All posts tagged: pentax

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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.

Woman walking across Millennium Bridge away from St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England.

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 …

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“Kid” Yamamoto Portrait Shoot

Portrait shoot with MMA fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto on friday night. Yamamoto is perhaps most famous for his 4 second flying knee KO to Kazuyuki Miyata back in 2006. Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens. (I had brought a black background but spotted the Japanese flag in the gym so changed my plan). 2 light setup. Profoto D2 with gridded 4×1 softbox as rim light (back left), Profoto B1 with gridded softlight reflector as the main light (front right). Air remote trigger. Huge thanks to Ben of Capoeira Academy Okinawa for setting up the shoot, and Shawn Miller and Yuki  for assisting. Some BTS pics and video!

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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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Stamp of Approval

This week, Japan Post released a set of postage stamps to commemorate Karate Day in Okinawa. The series of eight stamps is made up of Okinawan karate masters of different styles. The bottom right image is of Yoshitaka Taira, 10th dan World Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu) and is one of the photographs I shot for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. Pleasingly, this is the second time one of my images has been used on a Japanese stamp. The first was around 12 years ago when they chose my photograph of Kabira Bay to represent one of Okinawa’s beautiful landmarks. In all that time the price of a postage stamp has only gone up two yen!

Ohara Hadaka Matsuri, Chiba, Japan

Naked in the Rain

Ohara Hadaka Matsuri a.k.a. the Ohara Naked Festival took place in heavy rain on the 23rd of September. To clarify “naked” is clearly not an accurate description with the participants wearing far more than the fundoshi loincloths seen at the Okayama Hadaka Matsuri. As this is a traditional Shinto festival a priest gave blessings, and somewhat unusually two arrows were launched into the ocean. Teams carried mikoshi (portable shrines) down to the ocean. It was clear that the mikoshi were heavy and the teams looked exhausted as they shouldered the wooden beams. After dunking themselves and the shrine in the ocean waves they returned to the beach, and managed to raise it above their heads. All images shot with the Pentax 645Z and the 25mm lens. Glad both the camera and lens are weather sealed because they were subjected to rain for half an hour.

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Pentax K-1 Exhibition, Tokyo

Today, September 14th, the Pentax K-1 photo exhibition begins at the Ricoh Imaging Square in Shinjuku Tokyo.  The staff at the gallery just sent me some pics of the images on the wall including my photograph of Sam wearing a suit and tie. The exhibition runs until September 26th so if you’re in Tokyo please stop by and check it out. The Ricoh Imaging Square is in the Shinjuku Center Building just west of the (world’s busiest) train station. Shinjuku Center Building is a pretty generic skyscraper but it’s right next to the far more recognizable Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower モード学園コクーンタワー. A huge thanks to the people at Pentax and Ricoh Imaging for selecting me to produce work for their exhibition. Thanks also to the model Samantha Armistead and makeup by Audra Pesicka. For those interested here’s the technical details: Pentax K-1 with at 28-105 lens at 105mm ISO100 f8.0 1/200 sec Main light Profoto softlight reflector white powered by Profoto 7a 1200w generator. Fill light Profoto medium softbox 2 rim lights – 30x120cm strip boxes …