All posts filed under: Photography

Tea with a maiko

One of the highlights of the Kyoto Photography Workshop was tea with a maiko in Gion. The maiko we met was Kanohiro-san who is just 18 years old.  After her years of training she will become a geiko (Kyoto geisha).  We took photos and asked her many questions with Yuki interpreting for the group. Kanohiro san was very happy that we were so excited to met her. She gave us tea, performed a traditional dance, then posed for individual and group photographs. A really memorable experience with a lovely young lady.

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!

Geisha, Geiko and Maiko

What’s the difference between a geisha and a maiko? How do you tell them apart? A geisha, 芸者, is a professional entertainer, the direct translation of the kanji would be art person.  Geiko 芸子 is sometimes used when referring specifically to geisha from Kyoto. A maiko 舞妓  is a geiko in training. This process takes many years as she masters the various instruments, dances and social graces required to become a geiko. Along with their age, there are other ways to distinguish maiko from geiko. The hairstyle of a maiko is created with natural hair, while a geiko wears a wig. A maiko usually has many more ornate accessories that adorn her hair. For footwear, maiko usually wear okobo (platform sandals) while the geiko wear zori (low sandals). The inner collar of the kimono is usually red with patterns for maiko and plain white for geiko. And when looking from the back, the obi of the geiko is folded to form a box knot (taiko) while the maiko have the obi folded in a longer elaborate display  known as …

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).

Geisha in the Rain

It’s raining, but you’ve still got to go to work. So you grab your umbrella and book a cab for yourself and a couple of workmates. The taxi arrives.  The driver helps to keep your clothes dry as you get in the vehicle. Cherry blossom covers the trees. Ready to go, the evening awaits.

Fushimi Inari Shrine – Location Scouting

It’s been a while since I updated the blog. Many busy weeks, the last couple of which were spent in Kyoto prepping for, then teaching the 2017 Kyoto Workshop. Before the students arrived I spent about a week revisiting various locations thinking about possible images we could shoot, but also general planning including access, the amount of walking involved, the time required, bathrooms, and restaurants. Fushimi Inari Shrine with its tunnels of orange torii gates is one of Kyoto’s most famous locations. In 2004, I shot this post’s featured image  with the Pentax 67 medium format film camera. At Inari shrines, foxes are revered as messengers. Fox statues and symbols can be found at the shrine and beside the various mountain trails. The orange torii gates are donated by individuals or business to the shrines. There are signs at various points on the route giving pricing for different sizes of gates. While scouting the trail, I came across Takeda-san who was finishing the painting of a new torii gate. I spent a few minutes chatting …

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

Medieval Studio Workshop

A fun day at the medieval studio workshop. Charles brought his armor with surcoats of the Knights Hospitaller, a crusader and his family crest. Charles competes in the “Armored Combat League” where you wear historically accurate armor, and then fight with blunted weapons. Images were shot using variations of natural light, a single Profoto B1  strobe outdoors, and multiple studio strobes indoors. I used the Pentax 645Z with either the 90mm or 55mm lens. Charles also brought another one of his military uniforms, this one from a galaxy far far away. Huge thanks to Charles for bringing all his gear, I learned a huge amount about medieval and scout trooper armor!   Good luck in your next armored combat league battle.

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 …