A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to photograph a karate world champion, Andrea Klementisová. After winning numerous karate championships around the globe Andrea moved from Slovakia to Okinawa.
She has assisted Okinawa prefecture with the promotion of karate overseas, and helped with the organization of tournaments. She is now also teaching classes at the Asato Dojo in Naha, City.
Meeting Andrea also gave me the opportunity to start a new series of portraits, Sensei: The Next Generation. Unlike the original series of portraits which are all shot with a single key light, my thought is that these will also be lit with a rim light from behind. Shooting with a single light against a black background worked well with the oldest karate masters as they usually had either white hair, or were bald. If you photograph a person with black hair against a dark background, they can sometime melt into the darkness. Adding a rim light or hair light helps the subject stand out.
James and I also recorded an interview with Andrea about her experiences competing in karate, her love of Okinawa, and how she made these islands her new home. As she spoke in English it will be out much faster than the interviews in the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate series. Hopefully it will go on YouTube and Bujin.tv sometime in the next couple of months.