USO Color Blast Okinawa 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

This morning was the USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run on Okinawa.

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

The Color Blast is very similar to the Indian festival of Holi. Participants throw powdered paint at each other and everyone comes away from the event a lot more colorful than when they arrived.

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

The Color Blast combines throwing paint with a 5km run, and the paints used are waterbased and non-toxic. (This is not always the case in India. I had to throw away most of my clothes and scrub off a couple of layers of skin to remove the paint after shooting Holi in Jaipur.)

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

USO Color Blast 5km Fun Run, Okinawa, Japan. Sept 22, 2014

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Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

My friend Chris said his son was playing football on Friday night and invited me to come along and take a few pics. Jonathan is a Tiny Mite football player. This is tackle football for kids aged 5 to 8. They put on their pads, helmets, and mouthguards then attempt to decimate the competition.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

We had a few minutes before the game so I took the Pentax 645Z, a 25mm wide angle, and the B1 strobe onto the edge of the field. A few quick shots while there was a little color still in the sky and we were done.

I don’t know anything about American Football (I believe one team used a refrigerator as a player in the ’80′s). However, when I wanted Jonathan to give me his game face I simply said show me Hulk and got exactly what I wanted.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

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Yotsudake Dancers, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake is one of the traditional Ryukyu dances. The dancers wear a flower shaped hat, and a bingata kimono. They hold a pair of instruments similar to castanets which are made from four (yotsu) pieces of bamboo (take). They clap the yotsudake in time to the music.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

These images were all shot with the Pentax 645Z and the 90mm lens. The 90mm lens is an excellent portrait lens, allowing a shallow depth of field when needed and also has image stabilization to reduce motion blur due to camera shake.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

Yotsudake Dancer, Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, Kokusai Street.

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Kadena USO Holiday Bazaar – November 16, 2014

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

Kadena USO Bazaar

Kadena USO Bazaar

Next Sunday, November 16th, I’ll be selling prints at the Kadena USO Holiday Bazaar. Please stop by if you are in the area and say hello, or even better buy some Christmas presents :)

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Fireworks at Itsukushima

Fireworks at Itsukushima

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Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession November 3rd 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Before my more linguistically minded friends point it out, I realize that as jo means castle saying Shurijo Castle is a tautology, and may cause annoyance. However as the official title of the festival on posters and leaflets was Shurjo Castle Festival, I shall use their version.

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

On November 3rd the ceremony begins in the courtyard of Shurijo. The procession of courtiers, envoys, guards, regents, and of course the king and queen then parade out of the castle. They descend through the various gateways and along the main road almost to the monorail station.

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Monday was a gorgeously sunny November day, but it did mean I was looking for patches of shade when shooting portraits.

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

There were many excellent  fake beards on show.

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

There were also several priestesses (yuta) who were once the religious counsel to the royal family. They still play a role in modern Okinawa as mediums and advisers.

Shurijo Castle Festival - Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

Shurijo Castle Festival – Traditional Procession Nov.3 2014

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Halloween in Mihama

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Mihama’s American Village in Chatan Town is the place to be on Halloween. The fancy dress competition is probably the most popular event of the year. I stopped by on the way home from helping set up the Okinawa 9 exhibition in Naha and took a few pics.

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

I used the Pentax 645Z, 90mm lens and the Profoto B1 strobe with a beauty dish for light.

Spooky fun.

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

Halloween in Mihama, Okinawa

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Zombie Walk in Okinawa

Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

The Cheerleader – Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

On Sunday, I was invited to the Annual Zombie Walk in American Village, Chatan. The zombies lurched their way from the AEON parking lot to Depot Island.

Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

Wayne’s World – Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

Some may have expected that terror would smother the area like a wool blanket laced with smallpox.

Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

The reality was smiles, selfies, and an impromptu dance-off between a zombie and a group of high school girls.

Awesome.

Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

Zombie Walk, Okinawa, Japan

Pics taken using the Pentax 645Z and the Profoto B1 with voice activated light stand (Thanks Cody)

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