All posts filed under: Okinawa

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 …

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! 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. 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. 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!

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.      

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 …

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. At the clinic they confirmed Yuki was in labor, but that it was going very slowly. The whole of Sunday was spent in bed with the contractions getting stronger. 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. She was weighed (2868 grams), and measured (47.2cm). She was checked and cleaned. Monitored, and then given to Yuki. 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 …

Nearly there…

There may have been little activity on the my blog, Facebook, or Instagram the last few months, but things have been very busy behind the scenes. Yuki is due to give birth anytime in the next few weeks. I took a few pics in the garden this morning just in case we have to rush off to the hospital before we take more photos. Meanwhile, I’m currently sorting out taxes for 2017, invoices, contracts, and a new workstation for video work. Spot, the kitten, is also a new arrival. He was a stray that appeared at our door on an unusually cold Okinawan night. We tried to give him away, but it turns out the local rule is “feed it once, it’s yours for life.”

Senior Session with Jocelyn

On Saturday morning I had a wonderful senior session with Jocelyn where we really got to make the most of Okinawa’s spring flowers.  Cosmos, cherry blossom, and  bougainvillea all created beautiful settings for our shoot. A huge thank you to Sandy for choosing me to shoot her daughter’s pictures. It was a pleasure to see you again, and we wish Jocelyn all the best with her future studies and adventures. Learn more about senior sessions with Chris Willson Photography here.

2018 – We’re going to need a bigger boat

2018 is going to be a big one. There’s a baby arriving in mid-February, so it will definitely have a memorable start.  A trip to Shuri Castle at New Year was also a reminder of how life is changing professionally. Not only am I shooting both stills and video, but I’m doing it as part of an expanding team. More clients, more collaborations, more learning, more gear, more processing power, and a lot more data. The first piece in a series of necessary upgrades to the studio just arrived in the mail. A 24TB G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle external hard drive system. Data access and security have to be a priority, and there will be significant speed improvements when the setup is complete. Collaboration is going to be the keyword of the year.  There will still be days when it is just me and a camera, but more often I’m working as part of team. Thank you in advance to my clients, sponsors, family, friends and collaborators. Here’s to a successful, creative, and collaborative 2018.

Chris Willson Photography 2017 Highlights

2017 has been another busy year. So many things to mention…. Photography workshops have been a success, and it’s been great sharing my passion (and terrible jokes) with so many other people, whether its learning the fundamentals, or dressing up as rockstars in the studio. We had an amazing 1-week workshop in Kyoto with six lovely ladies, and a combination of planning and a little luck meant we got to photograph maiko, cherry blossom, shrines, temples, castles, bullet trains, and blue skies over the week. Yuki started taking kimono classes before the workshop so she could be our subject for staged shots, and there were plenty of opportunities for fortuitous street photographs.  (We’re planning the next Kyoto Workshop for April 2019.) A huge thank you to clients who have booked me for sessions. It has been a pleasure shooting commercial portraits, families, fairy tales, and senior portraits. We’ve shot several events including the USO Service Salute, the Warrior’s Ball, and karate seminars. We’ve also worked on assignment with international clients including NBC, Cinq Mondes, and Forbes. …