Shibata is one of the most widely known and respected Japanese landscape photographers. His work has been widely exhibited internationally. In 1992 he received the Kimura Ihei Award and in 1995 he was commissioned by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to photograph the USA, a project which led to his Grand Coulée Dam photographs, of which works are also included in his exhibition at IBASHO.
As of the beginning of the 2000’s Shibata has moved his landscape photographs into the realm of colour. In 2009 a large retrospective exhibition of Shibata's work, ‘Landscape’, was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. In 2012, there was an expansive two-person show of his work, alongside the painter Toeko Tatsuno, at the National Arts Center in Tokyo. In 2017 the Japanmuseum ‘Sieboldhuis’ in Leiden, the Netherlands, had an extensive solo exhibition ‘Het gemaakte landschap’ of Shibata’s works.