It’s been a big first year for Jasmine. Thank you for being daddy’s awesome little girl!
The traditional hairstyle for Okinawan women is called kanpuu. The hair is twisted on top of the head, and then held in place with a jiifaa hairpin. Photographed with the Pentax 645Z and 90mm lens. Natural light. This was shot during this months Photography Fundamentals workshop. The next one will be March 30th / 31st 2019. https://www.facebook.com/events/547482259063977/
Another great Photography Fundamentals workshop last weekend. Always a pleasure to share my love of photography and Okinawa with other people. The next workshops are at the start of February and the end of March. Click on the links to visit the Facebook event page, message me to book your spot. Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson February 2nd & 3rd, 2019 Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson March 30th & 31st, 2019
The biggest event of 2018 was on February 12th when Jasmine Victoria Willson was born. Over the last 10 months she’s grown to be a delightful little toddler who is excited by all her adventures. Life now revolves around bananas, Igglepiggle, and bath time. I’ve been shooting a wide range of imagery, along with producing some videos for SKYLUM software. The Karate Masters Portrait Project continued, and expanded to start a new video documentary series about the amazing martial arts sensei on Okinawa. 2019 will begin with some exciting news about the series. At the start of the year I was out photographing the humpback whales while creating a video for SKYLUM, then at the end of the year I was recording the TEDxOIST lecture series with a team of videographers. One of the speakers was my good friend Nozomi Kobayashi who talked about her job monitoring the migrating whales. In the spring I updated the Okinawa and Kyushu chapters for the next edition of Fodor’s Japan. Jasmine had her first trip down to Miyako …
A great couple of Christmas dives yesterday with my buddy Hiroshi at Cape Zanpa. Rinsed the gear and now sorting through images with a pile of reference books at my side. Identifying fish is often a challenge especially when some of them such as the bullethead parrotfish change their shape, color, and even sex over the course of their lives. Trying to identify corals is even trickier, but hopefully over the years I’ll be able to better differentiate between the various sponges, sea fans, soft corals, stony corals and anemones. The featured photo is I believe a Periclimenes psamathe ( seafan shrimp) on a Muricella sp. gogorian sea fan.
On November 30th, I had the honor to photograph and shoot some video of Yoshitsune Senaga, 10th dan Uechi ryu karate at his dojo in Tomigusku, Okinawa. He is the 82nd sensei to be photographed for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. 81 year old Senaga sensei also studies kobudo, and was willing to show us his techniques with the sai. Interestingly he showed how the pair of sai that he used would ring like tuning forks when hit. He explained that this was because these sai were made from metal that was once used in a temple bell in Nara. After taking portraits for the project, I recorded a quick interview with Senaga sensei, then finally we got some selfies of the group, and little Jasmine once again stole the show. The video, the second in the series we are working on, will be translated and hopefully appear online in the coming weeks. This is an exciting new addition to the project, and we are currently thinking about how we can take this video …
Why do scientists use the Latin names when describing a species? To avoid confusion between languages, and within the same language, about exactly what species you are describing. The fish in the photo above is Amphiprion ocellaris. For identification I could go to my favorite identification book for fish in Okinawa: Reef Fish Identification – Tropical Pacific In this book Amphiprion ocellaris is called the False clown anemonefish. If we check on Wikipedia for Amphiprion ocellaris we find a wide range of common names. “The ocellaris clownfish, also known as the false percula clownfish or common clownfish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, which includes clownfishes and damselfishes. ” Wikipedia However, my preferred source for fish names is Fishbase which gives the common name as clown anemonefish. Then again, for millions of children around the world, Amphiprion ocellaris is simply known as Nemo.
Octopuses, masters of camouflage. Their ability to change both color and texture to match their environment makes them difficult to spot until they make a move. Always a pleasure to see such an amazing creature while out on a dive in Okinawa.
The world’s largest tug-of-war took place today in Naha City, Okinawa. Two ropes weighing 20 tonnes were tied together to make the record-breaking 40-tonne behemoth. Around 270,000 people came to the city to watch or take part in the event. After karate demonstrations by several masters including Koyu Higa and Ippei Yagi (who are featured in the karate masters portrait project), the kings of East and West were carried along the length of the ropes. There were a lot of gongs, firecrackers, and whistles, then the contest began. Congratulations to the East for their victory. A great day, with a friendly international atmosphere. Thank you to the American Chamber of Commerce for having me as part of your team. Video coming soon.
Takeshi Uema, 7th-dan Shorin-ryu Karate, #81 Karate Masters Portrait Project Photographed at the Karate Kaikan, Okinawa, July 27th 2018 Takeshi Uema is the son of Yasuhiro Uema, 9th dan Shorin-ryu Karate and continues to the family line.