A great experience photographing Tomoko before she leaves the island next month. Bise Village in Motobu Town is famous for its fukugi trees Garcinia subelliptica which are used as windbreaks and provide shade. The idyllic tree-lined avenues are particularly photogenic and are recently the setting for a Japanese tv drama Chimudondon (ちむどんどん). Professional photography/video in Bise Village of clients in formal wear (bridal or kimono) now requires booking and a shooting fee, but it remains one of my favorite locations. Kimono styling by Yuki. Sony A7RIV with 50mm f1.2 lens. Profoto B1 strobe with softlight reflector to add a little fill.
Last week, Yuki and I photographed a lovely young lady in an elegant kimono amongst the fukugi trees of Bise Village. For a few hours I had to stop checking the news on my phone, and just focus on sharing the beauty and culture of Okinawa. My heart goes out to all those suffering around the world, the horrors of the pandemic and war have claimed the lives of so many. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the bleakness of the last few years, but I try to remember all the good and positive things in the world. The Okinawan people went through almost unimaginable suffering during the Second World War. When I talk to those that survived, I am always struck by their love of life, and the joy they have for their family, friends and culture. I’ll continue to stay up to date with the news, but I’ll also do my best to be grateful for all that I have, and optimistic about the future for everyone in this global community. …
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).
Cherry blossom is blooming in Okinawa. At Nago Castle Ruins the dark pink blossoms add color to the stairway leading up to the shrine. The white pieces of paper tied to the branches of trees at the shrine are omikuji or fortune papers similar to what you might find in a fortune cookie. They are usually sold from machines at Shinto shrines. After you’ve checked your fortune most visitors tie the paper to something at the shrine before leaving. Hanami or cherry blossom is also a popular time for Japanese to dress up in yukata (top two images) or the more formal kimono (bottom two images) .