“Just English 1 & 2”
Coauthored two books published in Japan 


This was one of my most enjoyable projects while working in Japan in the late eighties. It was the idea of two of my closest friends at Kanagawa International Association KIA, Harumi Sato and Tomoko Yamauchi. Tomoko worked, and still does, as a news reporter for a television station in Japan and as a DJ on FM Tokyo. She is the one that made all the contacts and coordinated our meetings. Harumi was my teaching partner at KIA in Yokohama, and she presently teaches kindergarten at Sacred Heart School in Tokyo after receiving her masters at UCLA.

The three of us would spend countless hours working late into the night in either one of the classrooms at KIA or in my apartment’s small living room. While we wrote, we would order pizza with some of the strangest toppings one could imagine. It was a lot of work, but we also spent many enjoyable hours talking about our different cultures during our many breaks. A very rewarding point is that by the time I departed Japan, I actually saw the two books on shelves in Japanese bookstores. I even made enough money from the project to fund a spring break in Thailand and Hong Kong. A great literary experience…

Metropolis Magazine – Tokyo

Twice published in Metropolis magazine in Tokyo in their feature “Photo of the Week.”  

Metropolis Magazine – Tokyo

Metro 3a

Six times recognized with the “Photo of the Day” on Metropolis’ online magazine version

Weekender Magazine – Tokyo

One of my more difficult portfolios to shoot is titled “People of the Train.” Tokyo Weekender, the leading international magazine in Japan, published in their September issue a photo essay on my work. The photos tried to capture the life and culture of the Japanese commuter train . Here the train is the fiber that connects all aspects of one’s life. Each day the average worker, student, or shopper spends hours on these speedy and punctual vehicles, and there are strict norms of behavior that all follow. These photos were a challenge to shoot, but I actually met some great people trying to document this commuter wonder of Japan.

2016 U.S. Army Digital Photography Contest

Metro 5b

In last year’s U.S. Army Photo Contest, I was fortunate to have two entries recognized. My fellow photographers of Camp Zama, Japan did very well in having 7 photos recognized in this worldwide photo competition.

The Washington Post Photo Contest

Metro 6This year I was indeed fortunate to be acknowledged by the Washington Post in their Travel Photo Contest. This is the photo and the article they wrote:a-kmka-001a

Charles Levie, West Friendship, Md.
Levie, remembered the scene vividly: It was the first November snow in more than 50 years and Kamakura, Japan, was buzzing about the unseasonably cold weather. Never one to miss a photo opportunity, he decided to document the occasion and enlisted two of his photography club friends to explore the city. The ancient Japanese capital, located an hour by train from Tokyo, is known for its traditional and historical art, architecture and culture. “Tokyo is like the heart and brain of Japan, while Kamakura is its soul or history,” Levie said. “It’s a simple, sacred place.”

While shooting, they encountered a group of women donning traditional Japanese winter kimonos and asked to take their picture. They agreed, and happily posed for the photos. After they parted ways, he snapped a quick, full-frame photo on his Canon EOS 5D camera to remember their friendly encounter. The image, Levie said, captured the Japanese spirit. “From the outfits, to the umbrellas, to the body language and how they are strolling, it’s all very Japanese,” said Levie, now a math teacher in Rota, Spain, at a Department of Defense Dependents School. “It’s a culture that appreciates and embraces its past, and constantly celebrates it.”

PetaPixel & “What is a Professional Photographer?”

Metro 7PetaPixel, one of my favorite sources of online photographic information, recently published my photo essay on “What is a Professional Photographer. If you have time, click on the link and check it out.



%d bloggers like this: