Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Wedding Yuko & Koji

I shot my last wedding for the month today and what a busy month it has been!  With no less then 20 weddings this month as well as putting on another photography workshop and starting up my new company fotoShisa there has been no time for rest.

Here are a few shots from todays wedding with Japanese couple Yuko & Koji that came to Okinawa for their destination wedding.

Wedding location: Glory Chapel. Alivila resort. Yomitan, Okinawa.

If you would like to have a pre wedding shoot in Okinawa please contact me to arrange planes. For more information drop by my new destination pre wedding company page

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Some shots from my latest workshop

I recently held another photography workshop I called the Nightscape & Star trails photography workshop at Zakimi Castle park here in Yonitan. All the spots for this workshop filled up very fast and we all headed out to Zakimi castle walls for the 10 students to learn how to take shots of the night sky and to capture and edit Star Trail photos. Unfortunately there was a lot of fast moving clouds passing over us making it difficult to capture star trails but it was great conditions for shorter exposures of the fast moving clouds.

After the location shooting section we all went back to fellow Okinawa photographer Oz Kirkham's house to demonstrate how to edit and stack our star trail images.

Behind the scenes photos by Chris Willson (aka Travel 67)
Visit Chris's webpage here

The next workshop in probably Jan/Feb of 2013 will be a joint effort with great photographer and good friend Chris Willson for another Off Camera Flash Workshop. This will be my 5th flash/strobist workshop I have done now and 2nd teaching along side Chris.

If you would be interested in joining a future fotoShisa Photography workshop please drop me a message and we can arrange it.

Over 1000 weddings ago in a country far far away....

I was just going through some old prints I found  in a box while I was cleaning up to make room for a bunch of new studio props for baby shooting that fotoShisa Photography just bought and I came across these old shots that I thought were pretty funny. Its a young skinny Pete on the first day off the job as a wedding photographer back in Brisbane, Australia circa 1999~2000.

Here I was fresh back from my first trip to Japan where I picked up my first "modern" SLR the Canon Kiss (Rebal) with kit lens attached.

I remember waiting anxiously at the print shop for all my films to be developed with my Sensei and good friend Toshiaki Fuji. Thankfully the shots all worked out great! Since then I've shot well over 1000 weddings since living in Japan and gone through a heck of a lot of cameras!

Here's a quick list of some of the other Canon cameras I have owned since then (that I can remember).

Canon EOS 1, D60, 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, G9, 5D, S95, 5DmkII, 1DmkIII, 7D, 5DmkIII

When I was bored one day at work I set up my daily wedding gear stuff that I used to use in the studio for a little gear portrait shoot.

Inside my camera bags

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse breaks out in American Village, Mihama

The Halloween season is upon us here in Okinawa. Growing up in Australia where Halloween isn't really celebrated I never had a chance to see any interesting Halloween events or Zombie walks. But here in Okinawa with such a big American presence there are lots of happenings going on in these festive seasons. In the past few years these Zombie walks have also been taking place but I was always working with my full time wedding photography job at Watabe Wedding. But now that I"m my own boss with my new photography company fotoShisa I'm able to get out and attend these events that I wasn't able to before.

The zombie walk was organized by my friend and make up artist Summer Johnson. And what an event it was! Around 50 or so zombies made their way though Mihama's American Village scaring the unprepared locals and giving the tourists some interesting photos and stories to take home.

Myself and good friend Michael Taylor followed the group of zombies around both of us shooting with our new Canon 5DmkIII's with the 70-200mm f2.8L IS on my camera and the 200mm f2L on Michael's. The mkIII's made light work of the crazy dark conditions. Shooting at ISO 10,000 produced great images straight out of the camera.

Here are a few more images I captured that night all with ambient light, my mkIII, 70-200, 17-40mm f4L and super high ISO's.

hmm blood tastes good!

Even young girls were getting in on the gory make up action. 

Scaring the crap out of some locals

The onslaught of zombies make their way though the streets of American Village. 

Time for a little zombie dancing in Island Depot. iPhone panorama with good friends 
and photographers Missy and Pam on the right. 

The littlest zombie. This little girl was too cute and out in the middle of the crowd dancing by herself. 

Zombie Walk in American Village, Okinawa 2012
Alex was one awesome looking zombie and posed for countless photos with the spectators. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pre wedding in Venice with Photo By Ben

Thought I would share a behind the scenes video of a pre wedding shoot in Venice that my friend Ben Tang did. I haven't visited this beautiful city for years but I would love to return with a couple for an amazing engagement shoot. So many beautiful photogenic locations there!

Boley & Thomas *Pre-Wedding@Venice from photobyben on Vimeo.

See more of Ben's awesome wedding work at

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Alivila Resort Wedding, Okinawa

Tis the Wedding season here in sunny Okinawa. Here is one of the beautiful locations that Okinawa has to offer for pre wedding engagement shooting. Alivila resort here in Yomitan, Okinawa has beautiful views over the ocean and stunning scenery all around the grounds. 

Big congratulations to Mr & Mrs Kawahara! Thanks for coming to spend your special day here on Okinawa and fotoShisa was honored to capture it for you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Naha, Okinawa Tug Of War 2012

I recently had the pleasure of covering the 2012 Naha Tug of War for the American Chamber of Commerce Okinawa. The Tug of War festival is a yearly event held by Okinawa and the rope used is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest rope weighing in at over 40 tons and 200 meters in length. Record crowds made it out to see and participate in the event this year with around 275,000 people attending the festival and over 20,000 people actually participating in pulling the rope for the two teams, East & West. In the end the West team won by pulling the massive rope to their side of the goal.

As I was there as the official photographer for the American Chamber of Commerce I was able to get in past the police barricades right into the thick of the action. Even then though it was almost impossible to capture the action at eye level so I used a long monopod with my new Canon 5DmkIII and Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens attached on the end. I then ran a cable release from the camera held up high down to my hands so I was able to trigger the camera a couple of meters above the crowds to capture a different perspective.

Here are a few of my images from the day.

First off the Ryukyu Karate masters. They did a a bunch of solo demonstrations showing their style as other Karate masters threw extremely loud fire crackers into the large circle where the crowd was gathered around. The strong wind blew several of the crackers towards me and a few went off around my legs burning some hair off my leg lol. My ears were ringing for the rest of the festival from these wicked noisy Chinese crackers.

One young French girl came away with some of the rope as a souvenir. 
To take home some of the rope is considered good luck. 

Looking down on some kids as they passed by in the parade. 

Looking back at toward the VIP area with the police and various Karate 
participants before the Tug of War. 

Some other festivities where the men would try to balance these huge heavy looking sticks. It was quite dangerous to shoot as they were falling all over the place. But very exciting to be up so close!

Some of the 20,000 participants pass strands of the smaller 
ropes back to begin the Tug of War. 

A huge ball hoisted high above the crowd opened releasing lots of 
balloons onto the thousands below. 

Looking to the West side from the middle of the 200m long rope. 

The East side doing their best. Better luck next year!

The West wins the day! People back as far as the eye can see. 

After the event there were about 20 or so large cranes brought in to 
move what was left of the giant rope. 

If you get a chance while in Okinawa you should make the effort to get to Naha city for this amazing festival. It's quite a sight to behold indeed. Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

fotoShisa Pre-wedding & Engagement photography Okinawa

Hey everyone! Our new company fotoShisa has begun now and is in full force as the busiest wedding month of the year has kicked off. I am still building the official website now but I have a Facebook group with a bunch of sample shots and great comments from couples mostly from Hong Kong and Taiwan that I have worked with in the past. Please drop by my new page and give a like to help get my business started.

fotoShisa is all things photography but especially weddings & pre-weddings /engagement photography both here on beautiful Okinawa and around the world. I'm happy to fly to any location of your choice!

If your thinking to have a pre wedding shoot here on Okinawa or anywhere else and need a professional photographer who is passionate about making the most amazing images possible for you then drop me an Email and I can help you organise your dream shoot from start to finish.
We even have a new 8 seater van to drive you around the locations for the shoot. It even has enough space and privacy to change costume/dresses etc.. in the back.

fotoShisa is ready and waiting to capture your special day for you!!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Distorted Reality self portrait

Being stuck inside with no power and nothing much to do for 3 days during the last typhoon forces you to get a little creative.

We decided to set up a little macro shoot on the kitchen table and I thought I would try doing some refracting in the drop.

I captured this shot by getting behind the drop and triggering the Canon 5DmkII with a cable release. The lens used is the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens I bought from good friend Martin Bailey. Whats the trick to getting a long fat drop like this I hear you ask? Syrup! shhh thats our little secret ;)