All posts filed under: pentax 645Z

Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain.

Heavy rains have hit Okinawa for the past couple of weeks. Reservoirs are full, and there have been some small landslides. No injuries that I know of, but closures of roads and some evacuations have been making life miserable for some. The downpours have brought power and fury to waterfalls that are sometimes little more than a trickle. Today Todoroki-no-Taki (Thunder Falls) in Nago was living up to its name.

Knock Out

An epic Fight Club studio workshop yesterday. In the morning we went through the basics of studio strobes, triggering, and variables such as distance, position and quality of light. Then it was fight time. In the red gloves, Zac “The Flash” Pesicka. In the blue gloves  Andre “The Body” Smith In the early rounds Zac’s speed was a clear advantage,  Andre was thrown onto the ropes with  a crushing right hook.  Shrugging off the blow, and up before the nonexistent referee had counted to 10, Andre continued the fight. A mid-fight tussle with makeup artist Audra Pesicka had left the fighters bruised and bleeding. Keith “Cutman” Robbins stepped into check on the condition of his fighters. Zac landed a punishing blow to the ribs. But moments later Andre retaliated with a fight ending uppercut. The champ. A huge thanks to both fighters for shedding sweat and fake blood during the fight. Thanks to “Cutman” Robbins for the inspiring words and continuously humming Eye of the Tiger. Once again, thank you to makeup artist Audra Pesika …

Krazy Bee Gym, Itoman

I photographed MMA fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto last December at my friend Ben’s capoeira dojo in Chatan  (blog post here). A few days ago, I got a call from Norifumi to say that he was setting up his own Krazy Bee gym in Itoman, and could I take some photos of the team. Son of Japanese Olympic wrestler Ikuei Yamamoto,  Norifumi is a fearsome mixed martial arts fighter. (some video highlights on YouTube)   Norifumi’s older sister Miyuu is a three-time Freestyle Wrestling World Champion, and now fights mixed martial arts.  Their younger sister Seiko, also a champion wrestler, now lives in Texas and is married to baseball pitcher Yu Darvish. Miyuu’s son Erson Yamamoto is a mixed martial arts fighter competing professionally. Along with the Yamamoto family, there are several other fighters in the Crazy Bee team:  Betinho Vital a jiu-jitsu fighter from Brazil Aw Ratchayothin Sangmorakot a muay-thai fighter from Thailand. Kosuke Yokoyama a jiu-jitsu fighter from Japan.   It was great to meet the Krazy Bee team and I look forward to working with …

Sin City Tokyo – Rainy Day Projects

Rainy season is here in Okinawa. It’s a good opportunity to shoot indoors in the studio, and practice editing at the computer. Last week I met up with photographer Pauline Fortuna to collaborate on a “Sin City”-style studio shoot. Pauline invited along model Sam, makeup artist Deziree, and hair stylist Sherri. We thought we could try a series of  images so Sam, Sherri and Yuki became our three hoodlums. For lighting we used three Profoto B1s and a Profoto D2. They were modified with a gridded snoot, barn doors, a gridded zoom reflector and a gridded softlight reflector.  The models stood in front of a plain black background. We kept the lighting similar for all three shots so that pics would fit together better in a composite image. Back at home I played around in Photoshop layering the three images of the ladies along with a previously photographed image of Shibuya, Tokyo. The background image was darkened, blurred and toned to better fit with the theme and then the image was done. Of course there are …

Rock Stars Studio Workshop

A fantastic rock star themed studio workshop last Sunday. After a few hours in the morning covering the basics of studio shooting we moved on to the theme of the day.  For most of these shots we used the Profoto 7a generator with 2 proheads as the rear hair lights. Grids on the zoom reflectors controlled the spill of light, while gels gave the lights color. A small smoke machine gave the shots more atmosphere. We had a Profoto D2 with a gridded softlight reflector as the key light and a Profoto B1 with red / orange gels on the left side. The lights were triggered with Profoto Air Remotes. Natalie and Kelley were our awesome models. Both where more than willing to sing, play guitar, and hammer away on the keytar.  Although it was probably for the best that none of the instruments were plugged in 🙂 Makeup and hair was by Audra Presika who also created the temporary tattoos for Natalie. It’s great to have an MUA to work with who can help …

In the Studio – Allison

A couple of portraits from part of last month’s studio workshop where we were using soft light and black background. Thanks Allison for joining the workshop and posing for us. Camera: Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens Lighting: Profoto D2 with softlight reflector white (right) White card as a reflector (left)  Profoto 7a with 2 pro heads in RFi 1×4′ softboxes (rear left and right) for rim light. Triggered with Profoto Air Remote.

Gatekeepers

During the Kyoto 2017 Workshop we jumped on the bullet train to visit Himeji City and the finest example of a Japanese castle.   I didn’t get any new shots of the castle itself, but did get a few snaps of the guards. A short BTS video taken by Tech Ninja Patrick. And here are few shots of the castle from 2016 in case you were wondering which one is Himeji. For movie fans, it’s the castle used to train the elite fighting force in James Bond’s. “You Only Live Twice.”

Off Camera Flash with the Profoto B2

During the 2017 Kyoto Workshop it was great that I could introduce new pieces of equipment and techniques to others in the group.  One of these was the Profoto B2 Off Camera Flash System. This strobe allows me to add light to my images to make the subject pop a little more and add catchlights to the eyes. I also use it to fill in shadows. In the featured image taken at Fushimi Inari Shrine I used the Profoto B2 with no modifier, while the image taken at the Philosopher’s walk below (right) was with a shoot-through umbrella. The system works really well. Dividing the head and the battery pack makes life for the assistant easier as holding a B1 light on the end of a pole can be top heavy. The option to use the pack with two lights is useful, and also gives you redundancy if a flash bulb stops working.  I used the Profoto Air Remote triggers with my Pentax cameras, as there is still no Pentax TTL/HSS trigger (unlike Canon, Nikon …

Studio Workshop – Medics

Another fun themed studio workshop. After covering the basics we used a multi strobe setup to produce clean medical images on a pure white background. Images shot with Pentax 645Z with 90mm. 4 light strobe setup with two background lights, a 3×4′ softbox, and a softlight reflector white. Profoto D2, Profoto compact, and Profoto 7a generator system. A big thank you to Keith, Tyson and Allison for joining the workshop and being willing to dress for the part!

Ryoan-ji Rock Garden, Kyoto

The rock garden at Ryoan-ji is one of the finest examples of a hire-niwa. 15 rocks are positioned in a large flat area of small stones without hills or ponds. I wanted an image that tried to show it as a place of quiet reflection, which is a little tricky at most times of day. However, if you’re the first person to arrive you may get a few moments of tranquility. Pentax 645Z with 25mm (top image) and 55mm (bottom image).