, and the worlds better for it,” Harris said. “Until the opening ceremony, I wasn’t really sure it was gonna happen 100%.”

Harris says the Japanese people’s discipline and respect are the two things he admires most about their culture.

Harris has photographed a variety of athletic competitions at the Olympics. He said he visited the stadium days in advance to make sure he would get the perfect shot.

“When you’re shooting something, when you’re covering something like this, there’s so much to think about. First of all, how fast the athletes are going,” Harris said.

Harris hopes his photography shows the world coming together at a time when it couldn’t actually be together, and inspires other to visit the country he loves.

“The real payoff will be in the years to come,” he said.

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