All posts filed under: pentax 645Z

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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

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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 …

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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.

Savannah Fermin - Senior Session Colab.

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 …

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From Princess to Queen

Last Saturday I had a great location / studio shoot with Kelley. Kelley’s husband gave her a portrait session as a Christmas present and she had some magical ideas about what she’d like to do.  Her initial idea was to be a queen for a day, but with a change of outfit and makeup we realized we could first shoot softer images of “the princess” before turning to the dark side as “the queen”. Cosmos fields are blooming at the moment so they made a beautiful background. I shot with the Pentax 645Z along with the 90mm and 300mm lenses. For light I used the Profoto B1 with a softlight reflector white. After the softer images, makeup artist Audra Pesicka switched the hair and makeup to the second look. We first shot in the studio with a simple 3 light studio setup. ( Profoto D2 with beauty dish, and a Profoto 7a generator to 2 proheads in 1×4′ softboxes.) Then we headed out to the village of Bise and its roads lined with Fukugi trees. …

Woman walking across Millennium Bridge away from St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England.

2016 Highlights

2016 has been an great year with a mix of photography and putting in the groundwork for future projects. Cherry Blossom The year began with cherry blossom in Okinawa, and a few months later I was whizzing around mainland Japan shooting cherry blossom in Himeji, Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. 2017 should be another epic year for cherry blossom pics as I run a Kyoto Workshop  in April while the trees are in full bloom. Karate The Karate Masters Portrait Project continues although at a slower pace. In 2016, I shot images for James’ new clothing brand Okinawa Dojo of Life. The Guinness World Record for the most people performing a kata was broken, and Sensei Higa took on the minotaur of Zakimi. Marine Life Didn’t spend much time shooting underwater this year, but have made new contacts with the Churaumi Research Center so it’s been great to document some of their work monitoring the migration of humpback whales. In 2017 I hope to get pictures of other monitoring programs including coconut crabs and turtles. Life on …

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“Kid” Yamamoto Portrait Shoot

Portrait shoot with MMA fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto on friday night. Yamamoto is perhaps most famous for his 4 second flying knee KO to Kazuyuki Miyata back in 2006. Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens. (I had brought a black background but spotted the Japanese flag in the gym so changed my plan). 2 light setup. Profoto D2 with gridded 4×1 softbox as rim light (back left), Profoto B1 with gridded softlight reflector as the main light (front right). Air remote trigger. Huge thanks to Ben of Capoeira Academy Okinawa for setting up the shoot, and Shawn Miller and Yuki  for assisting. Some BTS pics and video!

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Virtual Reality and the Medieval Knight

Epic photo shoot last weekend with CJ (the knight) and Yuki (the virtual reality gamer). My friend Steve is a member of the  Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and introduced me to CJ the knight.  Before the shoot I created a flaming torch from a green branch and kevlar tape. Although the location looks like one of Okinawa’s ruined castles (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) it is a local park whose only visitors are feral cats. I used the Pentax 645Z, 55mm and 90mm lenses, and three Profoto B1 lights with gridded reflectors.  The second stage of the shoot was to add Yuki wearing Sony’s new virtual reality headset. In Lightroom I darkened and toned the scene and then in Photoshop I  illuminated the lights on the Sony VR headset and move controllers. All in all, a fun successful shoot! A huge thanks to CJ the knight, and I look forward to working with you again in the future. Thanks to Pete and Ashley for assisting and sharing your gear. Thanks to Steve for assisting and …

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Guinness World Record Breaking Kata

On October 23rd 2016 the Okinawan karate community attempted to break the record for the most people performing a kata. The record had been set in India in 2013 with 809 people. The Okinawan attempt on the record was a resounding success with 3793 confirmed participants. There was also a one of the biggest congregations of karate masters. I have photographed most of them for the Karate Masters Portrait Project so it was great to be able to say hello to so many of them. 2017 will have the opening of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan (training center), and with karate a demonstration sport at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, I expect that a mass kata performance may even become an annual event. If so, hopefully next year will be even bigger!