All posts filed under: Uncategorized

Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate #2 Yoshitsune Senaga

I’m pleased to announce the release of the second episode in the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate series. This episode features Uechi Ryu 10th dan Yoshitsune Senaga who at 82 continues to teach and share his passion for karate. Thank you to those who have already sponsored and supported the series.  Thank you to Yoshitsune Senaga and his students for allowing us into the dojo twice to film, and to Dell Hamby for helping set up the shoots and assisting with translation.  My passion for this project is growing as I realize that this is a way for the sensei to really talk with the international karate community directly. There’s no celebrity or TV host between the masters and the viewer. It’s simply them talking about their love of the art, and what matters to them.  I’m already setting up interviews with other karate masters for the coming weeks and months. Hopefully we can even keep pushing the quality of the videos to the next level as we purchase a boom mic, better lenses, and …

Yoshitsune Senga Video Preview

Currently editing the second video in the documentary series Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate. It is a fascinating interview with 10th dan Uechi-ryu master Yoshitsune Senaga. Hopefully we’ll have it online by Monday February 18th. Here’s a draft of the first couple of minutes to see what we’re working on. This is just an iPhone video of the screen, which should stop any confusion that this is the finished product. And here’s the ending sequence so far. If you are interested in helping making this video series possible, please get in touch with me by email or facebook. In this second video we will be able to list sponsors and supporters who have reached out to us before Sunday February 17th. Hopefully we’ll keep adding more sponsors and supporters over time, and these names will be added to the list at the end of future episodes in the series. As of February 13th, 2019 our sponsors and supporters are: Series Sponsors Ceazar Borkowski – Northern Karate Schools Marguerite “Peggy” Hess Reece Cummings – Cummings Karate …

Rest in Peace Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto

After battling cancer, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto passed away today, September 18 2018,  at age 41. I photographed him in December 2016 when he visited Okinawa, and then was invited to take portraits for the opening of his Krazy Bee gym in Okinawa. It was a real pleasure to meet him and his family. For several years I’ve been photographing the karate masters of Okinawa. It has been sad when I’ve heard one of the elderly sensei has passed away, but the death of Yamamoto at such a young age is painful. I wish his family so much love and peace at this time.

Summer Workshops

June 2nd & 3rd  Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson June 9th & 10th  North & South Intermediate Workshop with Chris Willson June 16th  Star Trek themed Studio Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson July 7th & 8th  Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson August 4th & 5th Photography Fundamentals with Chris Willson For more details please click on the course above to reach the Facebook page or visit this blog’s Workshop page. To book a spot on any of the course please email or Facebook message me and I’ll send you a PayPal request for the course fee. Payment then secures your spot.

100 Kata for Karate Day 2017

October 25th is Karate Day in Okinawa! Yesterday was the 100 kata event at the new Karate Kaikan in Okinawa. I was busy shooting some video so I passed the Pentax K-1 camera over to Yuki so she could take the photos. All the participants did really well undertaking the challenge, a huge thanks to James Pankiewicz for organizing, and great job Yuki with the pics!

10 life changes since getting LASIK

It’s been nearly 4 years since I had LASIK at the Shinjuku branch of the Kobe Kanagawa Eye Clinic Japan. You can read more about my experience with LASIK here:  http://www.travel67.com/lasik/    I was chatting with friends the other day about how positive my experience had been. Here are 10 ways my life changed! (These don’t include non-Lasik related changes such as getting married, buying a house…)  Saving money      No need to buy contact lenses, or solutions, or glasses.   Saving time        Don’t have to spend a few minutes in the morning and before going to bed dealing with contact lenses. No emergency glasses days              I’d wear contacts almost every day, but if I had sore eyes I’d have to wear glasses. I’d then have awkward conversations with friends or workmates explaining why I was wearing glasses.   No foggy glasses        No problems going from cool air-conditioned buildings to the humid outdoors.   Smaller wash kit          No extra bag of solutions, cleaning products, spare lenses, and spare glasses. Much easier for …

Koichi Nakasone 9th Dan Ryukyu Kingdom Sui-di Bujutsu

Yesterday I made the short drive over to Nakijin Village to the home of Koichi Nakasone, 9th Dan Ryukyu Kingdom Sui-di Bujutsu. He is the 76th sensei to be photographed for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. James Pankiewicz, Becka Tedder, and I sat down for a chat in the traditional wooden house that Nakasone sensei had recently built by himself. He told us a few stories about his karate training, and the three months he spent in the USA traveling from dojo to dojo, challenging the members to fight. (Known in Japanese as dojo yaburi.) After our chat, we set up the black background on the side of the house and took the portraits. (Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens. Profoto B1 with white softlight reflector.) We then drove a couple of minutes to beautiful Nagahama Beach for some more location shots. I switched lenses to the 25mm wide-angle and removed the softlight reflector as we needed as much power as possible to try and fill in shadows. Becka held the light, while James put on his …

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.

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.