Body Art: Capoeira

A few weeks ago I uploaded a picture of Kazuo for the upcoming Soho Gallery group exhibition Fotografika III. Since, I was offered an exhibition at &'s Cafe & Gallery and I have decided to continue shooting fellow capoeristas to that end. Last Wednesday I captured professor Beriba, and I plan to shoot one or two more members tonight after our lesson. I went to scout last, which was a good thing since I discovered that the exact location I wanted to use closes at 10 pm at night. I found good other spots, though, so the shoot is far from compromised.

Here is Beriba's shot, and an abstract shot last night when I went scouting.


Portfolio Shoot

Last Friday I had a photoshoot at Kouzu shrine in south Osaka. Ms. Kotani is an ink artist and wanted pictures of her art to make a portfolio. Her sketches depict some eternal themes, like parent-child relationships, and also many scenes from China. She also has some funnier paintings, including some of the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures trough holidays like Christmas and Halloween. If she allows me, I'll show you some here.

The technical photoshoot, making sure the lighting was adequate and the photo plane as flat as possible to avoid keystoning went pretty well, often with her lovely daughter laughing around watching a DVD or just running. I'm about done with the post-production, although I may have to go again for some additional shots. The next time her work is exhibited, I'll let you know.

 Kouzu shrine has many cherry blossoms trees and you are all encouraged to visit it the flowers will be in bloom. No blossoms had yet bloomed, as you can see from this King Camera shot.



Cosplay Parade

In Den Den Town today, the electronic town of Osaka famous for cheap electronics and maid caf├ęs, was held the area's annual festival celebrating Cosplay, or costume play. People dress up in their favorite characters (or other stuff), mostly from Japanese anime and manga, and walk around while they are assailed by photographers of ALL descriptions.

We went out as a family, Kaz dressed up as Gatchapin and me as Demetan (or Kermit, it's up to you to decide). Sadly we missed the chance to meet with some friends; there'll always be next year (unless Mr. Hashimoto, Osaka's mayor, cuts the funding there too, as he has been with pretty much all cultural endeavors in the city...). With the huge crowd, navigating the baby car wasn't easy, whether Kaz was in it or not, so I didn't get too many shots. I hope you enjoy them anyways! Click to enlarge.


Fotografika III: Time to Sign Up

Soho Gallery is having it's 3rd Fotografika exhibition, this time the theme being Black & White portraits. As mentioned before (and I'm planning to make it a series), I've already took my capture, but there are still some spots open, don't miss your chance! The exhibition isn't really serious, so don't feel your shot isn't good enough. You have until March 30th to register.

Here the capture I took last year, when the theme was midnight; I can't remember if I had posted it before. Enjoy.



I woke up earlier this morning and got a few pictures at a plum orchard near some workplace. The colorful one, Tomesode, has a textbook in the background to create the colors. A tomesode is the type of kimono worn by close relatives of brides and grooms at weddings. Enjoy!


Plum Blossom Season

Today I met with Kotani-san, an ink-drawing artist who wants pictures of her art for her portfolio. She was introduced to me by Celio from Soho Gallery (thanks, brother) and the meeting went well. She showed me the room where we are going to take the pictures, an actual studio for the people who get wed at the shrine where she lives.

Did you say shrine? Yes.

It's actually a relatively famous one, as Kouzu shrine [here or here (all in Japanese, but there are pictures)] used to be inside the grounds of Osaka castle a good number of years ago. I've been through it a few times, and I was quite surprised when Celio brought me there. It felt a little strange at first to go indoors, but Kotani-san is a very kind person who easily adjusts to other people. The set up will require a bit of DIY (yeah!), but that's fine.

An ego-stroking thing happened when she asked me what the post-production fees on the estimate were: I answered things like color adjustments for white balance and cropping to match her artwork. She replied: Wow! Sounds so professional.

Yes, thank you.

After, on my way to other work, I passed through Osaka Castle Park to check out the plum blossom grove. Of course there were quite a few people, and I could spend too much time there, but here are some shots I took, handheld. I encourage you to click on the larger picture to explore it a bit, you might find a tasty surprise! Enjoy!


Photoshoots: Spectator, Then Cameraman

Sorry if I haven't written in some time, but my son was hospitalized for a rota virus-induced dehydration: family takes precedence on blogging, don't take it personally.

Today Kaz had photoshoot for a kids clothing catalog. We got there early, and of course I scoped out the gear and stuff. And this is what I saw: Holy hand grenade, Batman! It was literally too much for the job, considering the print quality and size of the output, but I imagine the photographer gets other work which justify the gear. Of course, though, Kaz gave his best smiles when we said goodbye to the crew of 12 or so on location. We rewarded him with some play time at a nearby park, before heading home for his nap.

Later that day, Kazuo, a capoerista friend, came by our neighborhood for a photoshoot for the upcoming Soho Gallery group exhibition. This time, the theme is black and white portraits. This picture means a lot to me for several reasons. Of course Kazuo is a good friend, and he's always on hand to give good advice during the capoeira lessons, so I'm happy to take his picture and allow him to use them when he joins dance events. Also, the move he is performing is the one I did when I dislocated my shoulder last December (although mine don't look anywhere as good as his): I guess I'm exorcising some demons. Finally, since the purpose of the exhibition is to explore the definition of a portrait, I thought that an environmental action like this adds to the conversation.

I'm not sure if this is the final version, I'm still tweaking the post-production, but I'm pretty sure this is the shot I will use, even if some of the others, not necessarily in action, are quite worthy. Enjoy!