All posts filed under: pentax 645Z

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).

The Golden Pavilion – Kinkaku-ji

I’ve visited Kyoto’s famous Golden Pavilion several times over the last 15 years. Usually it’s been overcast, but on my latest visit there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This was the perfect opportunity to get a wide establishing shot with plenty of room for text (thinking about the needs of clients). Shot with the Pentax 645Z and the 25mm lens held high above my head to get the correct angle. A shutter speed of 1/800 second and several bursts allowed me a sharp image without a tripod.

100 Kobudo Kata Challenge at the Karate Kaikan, Okinawa

A few pics from today’s 100 Kobudo Kata Challenge at the new Karate Kaikan in Tomigusku, Okinawa. The event was organized by James Pankiewicz of the Dojo Bar in Naha. The welcoming message was given by Toshimitsu Arakaki, 10th dan Matsubayashi-ryu karate. Participants spent 2 to 3 hours performing a hundred kata with various weapons including bo staff and sai. Congratulations to all that took part, it was great to see people actively helping keep Okinawan traditions alive. I also got to take a few new “Beyond the Dojo” pics of Arakaki sensei outside of the new Karate Kaikan building. Arakaki-sensei demonstrates a technique with two sai, while also reminding me that “Iron Fist” isn’t just something from comic books.   Gear: Pentax 645Z with 25mm lens. Profoto B1 with softlight reflector white.

Back up to the Future

A couple more pics from the shoot with Brylee last weekend.   I’m really enjoying trying to  balance natural light with flash,  varying how “lit” the images appear. For these outdoor shots I wanted to keep things looking a little more natural than usual. Images shot with the Pentax 645Z and 90mm lens around f2.8 with the Profoto B1 and OCF beauty dish white. After the shoot when I explained about setting up a Dropbox folder to share the completed images, Brylee asked if I could resend the images from her previous shoot.  I last photographed Brylee in December 2013. A couple of the images from the shoot are below. At some point Brylee’s computer had suffered a hard drive failure causing her to lose all her data.  I can resend all her images from our shoot, but there will be so many family pics she can’t get back. At least she now has multiple backups so it never happens again. Once again to all my family and friends, back up your data. If you use …

Outlander

Cool, cloudy and rainy in Okinawa at the moment. Feels like a British summer. I hadn’t photographed Brylee for several years so it was great to meet up for some new pics.  One of Brylee’s favorite TV shows is Outlander, and with the help of some drizzle, a few tartan shawls, and a green background we took a few new pics for her portfolio. Photographed with the Pentax 645Z and 90mm lens. Shot at ISO 200 f2.8 giving the very shallow depth of field. Lighting with the Profoto B1 with OCF beauty dish white at very low power to balance with the ambient light. The shawls are all traditional Scottish tartans: Hunting Stewart (top), Royal Stewart (middle) and Black Watch (bottom). A huge thanks to MUA – Audra Pesicka and  Assistant – Keith Robbins

Mr. Benn

Mr. Benn was one of my favorite TV shows when I was young. The very normal Mr. Benn enters a shop, puts on a costume, and goes on a magical adventure. In the previous blog post you met Dan the Alaskan fisherman. However, Dan has on more than just one adventure. Please let me introduce Dan the lumberjack, Dan the highlander,  Dan the biker, Dan the convict, and Dan the mountaineer. Images were shot with the Pentax 645Z with either the 90mm macro or the 55mm lens. Lighting was a Profoto B2 with an OCF beauty dish white. Images were shot over a couple of hours around sunset. The lighting setup remained the same, I just slowly dialed down the power on the strobe as the sky darkened. Huge amount of fun. As a kid I always imagined what it would be like to be Mr Benn. It turns out that I’m actually the shopkeeper of the special costume shop. Thanks again to Dan, and once again a warning to visitors. If you pop in …

Dan – Alaskan Fisherman

I invite my friends over for coffee and then force them to dress up for photos. As my little garden faces west I can get down low and place my subject against the colorful evening skies. In these shots I hid the setting sun directly behind Dan which avoids blowing out the highlights and gives both the Dan and the clouds some cool rim lighting. Pentax 645Z with 90mm and 55mm lenses. Profoto B1 with OCF beauty dish white triggered with the Profoto Air Remote.

Practice, practice, practice.

Last weekend I met up for a collaborative test shoot with photographer Jennifer Buchanan of Sunshine Soul Photography. Jennifer specialises in couture portraits of high school seniors, and is great at producing timeless images of the young ladies before they venture out into the big world. Jennifer arranged for two high school students Sierra and Savannah (and their parents) to meet up with us in Motobu. In exchange for their time, we’d give them a few photos they’ll hopefully love. Jennifer and I took turns photographing the girls. We offered each other tips, watched how we posed the “clients,” compared the gear we use, but above all we could just practice. Practice, practice, practice. Practice, and a lot of it, is required to become proficient at any skill. One theory states that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” is required to master something. Concert musicians are well known for playing hour after hour after hour. (Two thumbs up for the movie Whiplash). Sometimes it’s not the gear that is holding us back, but the limited amount of time that we spend practicing …