Latest Posts

LASIK Update

I never got around to posting an update on the 4th anniversary of my LASIK operation, but now that things are calming down I can post a 4 year 6 month update.

Click here for a summary of my previous posts about LASIK (laser eye surgery) 

Quick update:

Eyes are great, still have the vision of a hawk.

Longer update:

The advantages of having had LASIK and not having to deal with glasses and contact lenses have been magnified by the arrival of our daughter Jasmine. Having a baby is fantastic.  It also means you have less time, less sleep, more colds, and more responsibilities. So glad I don’t have to mess around finding glasses in the middle of the night, or dealing with contact lenses and poopy diapers while half-asleep.

The issue of less sleep and more colds is important.  Usually, my eyes didn’t get irritated by contact lenses, but if I was overly tired or getting sick, I would get sore red eyes, and I’d be forced to switch from contact lenses to glasses.

In the event of a natural disaster, the scramble for glasses or contact lenses in the middle of the night was an issue of personal safety. Having had LASIK I feel better knowing that my own vision is no longer a liability when it comes to protecting my family.

 

More information about LASIK

10 Life changes since getting LASIK

 

Anthony Bourdain

In March 2015, Anthony Bourdain visited Okinawa to film an episode of his travel series Parts Unknown for CNN.  Yuki and I played a small part in the production. I helped set things up for a couple of weeks before shooting, and Yuki worked with Tony and the crew for several days during filming. It was a happy and exciting time in our lives, as on March 25th 2015, during preparations and filming, we also bought our home in Motobu and got married.

 

Yesterday, June 8th 2018, at age 61, Anthony Bourdain took his own life.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/08/us/anthony-bourdain-obit/index.html

The tragic news has made us look back on the impressive work of Anthony Bourdain. To be honest, as a vegetarian I had never watched his shows to pick up tips on cooking. I saw him as a travel writer and filmmaker, rather than a celebrity chef.  One of the first episodes I ever watched was “Bourdain in Beirut” from the series No Reservations. I had never seen anything like it. Bourdain came across as a man interested in the human condition that used food as a point of commonality.

The numerous episodes showed the diversity of life across the planet while also revealing the similarities that bind us together as humanity. Across the world families and friends come together to eat, people search for safety and security, for meaning and happiness.

His death is also a reminder of the importance of mental health programs. Depression and suicide are global and affect millions. I’ve placed some links below.

Our thoughts go out to his family, and his team at Zero Point Zero Productions.

 

My original blog posts about Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Okinawa

https://travel67.com/2015/10/21/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown-okinawa/

https://travel67.com/2016/06/21/prime-cuts-okinawa/

Useful information

 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

International Association for Suicide Prevention 

 Befrienders Worldwide 

Samaritans (UK)  116 123 

Location Shoot with Brylee – Skylum Video

 

The second video with model Brylee Williamson for Skylum Software is now on YouTube.   Things have been exceptionally busy recently so haven’t had much chance to put up blog posts even when the photos, and in this case video, are already shot and edited!

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Another team effort to produce the video. Thank you to model Brylee Williamson, makeup artist Jessica Ochoa, Gary Hughes for the BTS video clips, Keith Gordon for the intro music, Kaley Kinjo for the song, Yuki for Japanese subtitles, and Hiroshi Tsuji for proofreading.

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All images shot with the Pentax 645Z with the 90mm macro lens. Images shot with natural light and a reflector, and later with the Profoto B1 strobe with the OCF beauty dish. Images edited in Luminar by Skylum Software.

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If you like the video please give it a thumbs up, comment, subscribe, or even share. This helps spread the video and will encourage us (and our sponsors) to create more videos in the series!

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USO Okinawa 47th Annual Service Salute

It was a pleasure to be asked to take some photographs at the USO Okinawa  47th Annual Service Salute. The event celebrates the work done by the USO and the exemplary conduct by 7 junior enlisted service members from the United States and Japan.

If you attended the event and I snapped your photo you can download the digital file for free from the following link.

USO Okinawa 47th Annual Service Salute Images by Chris Willson Photography

Thank you to the staff of the USO for welcoming us to your event, and congratulations to all the honorees.

 

 

 

Summer Workshops

June 2nd & 3rd  Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson

June 9th & 10th  North & South Intermediate Workshop with Chris Willson

June 16th  Star Trek themed Studio Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson

July 7th & 8th  Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson

August 4th & 5th Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson

For more details please click on the course above to reach the Facebook page or visit this blog’s Workshop page.

To book a spot on any of the course please email or Facebook message me and I’ll send you a PayPal request for the course fee. Payment then secures your spot.

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Fukugawa Falls, Nago, Okinawa, Japan

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Studio shoot with Brylee – Skylum Video

My next video in collaboration with Skylum Software is now online. Loving the process of making videos, it is a real team effort. Huge thanks to everyone, this includes the model Brylee Williamson, the makeup artists Jessica Ochoa and CJ Palomo, Gary Hughes for video, Keith Gordon for the intro music, Kaley Kinjo for the song, Yuki for Japanese subtitles, and Hiroshi Tsuji for proofreading. Thanks also to Skylum Software for working with me and striving to create better and better products.

 

Humpback Whale Watching on Okinawa

Here’s my latest collaboration video with Skylum Software. I take to the waters off the coast of Motobu, Okinawa to try and photograph humpback whales.

Please like, share and comment on the video as it will help others find it and allow us to keep on making videos!

Skylum Software just released a new update to Luminar this week so it is now faster with a few new editing options also.

A big thank you to Okinawa Island Crew for letting me shoot photos and video on the boat. I much prefer whale watching from Motobu rather than Naha as the whales are located much closer to the port.

The gear used in the video was the Pentax 645Z camera with the 300mm f4 lens.

The tripod was a carbon fibre LEO by 3 Legged Thing, and the bag is the Whistler by Lowepro.

Now on YouTube!

In 2016, I was contacted by the team at Macphun Software who had come across my photography on the web. Macphun produces photo editing programs for Mac computers, and received Best of the Year awards from the Apple app store six years running. They were producing new inspirational content for their website and asked if I’d like to be involved. James Pankiewicz, Patrick Batac and I produced a behind the scenes video about The Karate Masters Portrait Project.

In 2018, Macphun became SKYLUM software as it is no longer just Mac only. As its popularity grows around the world, Yuki and I are going to help introduce the software to the Japanese market.

We’ve created a Japanese language YouTube series called the Shoshinsha Photographer Yuki (New Photographer Yuki) in which Yuki learns how to take photos, and edit the pictures with SKYLUM’s Luminar editing software.

Episode 1 has a brief introduction then Yuki explores Bise Village in Motobu.

Episode 2 is all about the 100 Kata for Karate Day event at new Karate Kaikan.

Episode 3 is Yuki’s first time shooting with studio lighting with the lovely Bernadette and makeup by Audra Pesika.

Episode 4 is the Shuri Castle New Year’s Celebration.

This is a really exciting new project for us, and as Yuki learns about photography I’m learning just as much about videography. We hope to make many more videos in the series, and you are a big part of making that happen!

Please watch the videos, and if you like them, click the thumbs up symbol, comment, and subscribe to the channel.  If you can help get the word out by sharing the videos on social media we’d be super grateful.

Thank you all for your support! Big hugs from Chris & Yuki, and gurgles from Jasmine.

 

It’s a girl!

Yuki started going into labor at around 6pm on Saturday the 10th of February. We called the maternity clinic and drove from Motobu to Nago City.

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At the clinic they confirmed Yuki was in labor, but that it was going very slowly.

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The whole of Sunday was spent in bed with the contractions getting stronger.

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At around midnight Yuki was moved to the birthing room in the clinic. Yuki was attached to monitors,  but the birth wasn’t due for several more hours.

At around 3.15AM things got very busy. The heart rate of the baby  suddenly dropped from around 130 to 60 bpm. The doctor made the decision to get the baby out right away and at 3.36AM on February 12th 2018  Jasmine Victoria Willson was born.

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She was weighed (2868 grams),

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and measured (47.2cm).

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She was checked and cleaned.

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Monitored,

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and then given to Yuki.

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Unten-sensei was able to explain to me what happened at the birth. The low heart rate was a sign of foetal distress, so he immediately delivered the baby by ventouse (suction cup). For the first couple of weeks Jasmine’s head  was a little cone-shaped, but it is returning to normal now.

Yuki and I are so grateful for the kindness and professionalism shown by all the staff and  Dr. Unten at the Unten Maternity Clinic in Nago City, Okinawa.  Thank you for bringing our baby girl into the world.

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