Alex Knight is an Australian expat who lives in Tokyo. His photography captures perfectly the neon glow of the city lights yet with a cyberpunk twist. We spoke with Alex about his style of photography and about the scene of cyberpunk photography.
1. First of all let’s talk equipment, what do you use and how do you achieve the cyberpunk effect.
I shoot with a FujiFilm x100t and a small mount I designed and 3D printed. I’m not a huge fan of carrying around much equipment. No tripod or extra lenses. Keep it light and easy to explore with.
As for the cyberpunk effects, the neons do a fair bit of the work, but after shooting I run the photos through Adobe Lightroom, adding split tones, skewing or removing some colors, and pushing up the saturation and contrast overall. I also add some selective edits in parts to create a bit more atmosphere or a surreal vibe if it suits. It’s a bit of trial and error as every photo has it’s own vibe.
2. When did you start trying to achieve that cyber punk style, and how would you describe it to someone who is new to the term or style?
While I have been taking photos for a few years now, I only really started creating shots like this in the last 5 or 6 months. I have always been inspired by dystopian futures from movies like Blade Runner or anime such as Cowboy Bebop and always wanted to try and create something to that effect. Tokyo is the perfect place for that I think.
I think cyberpunk is the grittier side of the future. Technology is advanced. Flying cars, amazing tech and medical treatment, but with all these advancements, we still have the same issues. Poverty, crime and over population. It’s a rather bleak and brutal outlook on the way things are going.
3. So you’re originally from Melbourne, Australia, how do you find living in Tokyo?
It’s certainly a big change. From it’s incredible culture, to simply living in a city that is nearly 10 times the size of Melbourne. Always something new to learn and somewhere new to explore. I love it here.
4. Living in Tokyo has clearly influenced your photography, how do you try and always find a unique perspective for a city that it is already one of the most photographed cities in the world.
Continuously exploring. I always have my camera in my bag. This city is incredibly massive and the backstreets are endless. Just taking the time to go wandering and get lost in a place I have never visited always offers up something new and different.
5. Where is somewhere that you’d love to try your cyberpunk style that you’re yet to visit?
I visited Hong Kong a few years ago, but at the time, was not very into photography. Some parts of the city, absolutely scream cyberpunk. Small apartments squashed into tight spaces and covered in neons. It’s really quite amazing to see. I am hoping to plan a trip very soon.