All posts filed under: Personal

Bad Girls

Don’t be trying to sweet-talk these two – all they are interested in is stolen champagne, suitcases full of money and fast living. You’ll never pin them down, you’ll never catch them napping; try to move in on them and all you’ll find in their wake is the dust settling, blood-stained bills littering the ground and quite a few broken hearts. They are…Cashed-up and Dangerous. Such was the theme of a little photo shoot that I did way back earlier this year. This is another photoshoot in my loose series exploring common motifs in cinema. The other ones I’ve done are here and here. We all had a blast shooting it, tell if you think I managed to make it work!    

HAVING FUN YET?

Ok, I realize that I have been remiss in uploading any editorial / personal work recently. THAT WILL CHANGE. HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS. This is just a small thing I did with some very awesome friends of mine, in between jobs. I wanted to put together some kind of narrative behind it all but we kinda ran out of time, what with a typhoon approaching Tokyo and all that (ever tried holding onto the Photek softlighter during a typhoon?). Either way we survived with only a few dozen mosquito bites, but I think the photos were definitely worth the time spent. As for gear, used the trusty Einstein / Vagabond combination (I never go anywhere without them) in combination with my favorite cheap light modifiers – the aforementioned Softlighter, and Apollo softbox. Thanks to Hamish for bringing the awesome cameras – Adriana has got the Mamiya TLR (forgot what it’s actually called) and Anna has her hands wrapped around a beautiful Hasselblad 501CM. Although I didn’t really succeed in my goal of creating a mini …

The Wedding

After two months and and lot of work, it’s finally here!!  This is the ‘save the date’ for the wedding Asuka and I are planning for next year. Enjoy it!! (Sorry about the sound! Trying to fix that and will re-upload later) Right – well I’ve gotta go to a shoot now but here’s the video for now.  There’s a ton more stuff to come later. *Update* Ok, back from my shoot! Going to put up the rest of the material that we gathered during the two day shoot – putting all of this together and getting it done was probably the most challenging and rewarding experience I’ve ever had.  Firstly I have to give a big shout out to the people at Ginichi and Profoto Japan for graciously helping out with providing the ProDaylight setup and the Steadicam Pilot – both really awesome pieces of kit that really made the shooting easier. Also, I once again have to say a big thank you to all involved in helping to make this project a reality …

2012 Book

My book for 2012 has arrived! Check it out – I made a short and simple timelapse going through each page.  Actually I messed up a bit and actually missed turning some pages, so if you want to see the whole thing, you’ll have to catch up with me in person! Thanks to the people at Memo Production for the fine quality book. I shot these photos with my D700 on interval, using a Profoto D1 to light it (see how consistent the light is in each shot? This is where speedlights fall flat) Anyway, hope you enjoy it!

Noh Masks

I can’t remember whether I posted these before, but I found these photos kind of hibernating on my hard drive, and thought I might put them up for the world to see. A year or so ago I did a shoot with friend and model Yamaguchi Akiko based on the theme of the Japanese art of Noh. Noh is a very restrained form of theater; it’s extremely strict and very centered on tradition, with next to no room for introducing modern theater elements. Watching it, one would be forgiven for thinking that nothing much was happening – it does indeed appear to move at glacial speed.  An entire play can pass with you being mystified as to what happened, so it’s definitely seen as a kind of entertainment primarily enjoyed by the elderly population. Anyway, one major element of Noh theater is the masks that the main actors use to portray the character they’re playing. The crafting of these masks is an art and each one is skillfully designed to change expression with each subtle …

New Years Resolutions

Hey guys, just wanted to share a small side project that I did over the new year’s break with you. Kind of wanted to do something that involved new years some how so I went out on the cold winter streets with a clipboard, a brush and some paper and asked people to write a single kanji that signified their hopes and dreams for the year of the dragon. Lots of people refused, but some were quite obliging, and I have to hand it to Ikuo and Kiko, who after writing their own kanji helped me flag down other people. If you live in Japan you’ll be well familiar with kanji but for those who have no idea, kanji is the pictograph-style writing system that is used in Japan and wider parts of Asia. The great thing about kanji is that while each single character can have several different meanings, the overall ‘feel’ of the character can be understood very easily. Thus, a writing a single character doesn’t simply mean one thing – the viewer …

The Murder…and Happy New Year

New Years Eve.  19XX. A bitter coldness creeps into the bones of those walking the streets on the last day of the year, forcing a deadening chill into the back of peoples’ minds, lurking like a sinister portent. On this day here in the city everyday life is overshadowed by the festivities concerning the changing of the calendar, as the realization that yet another year has slipped swiftly into the past sinks into the minds of many. New Years Eve. A time of reflection. A time to slow down and take stock. Unfortunately for some people however, today Death slows down for no one. Meet Charlie. Growing up all alone in the downtown mission, she’s pretty used to being able to take care of herself. ‘Never even saw your parents’, the old sister used to say, before she too left Charlie. Lung cancer, never smoked. The mission was demolished, the site zoned by the council to pave the way for a new office park, whatever that means, and Charlie ended up in an abusive foster …

AERA End of Year Party

This year I had the great privilege to start shooting for AERA, which is a weekly magazine who are said to be extremely picky about their photographers.  They’re part of the Asahi Shimbun publishing company, but the AERA section deals with more focused issues than the newspaper, and has a stable of very talented photographers, of which I’ve somehow managed to become a part of.  Was kind of a reality check when I went in earlier this year to show the photo editor my portfolio. After glancing through my book he gives me an hour-long critique/lecture on areas that need improvement, and what I should do to make my book look better for prospective clients down the road. After all that, he looks me in the eye and says: “You could be first class if you really wanted to be. Try harder.” Talk about tough love.  Inspirational though. Then he seems to remember that I’m not here for a portfolio review. “So why did you come here?” he asks. After sitting through an hour of …

I’m gettin’ hitched! (not yet though)

Now for something slightly different to what I usually put on this blog: here’s some personal news! I got engaged! w00t! Those of you who know me personally will appreciate how much of an achievement this (convincing a woman to marry me) is.  So, aside from recovering from the cost of the ring, and trying to figure out which wedding photographer I’m going to hire, I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts, or at least until my supply of Rohypnol runs out (that was a joke! no need to call the police). So to commemorate this frankly unlikely occurrence I’m putting some photos up of the lady in question, primarily because I love her, and secondarily as evidence that my fiance is not someone that I’m simply stalking with a telephoto lens. Of course, a post on this blog wouldn’t be complete without a bit of camera geekery. I shot all of these photos with a Bessa Voigtlander R4a (too poor to afford a Leica) with a Nokton 40mm f/1.4.  It’s a great camera …

“Pay Me” hits the airwaves!

Yes it’s official – “Pay Me”, the long awaited single from washed-up pop artist Irwin W. is out. Irwin W. – who is not me although he incidentally looks and sounds exactly like me, is actually the Scottish-Japanese former-frontman for the 80’s photography-based rock band High ISO. Photography-based music? Yes, it’s true, it does exist – I might have a dig around to see if I can’t find some old music clips or interviews from High ISO to post up here in a couple of months 😀 Anyway, here’s his debut single, entitled “Pay Me”, which “goes out to all my photographer homies who have had their copyright infringed!” according to him.  You can tell it’s not me, because I would never use the word ‘Homie’ in actual speech. In all seriousness tho, this is the result of my summer project, which typically comes around due to the quieter season that Tokyo photogs experience through the Obon holiday season over here. You can check out the results of last year’s project here. This year I …