2016 has been an great year with a mix of photography and putting in the groundwork for future projects.
The year began with cherry blossom in Okinawa, and a few months later I was whizzing around mainland Japan shooting cherry blossom in Himeji, Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. 2017 should be another epic year for cherry blossom pics as I run a Kyoto Workshop in April while the trees are in full bloom.
The Karate Masters Portrait Project continues although at a slower pace. In 2016, I shot images for James’ new clothing brand Okinawa Dojo of Life. The Guinness World Record for the most people performing a kata was broken, and Sensei Higa took on the minotaur of Zakimi.
Didn’t spend much time shooting underwater this year, but have made new contacts with the Churaumi Research Center so it’s been great to document some of their work monitoring the migration of humpback whales. In 2017 I hope to get pictures of other monitoring programs including coconut crabs and turtles.
Life on Okinawa
I continue to shoot editorial images of life on Okinawa. Artisans featured heavily this year with photos of shisa makers, painters, weavers, carpenters, and bodybuilders. Photos went into magazines for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Star Cruises, Action Asia and numerous websites.
Along with the fiery Dosojin fire festival, and the damp Ohara Hadaka Matsuri the big festival of my year was Onbashira where teams of men risk their lives riding tree trunks down the side of a mountain.
Let there be light
I shot in and out of the studio and worked with some new gear by Profoto to add magical light to the images.
Pentax sent me their new camera the Pentax K-1 and one of the images was used for their exhibition up in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Summer in Europe
Spent a couple of weeks back in the UK and France meeting up with friends and family along with shooting imagery in the Lake District, London and Paris. Beautiful weather, awesome museums, and a wonderful time catching up with so many great people.
Motobu is surrounded by great locations for family, couple, and commercial sessions. In 2016 I got to photograph many lovely clients and look forward to many more in 2017. Details about sessions can be found here.
Favorite image of the year?
This year my favorite shot is the pic of Yuki walking across the Millennium Bridge in London with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background. Technically it works with the focus, framing and exposure being correct, I also knew that just before sunset direct light on her face would work. However, it is the little bits of luck with the clear skies, the break in the pedestrians, and the dress billowing that made it all come together.
Hope 2017 is a great year for you all.