All posts tagged: pentax

In the Studio – Allison

A couple of portraits from part of last month’s studio workshop where we were using soft light and black background. Thanks Allison for joining the workshop and posing for us. Camera: Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens Lighting: Profoto D2 with softlight reflector white (right) White card as a reflector (left)  Profoto 7a with 2 pro heads in RFi 1×4′ softboxes (rear left and right) for rim light. Triggered with Profoto Air Remote.

Gatekeepers

During the Kyoto 2017 Workshop we jumped on the bullet train to visit Himeji City and the finest example of a Japanese castle.   I didn’t get any new shots of the castle itself, but did get a few snaps of the guards. A short BTS video taken by Tech Ninja Patrick. And here are few shots of the castle from 2016 in case you were wondering which one is Himeji. For movie fans, it’s the castle used to train the elite fighting force in James Bond’s. “You Only Live Twice.”

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).

The Golden Pavilion – Kinkaku-ji

I’ve visited Kyoto’s famous Golden Pavilion several times over the last 15 years. Usually it’s been overcast, but on my latest visit there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This was the perfect opportunity to get a wide establishing shot with plenty of room for text (thinking about the needs of clients). Shot with the Pentax 645Z and the 25mm lens held high above my head to get the correct angle. A shutter speed of 1/800 second and several bursts allowed me a sharp image without a tripod.

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.

Back up to the Future

A couple more pics from the shoot with Brylee last weekend.   I’m really enjoying trying to  balance natural light with flash,  varying how “lit” the images appear. For these outdoor shots I wanted to keep things looking a little more natural than usual. Images shot with the Pentax 645Z and 90mm lens around f2.8 with the Profoto B1 and OCF beauty dish white. After the shoot when I explained about setting up a Dropbox folder to share the completed images, Brylee asked if I could resend the images from her previous shoot.  I last photographed Brylee in December 2013. A couple of the images from the shoot are below. At some point Brylee’s computer had suffered a hard drive failure causing her to lose all her data.  I can resend all her images from our shoot, but there will be so many family pics she can’t get back. At least she now has multiple backups so it never happens again. Once again to all my family and friends, back up your data. If you use …

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 …

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.

2016 Highlights

2016 has been an great year with a mix of photography and putting in the groundwork for future projects. Cherry Blossom The year began with cherry blossom in Okinawa, and a few months later I was whizzing around mainland Japan shooting cherry blossom in Himeji, Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. 2017 should be another epic year for cherry blossom pics as I run a Kyoto Workshop  in April while the trees are in full bloom. Karate The Karate Masters Portrait Project continues although at a slower pace. In 2016, I shot images for James’ new clothing brand Okinawa Dojo of Life. The Guinness World Record for the most people performing a kata was broken, and Sensei Higa took on the minotaur of Zakimi. Marine Life Didn’t spend much time shooting underwater this year, but have made new contacts with the Churaumi Research Center so it’s been great to document some of their work monitoring the migration of humpback whales. In 2017 I hope to get pictures of other monitoring programs including coconut crabs and turtles. Life on …