All posts tagged: pentax 645Z

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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.

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Test shoot with Profoto OCF softbox and umbrella

Last weekend I was doing some test shots with new gear while mentoring my friend Keith about off camera flash techniques. We headed back to the cosmos field but this time rather than using the Profoto B1 strobe with an aluminum softlight reflector  I was using the new collapsible OCF beauty dish with a front diffuser. ( OCFビューティーディッシュ・ホワイト) A crop of the top image shows the octagonal shape of the OCF softbox catchlight, and also the amazing resolution of the Pentax 645Z camera. Back at the house  M.U.A. Audra Pesicka switched the makeup and hair for a bohemian look with white henna on the hands. We shot in the garden but this time switched the softbox for a Profoto 41′ Umbrella Deep White ( Profoto 写真撮影用アンブレラ アンブレラ ディープ ホワイト M) Another great day of shooting! A huge thanks to Natalie for being a fantastic model, and to Audra Pesicka for hair and makeup. Thanks also to Yuki and Keith for assisting on the shoot.

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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. …

Hatsuko Machida  町田 初子 6th dan Uechi-ryu, Uechi-ryu Ageda Women's Dojo

Hatsuko Machida 6th dan Uechi-ryu Karate

Hatsuko Machida  町田 初子 is ranked 6th dan in  Uechi-ryu karate 上地流 空手. She teaches at the  Ageda Women’s Dojo which is unique in Okinawa for offering women only karate classes. She explained that many of her students had not been allowed to study karate when they were young so now embrace the opportunity to do so. Many of the ladies are over 50 with the oldest still training at 78. Machida-san was a student of Takamiyagi Shigeru (1935-2014) who encouraged her to set up her own dojo and help spread karate to more women. Machida sensei’s class also uses the nigiri gamae (握りえ構え)  ceramic jars that strengthen their grip and forearms. After shooting in the dojo we took a short walk to the local park to get a shot of Machida sensei training outside. All images shot with the Pentax 645Z with the 90mm lens (indoors) and the 25mm lens (outdoors). Lighting with the Profoto D2 (indoors) and Profoto B1 (outdoors) with a Softlight Reflector.

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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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Bodybuilder Hidekazu Taba

Hidekazu Taba is a champion bodybuilder. Several years ago I saw him compete at the Pacific Muscle Classic on Camp Foster. He won his weight class, he won his age group, he won overall. In other competitions, he’s repeated the feat. He dominates Okinawan body building, and he does it at age 67. For a long time I’ve been hoping to photograph Taba-san and yesterday I visited his home to take a few pics. Taba-san began bodybuilding around 40 years ago after seeing a Tarzan movie. He hits the gym for a couple of hours, 5 days a week. Unlike many bodybuilders who bulk up and then cut weight (shred?) for competitions he stay lean all year. The reason is that he’s not trying to peak for a single event, but has to be ready for local competitions or festivals all year. He’s very happy that his grandchildren are proud to have a super cool oji-chan. I’m looking forward to shooting more photos of Taba-san training at the gym and at competitions. Images shot with …

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Master Higa and the Minotaur

Last week I was chatting with Mark Thorpe about his upcoming time-lapse workshop.  He mentioned that Sunday 5th of June was a new moon and possibly the best day of the year for photographing the Milky Way. Mark would be heading out to Mount Fuji, but I thought I’d head over to Zakimi Castle in Yomitan. I doodled the castle and stars on a piece of paper. Then continued to doodle adding  a minotaur into the doorway. I actually have two animal masks sitting in my office. One is a hippo and the other a bull. They hippo has been used for a few rather bizarre photo shoots. I realized that to create a minotaur all I’d need is the bull mask and a suitable torso. Luckily my mate Adam has both the right physique and was free on the Sunday night. Still doodling on my piece of paper, the image was lacking a foreground subject and could use a hero. I’d previously photographed 8th-dan karate master Masaharu Higa at Zakimi Castle and knew he …

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In the Studio – Sam

  Studio shoot with model Samantha Armistead. 3 different looks: business, beauty and street. Makeup and hair by Audra Pesicka. Shot using the Pentax 645Z and K-1. Lighting: Beauty dish camera right, Softbox camera left for fill. Two rectangular softboxes behind the model for edge lighting. Really pleased with the images, Sam has a fantastic look and was a pleasure to work with. Audra was a real professional, quickly creating 3 different looks that transitioned from one to the other. For more information on model portfolio sessions. Click here!