August 12th is Jasmine’s 6-month birthday. She’s got a lot bigger, her head isn’t cone shaped, and she loves to laugh. She’s used to meeting a lot of different people, and is quite happy being held by family, friends, and complete strangers. She travelled with us all around Kyushu and Okinawa while we updated the Fodor’s Japan guidebook, and has been at various workshops and photo shoots. I hadn’t really considered how much joy and vitality young children bring to a neighborhood. It makes you realize how tough it must be in rural communities where young families leave for the cities, the schools close, and the majority of the remaining population is elderly. As Japan deals with an aging population and a low birthrate it will be interesting to see what policies are enacted to nudge people to have babies, or to increase immigration.
Takeshi Uema, 7th-dan Shorin-ryu Karate, #81 Karate Masters Portrait Project Photographed at the Karate Kaikan, Okinawa, July 27th 2018 Takeshi Uema is the son of Yasuhiro Uema, 9th dan Shorin-ryu Karate and continues to the family line.
First dive of the year. Great to be back in the water again, and the long surface swim out from the beach with a big camera was a well needed workout. Plenty of interesting creatures. A pair of Risbecia tryoni, chromodorid nudibranchs. White-eyed Moray, Gymnothorax thyrsoideus Whitemouth moray, Gymnothoraz melegaris Plenty of clownfish hiding in their anemones. These included the false clown anemonefish (aka clown anemonefish) Amphiprion ocellaris, and the Pink anemonefish, Amphiprion perideraion. The dive spot also lived up to its name as we came across a turtle. It was a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with several common remora (Remora remora) attached to its shell. It was resting in a bowl in the coral when we found it, then after a while headed up toward the surface. Overall a fantastic couple of dives. Really have to get out more often. Huge thank you to Hiroshi for getting me back in the water. All images shot with the Pentax K5IIs in an Ikelite housing with Ikelite 161 strobes.
Masahiro Teruya 8th-dan Shorin-ryu Karate, #79 Karate Masters Portrait Project Photographed at the Karate Kaikan, Okinawa, July 27th 2018 Thanks to Kenny Ueda of Ageshio Japan for helping to set up the shoot.
Dell Hamby is the 77th Karate Master to be photographed for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. He is 6th dan Uechi-ryu Karate and 6th dan Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan. Originally from Switzerland, he now lives, teaches and trains in Okinawa. He studies Uechi-ryu under Yoshitsune Senaga (who we will be photographing in the coming weeks) and Ryukyu Kobudo under Hiroshi Akamine. He was one of four masters who took part in the Okinawa World Tournament Promotion Tour earlier in the year, and is one of the kobudo judges when the tournament is held next week. It was a pleasure to photograph Dell, a real gentleman and a great ambassador for Okinawan karate. The project has been on hold for the past year as we welcomed Jasmine to our family, but as things settle down we’ve been able to start things up again. My goal is to release the second volume in the series in time for the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2020. All images taken with the Pentax 645Z and the 90mm lens. Lighting from …
Yesterday was filled with meetings and sweltering photoshoots. The day ended however with cool breezes and relaxing jazz in the Center Court of OIST graduate university. Tali Rubinstein played various styles of recorder, and was accompanied by Sebatiaan Kaptein on drums, Elin Lee on keyboard, and Yoshiki Takahashi on bass. As a special guest vocalist my friend Arisa Muto performed some jazz standards accompanied by the band. A fantastic way to spend a summer evening.
A Jasmine mini mini movie. A great way to keep practicing shooting and editing, while creating something for the grandparents! Featured image is a pic from last year. We’re very lucky to be able to stroll from our house down the road and see this annually.
Ocean trash is a global problem. A massive amount of marine debris floats in the sea, and some of it washes up on Okinawa’s beaches. Other trash is left by beachgoers, and some items are dumped to avoid recycling fees. Okinawa is not unique in having trash on some of its beaches, but Okinawa’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. Beach trash doesn’t just affect the beauty of the islands and the quality of life for residents, it can also damage the foundations of Okinawa’s tourism industry. Okinawa is a fantastic place to visit. Discover local culture at World Heritage sites, pottery workshops, and karate dojos. Learn about the wartime “Typhoon of Steel” and Okinawa’s ongoing mission for peace. Experience culinary delights such as goya champuru and umibudo sea grapes, and wash them down with shikuwasa juice or Orion Beer. This is all combined with excellent levels of service, organization, and personal safety. Above all, Okinawa is promoted as a subtropical paradise in which to relax. Escape the Tokyo metropolis or the neon glare of …
Another fun workshop. Spent the morning introducing the different types of lights and modifiers used in a professional photography studio. In the afternoon we photographed our model Brianda after makeup up artist Jessica Coupar worked her magic. Little Jasmine even joined in at the end of the shoot wearing her own baby uniform. Thank you to workshop participants Tyson and Angie for managing to join us during the heaviest rain in recent history! Thank you to Jessica Coupar for makeup, and Brianda for being our model. Finally thank you to Jasmine for bravely wearing a red shirt and surviving the mission.