Monday, September 24, 2012

Epic Anniversary photos

David & Naoko's 19th anniversary

Making the most of Typhoon Sanba's awesome waves as a backdrop for good friends David & Naoko on their 19th wedding anniversary. Don't worry its not dangerous! Just lots of fun and ever lasting memories as a piece of artwork. If your interested in having something like this done for you and the love of your life drop me a mail and we can make it happen!

Also drop by my new fotoShisa photography page on Facebook. It all begins from October 2012 as I venture out on my own as an independent wedding and engagement photographer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Selling my Kawasaki Ninja 250r

As conflicted as I am it's time to part ways with my amazingly fun 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250r.

As I'll be going from full time company employed photographer to freelance photographer from next month, I need to be able to cart around my camera gear when the family is using our other car. So deciding on getting something a bit more practical with plenty of space for studio gear, lighting and camera equipment etc..

Here's a little video I did with good mate Adam Lewis to show off the bike a little bit. We filmed most of the video with Adam's Gopro attached to various parts of my bike and from his as I followed him. Check out more of Adam's great photography and video work at his site

Its in great condition and runs like a dream! I'm asking 430,000yen ONO for the bike.
Email me if your interested.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Okinawa pre wedding shoot with Kennie & Esther

Recently had the pleasure of shooting Kennie & Esther's pre wedding photos for them at this park in Nago. This was the place they went for their first date and it had a special meaning to them. So I wanted to try and capture the park in a way that it would show off the landscape while still being a portrait. 

Esther & Kennie did a fantastic job braving the onslaught of mosquito's that were out that day and had lots of fun in front of the camera as you can see below. Big thanks to David Orr for carting my lights and gear around for me!

If your interested in having your pre wedding/engagement photography shot here on Okinawa or any other location please feel free to contact me for more information by clicking here.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nightscape & Startrails photography workshop

Hi everyone! I'm holding another photography workshop next month here in Yomitan, Okinawa!
This one will be a smaller cheaper workshop as we delve into the realm of Night and Star photography.

Here's the details. 

Nightscapes & Startrails photo workshop

Friday October 26th (Date may change to 27th if better weather is forecasted)
From 7:30pm ~ about 10:30pm at 
Zakimi castle ruins (Yomitan)
10 participants max (Don't worry if you don't make this one, we will have more!)
For beginners ~ intermediate levels. 
Cost ¥5000 per person (¥1000 deposit payable via Paypal by 30th Sept.)

You'll need a camera that can be controlled manually. 
Even point & shoots are ok as long as they have some way to control the shutter speed.
A tripod!
A torch of some kind and preferably a cable release or some way of triggering and locking your shutter. 

We will all meet at the Zakimi castle car park just after 7:30 and walk up to the castle ruins. 
We will be exploring the area trying out different nigh shooting techniques, tricks and fun with flash. 

I'm hoping to be able to get everyone back to my place to demonstrate some basic editing and star trails stacking etc..
If it turns out to be not feasible due to time and space etc. we may do the editing via a group Google+ Hangout the following night for example.

Being that this is an outdoor workshop we are totally dependent on the weather conditions. If there are not enough stars visible on the night of the 26th we may need to postpone until the following night or following weekend. 

Deposits will be fully refunded if we can't hold the workshop due to bad weather and your not able to attend the workshop on a later date.  

It's going to be really fun night and you'll learn how to shoot the landscape and night sky in a whole new way! 
Hope to see you there!

Pointing at Polaris

Izena Island seascape photography trip

Our latest island exploring adventure takes us up north to beautiful Izena Island. Once again invited by good friends David and Naoko Orr as Naoko-san's Parents are from there. Izena is a quick 1 hour ferry ride from near Nakajin in Nago.

Izena is pretty small and only takes around 20 minutes to drive around the whole island. There are lots of beautiful hidden beaches and cute stone fence villages to explore.

Up at the crack of dawn to catch this amazing sunrise over Izena. 
A HDR panorama stitched from about 30 images.  

We visited Izena during Obon which is when the Okinawans believe the dead spirits will come back to visit or something along those lines at least. Most Okinawans will not go in the water during Obon for fear of the spirits pulling them under! But that wasn't going to stop us from snorkeling in the beautiful waters of Izena.

Luckily we were blessed with hot but beautiful weather during our two day trip and were especially happy that our effort to get out of bed at 5am to go shoot the sunrise actually did pay off.

Without any further ado here is a little collection of images I put together of beautiful Izena Island.

From the same scene as above. I loved this pyramid looking mountain. 
One of the most amazing mornings I've seen. 

Looking the other way you can see the full moon setting 
behind the towering rock as the day begins. 

 A beautiful clear NIGHT sky filled with stars and lit by the full moon. 


Look to Ie island far off to the south in the background 
from the top of Izena. 

Snorkeling with David Orr looking for some reef sharks. 

Just exploring the island looking for nice rock formations and cool clouds. 

Some serious afternoon clouds. 

A seascape shooters paradise. 

I could shoot here all day and still not get bored!

Big thanks once again to David and Naoko Orr and her parents for letting us stay at their place!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lazor wedding chapel. Okinawa

We had another beautiful sunset yesterday on Okinawa so decided to try and capture it behind the beautiful new Lazor wedding chapel at the Alivila resort here in my neighbourhood of Yomitan.

From the end of this month I'm giving up the full time wedding photography gig with Watabe Wedding to become a freelance wedding and destination location photographer.
Although I have enjoyed my time at Watabe immensely I feel it's time to get out on my own and try to open up new opportunities with photography that were simply not possible before with a "9-5" wedding job.
My goal I'm working towards is becoming an international pre-wedding location photographer. But will be happy to always have beautiful Okinawa as a base for that.

Lazor chapel. Yomitan, Okinawa So this is one of the great locations that has presented me with a new place to photograph weddings from starting next month.

If your interested in having your pre-wedding location shoot or wedding day here on Okinawa please send me an email and I'll be happy to help you out with any tips on planning your trip and wedding!

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Chasing Lightning on Okinawa

Okinawa Thunderhead
Shot from my stairs at home a big thunderhead was slowly moving down the island.

Let me start by saying I'm totally a sucker for lightning. When I lived up in Fukushima I would often go out chasing thunder storms for hours on end trying to find the perfect vantage point from which to shoot natures fury. Since moving to Okinawa however I've only seen actual bolts of lightning perhaps a couple of times. The past 3 nights however have been the most I've seen in the past two or so years. 

Unfortunately it seems my timing sucks and I was either in meetings or having my post wedding shoot beer relaxing at home. Last night I could see it would be perfect conditions for photographing lightning if I was further up north. It was very predictable and good strikes every 10-30 seconds or so. After a call from good mate David Orr confirming that yes it was in fact "going sick" up where he was in Onna village, I grabbed my tripod, camera and cable release and jumped on my bike to fly up north as from home I was only able to see the flashes from the lightning, not the actual bolts. By the time I got there though as usual it was starting to die off a bit. I sat for a while and made a few images at about ISO 400 f5.6 and bulb mode exposed for about 1 minute or so just to see what I could capture. 

I managed to catch a few which had some pretty decent bolts forking out from behind the clouds. And I ended up compositing two of the shots together to come up with this shot below which I call Purple Sparks. 

Purple Sparks

I was really hoping for better in both images but hey like they say beggars can't be choosers. I'll take what I can get!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Okuma, Okinawa photo trip report

As we are in the off season right now for wedding photography I have had ample time to get away for a few days here and there to explore this amazing little island of Okinawa. I recently took a short trip up north to a recreation and camp area designated for US military personnel with good friend David Orr and our families.

The Okuma area is quite beautiful with nice restaurants, beaches and resorts all around the area. There is also a "Japanese" side for the general public which sits right next to the military designated camp and rec area.

The camp ground are very well maintained and clean. You can rent cute little wooden cabins pretty cheap and they all have BBQ's and plenty of other amenities. It also serves as a perfect base for further travel right up to the top of the island (Cape Hedo) and many other beautiful surrounding areas.

Here are just a few sample shots from the two days we spent there.

Outside the little wooden cabin with new Nissan Serena as some nice fast clouds streak by. 

Took a late afternoon side trip up to Cape Hedo to try and catch some Golden Hour light along the cliffs. 

Clean green waters around Okuma

Sun setting fro the very top of Okinawa (Hedo Misaki)

Dragging the shutter to help separate the rocks from the moving clouds in the background. 

Some pretty awesome cloudscapes!

These clouds look like they had already been processed in Photoshop. The clarity was incredible

Okinawa Love!

A nice (but hard to find) waterfall just near Okuma

Jenna just had fun throwing rocks in the water the whole time I was taking photos. 

Big thanks again to David and Naoko Orr for inviting us along and signing us in to get into the Okuma recreation area. Check out David's great sea and landscape photography on Google+.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Magic morning on Izena island

Just got back from a trip up north west of main Okinawa island to this beautiful little island. Big thanks to David and Naoko Orr for inviting me along. More images and story to come once I finish editing today.