Friday, November 30, 2012

The cute little outdoor wedding chapel down the road

Just a few minutes walk down the road from my place here in Yomitan is this cute little wedding chapel in Morima.

I've never seen or shot a wedding here before but it looks like it would be nice for pre wedding location shooting. It was a beautiful sunset a couple nights back and I felt like shooting something so decided to take a walk over there to catch the chapel with some nice afternoon light.

If your interested in coming to Okinawa for your pre-wedding or engagement photography and would like to use this chapel as a location to shoot at please contact me via the mail button above right.

Here are some more scenes I captured of the sunset from the area.

For more photos and info please drop by my Facebook fotoShisa Photography page

Or my new fotoShisa webpage

A little stay at Alivila resort, Okinawa

Recently had a surprise visit by the In-laws on holiday down here escaping from the cold winter of Fukushima. Still warm and sunny most of the time in Okinawa and we all stayed at Alivila resort which is only 5 minites down the road from home. 

You may recognise the location from some of my wedding location photos as they have two chapels here also. Lazor chapel and Glory chapel. I had never seen it here at night however, all the fariy lights transform the place into a beautiful wonderland. 

Jet, Jenna, Haruna and parents enjoying the twilight by the pool. 

Sunset by the pool

A long exposure on the beach after the sun went down

Jenna wandering around enjoying the lights. 

Looking back to the resort from under a well lit up tree

Nice tree with the twilight

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baby Thaddeus studio portrait shoot

Recently did a studio shoot at home with gorgeous little 11 month old baby boy Thaddeus. Wedding photography has been my bread and butter so to speak for the past 12 or so years but since breaking away from working for the big wedding companies and starting my own photography business more and more fun opportunities are opening up, such as baby portrait photography.

Baby portrait photography presents a whole new bunch of technical difficulties that I'm not used to as a wedding photographer. Usually when I want a certain look from my clients I ask them for it. Smile, turn to the left, bring your shoulders back etc.. but with babies we can't do that. It was quite a challenge but an enjoyable one all the same. The limited space of our home studio also requires some thinking out side of the box in order to get the look and lighting I'm after.

In the end though we all had fun, I learned a few things and little Thaddeus's Mum & Dad were thrilled with their photos.

They had this to say after receiving their images.

"Pete did a wonderful job shooting our 10 month old. He and his wife had so much patience with our little guy and had great ideas for our shoot. He's an amazing photographer and a genuinely nice person. The photos came out absolutely PHENOMENAL! 
We can't wait to shoot with you again in the future, thanks again."

Here's a few more samples from our little portrait session. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

130 seconds of dusk

Had a super busy day yesterday shooting a bridal beach location shoot first thing in the morning then straight into wedding, another beach shoot and party after that. When ever possible I like to get out and photograph a little something for myself to unwind. It's refreshing to shoot with "no rules", don't have to worry directing poses, blinking, fast lens changes and all that stuff that goes along with the hectic pace of wedding photography. Just take my time, hang out with a few good mates and see what images come of it. 

In the above shot Jenna and myself ran around all over the place swinging around an LED wand that I bought at a recent festival here in Yomitan. I thought it would be fun to use for some light painting but Jenna claimed it as her own pretty quickly. In the far background at the base of the rock you might be able to see a woman in white sitting perfectly still. She wasn't visible at the time as it was totally dark. But in this 130 second exposure she's there clear as day and perfectly still. I guess she was doing a little unwinding herself. 

As we arrived at Maeda and set up to shoot all the clouds disappeared and we were left with a clear boring sky. Great if you want to do star trails but I was after some cloud movement. Luckily some clouds reappeared and were moving pretty quickly so I made this one. Another 130 second exposure. Again the woman in white is perfectly still and sharp during the whole exposure. Weird!

Thanks for dropping by! 
As usual please drop by my fotoShisa photography page on Facebook and give a "thumbs up"! 8)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Torii Fall Triathlon slideshow

A slideshow I put together from a few scenes from the triathlon. 

Torii Fall Triathlon 2012 photos

UPDATE! All Torii Fall Triathlon photos are available on my website now!
Visit my fotoShisa photography page under the "gallery/sports/Torii Fall Triathlon and can be purchased by Paypal or credit card.

There are lots of great shots of almost everyone so please come check them out. I only have the photos set up for single image purchase right now but if there are several you would like please email me and I'll give you a discounted package deal.

Here's a little sneak peak

As usual to keep up with the latest with fotoShisa come like my Facbook page at

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunny Okinawa Wedding Lazor

Although the rest of Japan is coming into winter now its still pretty warm and sunny down here in Okinawa! Here's a few samples from Lazor chapel just a couple of minutes drive from home here in Yomitan. Beautiful big chapel with great views. Just don't book a wedding for between 2 ~ 4pm unless you like having the blazing sun in your face during your ceremony lol.

Happy Wedding!

Looking for a photographer for your pre-wedding or wedding day here on Okinawa or overseas?
Drop me a mail, come visit my new company page fotoShisa Photography at or come by our fotoShisa Facebook page at and give a "like"!

Check out my Youtube introduction video below to see who I am and what I do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Canon 50mm f1.2L bokeh time!

Fresh from B&H Photo NY

Finally picked up a lens I had been lusting after for several years. The ultra fast bokeh beast Canon 50mm f1.2L prime lens. I already had the 50mm f1.4 and 40mm f2.8 pancake lens and love both but needed one more fast prime as Haruna and myself will be both shooting some night events coming up. 

It's not a cheap bit of glass at around $1600US but once you get it in your hands and feel the weight and build quality you can understand the steep price tag. Then of course is that Canon L glass and super wide aperture of f1.2 for super shallow depth of field and creamy smooth bokeh (those out of focus areas). 

The new Canon 5DmkIII with 50mm f1.2, next to it is my 
old 50mm f1.4 for size comparison. 

Gave it a quick try out at a wedding today. 
It really makes things pop when the focus is this shallow. 

Shooting wide open on prime lens`s requires some very careful focusing skills. Usually I always just use the center focus, recompose and shoot method. But with these lenses I find that you should always manually select the focus point closest to the subject you want in focus because even a slight movement in the lens after focus and recomposing could result in an unusable image. 

I also picked up a B+W protective filter to keep on the 50. I never used UV or protective filters much in the past but then I dropped my 17-40mm f4L body and all from the top of my tripod just as the golden hour light was peaking one afternoon and bent up the front filter thread on the lens. It could have been a lot worse. So now I generally keep a UV or protective filter on most of my lenses. Id heard lots of good things about B+W but never used one of their filters before so thought I would give one a try. 

Another iPhone shot of the fat 50 with hood attached sitting on my mouse pad.

Will be posting more examples from this bokeh monster in the next few days as I have more of a chance to play with it. 

One other thing that showed up in the mail I bought from an Ebay seller in China are these great and cheap AAA battery cases. I had been looking around for something like these for ages with no luck. After a quick search online I found them selling in packs of 4 for 98cents, bargain! Before I had these my batteries were always getting lost and charged ones mixed with dead ones etc.. Just little things that can make your photography life a little easier 8)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wedding Chapels of Okinawa

Over the past few years I've had the privilege of photographing couples most special day in some beautiful wedding chapels here on Okinawa.

I thought I would go back through some of my images of these chapels that I have worked at the most.
Today I would like to highlight just three of them. Watabe Wedding's Aquagrace chapel, Aqualuce and TuTu Wedding's Lazor chapel. The Lazor & Aquagrace chapels are located just down the road along the beach front from where I live in here in Yomitan. Aqualuce is about a 30 minute drive north of here to the grounds of the Manza ANA resort.

First off and the newest of the bunch is Tutu's Lazor chapel. This big chapel sits on the Alivila resort grounds and attracts many visitors to marvel in this fairy tail like chapel beauty.

The grand stairway

It's quite a sight to drive past here during sunset time!

Playing around with the light on my iPhone during a beautiful starry night to 
light paint HAPPY WEDDING. 

Looking down the virgin road on a gorgeous sunny Okinawa day. 

The chapel I have probably spent the most time at as my office was located on the 5th floor adjoining the chapel. Watabe Wedding's Aquagrace. Apparently this chapel is pretty famous in other parts of Asia from being used as a location in TV dramas. It was always funny to see the bus loads of tourists stop off here to all get a shot of themselves infront of it ringing the bell. 

You want to aim for around a 5:30pm wedding to have a chance of 
skies like this in your shots. 

Okinawa has some of the most amazing skies I've ever seen!

Early morning weddings get a beautiful golden light across the entrance to Aquagrace. 

And last but not least is the Aqualuce chapel sitting on the cliffs overlooking a beautiful bay from Manza's ANA resort. Luce has also had fair share of TV drama time, most recently for a popular show in Korea called Scent of a Woman in English. 

Early morning sun peaking over Aqualuce

Good morning Okinawa! Looking down over Aqualuce from the ANA resort. 

A couple of the actors from Korean tv drama Scent of a Woman. 
I was asked to shoot behind the scenes of the filming and actors. I got a chance to capture the couple sitting on a bench just outside the chapel with my trusty Fujifilm X100. 
The image went on to be used in numerous promotional posters and signs.

If your planning to come to Okinawa for your wedding or pre wedding photography send me a mail and I can help you plan your trip and perhaps give some advice on best times to visit and have your wedding etc.. Better yet come visit my photography company FotoShisa on Facebook here

Thanks for dropping by!

 All images are copyright Pete Leong Photography

Friday, November 09, 2012

Pic of Daddy & Jet used on US nation wide poster!?!

A few days ago I blogged about checking up on where my images sold on iStockphoto have ended up being used using Googles image search. Well just for fun I thought I would drop this shot of me and Jet playing around in a park in Fukushima into Googles search to see what it came up with. 

Needless to say I was quite surprised to find that this photo ended up being printed in the U.S nation wide on 24 x 36 inch posters used to promote National Stress Awareness Month for the U.S Department of Health & Human Services. 

I had originally just uploaded the image to iStock just to see if it would sell for a laugh. Oddly enough not only did it pass iStocks strict image quality standards (once I removed a couple of well known brand names from the bottom of Jet's shoes and my jacket) but it also sold a few times. 

How was the image shot?

I've always loved making images portraying movement. Especially by "dragging the shutter" or making a longer exposure then normal. To do this I mounted my old Canon 40D with Sigma EX 15mm fisheye that I owned back then on the end of a monopod with a ball head mounted on that so that I could face the camera back towards Jet and myself. I then used a cable release to trigger the camera in TV (shutter priority mode) and set the shutter speed to around 15th/sec and started spinning. 
It took a few goes to get one that Jet & myself were perfectly sharp but its not too hard and great fun to do!

 Here's a screen grab of the image also being used in an article promoting health and relaxation. 

Give Google images search a try for your self with some of your more popular images. You might be surprised to see where they turn up!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Teaser shot from todays Rapper shoot

Had an all day location shoot here on Okinawa for Florida rapper Roro. We did the shoot for his upcoming album The Road to Success and used places such as an old deserted "haunted" hotel, recording studio and some night street scenes like the shot above. 

The shot above was on Okinawa's famous route 58 during rush hour. The shot is pretty much straight out of the camera with just a few tweaks to color balance and desaturation, cropping etc..

Here's a little look at the kit I took along in my new Think Tank Take Off bag. Loving it so far!

Kicking off the location shoot in an old abandoned hotel with graffiti everywhere. Perfect!

A couple of behind the scenes shots by Risa.

The shots are going to be used for Roro's new CD album artwork and promotional posters etc..
Big thanks to Felicia Lee make up and photography for assisting me today!
Check out her work on Facebook here
More images to come soon!