On Assignment: Kyoto

Travelers line up at Kyoto station. Photograph by cory Lum.

Travelers line up at Kyoto station. Photograph by cory Lum.

Aloha all! Apologies for not posting sooner. Work has been steady with interesting gigs !
Sharing some behind the scenes images from a project shot in Kyoto, Japan. Strict contract requirements prevent me from sharing the ‘take’ but more announcements will come in 2015.  I’ve also started a Instagram account, please check it out @corypix @corypix @corypix for recent photographic meanderings.

Model being dressed by expert staff. Kyoto, Japan. Photograph by cory Lum. Instagram via @corypix

Model being dressed by expert staff. Kyoto, Japan. Photograph by cory Lum. Instagram via @corypix

Whirlwind of a trip shuttling photography gear much like a snail carrying the house on the back. Complete with 3 Nikon bodies, lenses and a full location lighting kit that was really worked as the most important tenet is ‘quality light’


Below we have some of the amazing hand made textiles. Each garment is a unique work of art.




Kyoto is an amazing city. Lots of history and amazing views. Below a torii or gate at one of the many gate entrances to the Royal Palace in Kyoto. Much of Kyoto has been photographed. The extreme challenge is making unique images of a well photographed city, story telling visually and giving the viewer a ‘cory Lum’ view of Kyoto.

Tilt shift torii

Tilt shift torii

More to come.



Hawaii Opera Theatre’s production of Puccini’s Turandot part of their 2013-2014 opera season. more info here. http://www.hawaiiopera.org/
some behind the scenes images, pls view my instagram via http://instagram.com/corypix


Nikon D800s used with the Nikkor AF-S 80-200/2.8 ED IF one of the sharpest zooms. enjoy the fact there is less elements. NO VR ! YAY !



photograph above made with Nikkor PC-E 85mm f/2.8 Micro with amazing tilt shift abilities.


photograph above made with Nikkor PC-E 85mm f/2.8 Micro with amazing tilt shift abilities.


photograph above made with Nikkor PC-E 85mm f/2.8 Micro with amazing tilt shift abilities. love the soft bokeh effect done in camera. iso 1000 f/2.8 front tilt used


Mahalo for viewing ! please feel free to comment below. many thanks ! c

ricoh GR digital


greetings and aloha !

Drum Roll Please !  Introducing a familiar face, reincarnated a few times, each incarnation looking similar with sensor sizes getting larger and more dynamic, the  compact Ricoh Pentax GR. (cheers from the crowd!)  Here to share first impressions, while I won’t be going into too much details on the specs, instead will be focusing on the usability and real life making photographs situations.

Build quality solid with minimal toggles and buttons.  Worked flawlessly over the two weeks working with this compact camera. First frame above, selfie. camera worked quick on focus indoors straight out of camera w/ no photoshop adjustments as all images i’m displaying. Below is the camera, rather small compared with the pocketwizard on it. by the way, i shot some tests of 1/2000 flash sync w/ the Pocketwizard, wish i had more time to make some outdoor portraits. ricoh company link



Moving on to the hands on.  the footprint of the camera, very compact to carry around.  In addition, the camera turns on in an instant and is ready to use without any delay.  This is especially helpful when making photographs of a 3-year old or making images of spontaneous street scenes.  Above, camera focused on the middle with window light coming from my back,  focus was spot on.  46MB files not bad for a point & shoot pocket sized camera.


Overall the ergonomics facilitate one hand operation and quick snaps. All controls laid out intuitively and even though I didn’t read the manual, the camera is user friendly, just by fiddling around was able to navigate and use camera effectively.  Above image as we’re going thru a car wash, great back light metering, camera set on Program, metering well with highlights intact without being blown out. definite plus here !

skiesRICOHaSML Above image, i darkened the sky a little.

One ‘con’ is the lowlight focusing with the camera searching.  Maybe the engineers could build in a small LED light. Easy fix.

Exposures were spot on allowing the photographer to fine tune exposure on the fly by using the up/down rear toggle on the rigt hand side with your thumb while still being poised for image making.

The rear screen is exceptionally sharp, almost sharper than my nikonD800, allowing the user to assess composition and focus.


Conclusion, great camera, great design with above average  imaging.  I would put it into the ‘buy’ category, especially when you don’ t want to schlep your five-pound camera around your neck and need images that you can print.  Speaking of prints, I have personally seen shows in the Ricoh galleries in Tokyo’s Ginza up to over 5-foot by 8-foot prints, and that was the previous series of Ricoh GR. This is the latest ricoh GR that the prints even larger could be done !  have fun ! thanks for reading thru ! mahalo !

NYTIMES pig hunting

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Cool story working along side The New York Times reporter Lawrence Downes on a fun story about pig hunting on Oahu. Shout out of thanks to Hook You Up Outfitters’ Sonny with link to hook you up outfitters .

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Started off with Miles Fukushima, pictured above and his wonderful band of specialized hunting dogs early in the morning. fun ! the first challenge is that dogs move a lot faster on trails then a human being, our center of gravity is the biggest issue when traversing thru the tropical jungle navigating over loose rocks and groves of tangled trees.

we headed out to a special vallery to track and hunt the pesky pigs.

link to THe New York Times story below

Link to The New Times Story here

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above is MIles with the cool GPS collars that allow him to track and follow his dogs live on his GPS device. amazing technology !

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above, we drive vehicles to a remote location to start our hunt

okagesama de


thanks to my grams and gramps !

series of 12 images on 1 roll of 120 black and white film.
have a wonderful week !

lighting by profoto. elinchrom octabank. kodak TRI-x film.

film backs


quite daunting…

Polaroid 545 back, Fuji PA-45, Polaroid 405 and the fuji instant film back…

At position 10 o clock, we have the 545 pro back (4×5 format). this back takes the Polaroid type 55PN film and other 4×5 sheet films from Polaroid.

for a sampling of Polaroid 55PN pls click on this link 4×5 polaroid 55PN examples


top right is the venerable Fuji Quickload 4×5 film back. this back takes a special proprietary quickload system from Fuji with emulsions like Velvia 50, Provia 100 and Quickload FUji Pro 160 color negative and even Neopan quickoad 4×5 sheets. the beauty of this back is the ability to load and shoot film without a dark bag.

to the right of the 545 back is the Polaroid 405 back that takes 3×4-inch film like Polaroid Type 665 which features a 3×4 print and negative.

flickr’s moominsean has a wonderful collection of 665 images.

link to moominsean’s 665 images

bottom left, is a Fuji PA-45 back that takes 4×5 instant packfilm in 10 shot magazine that is loaded into the back and has 10 sheets of film. Fuji’s FP-100C 4×5 film is the culprit here below. this back usually just right onto the 4×5 graflok type back on most 4×5 cameras.


last but not least, bottom right of the original photo is a regular 4×5 film holder. takes two pieces of film, one on each side. this type of film back needs to be loaded in dark room or in a light proof changing bag. more on this later !

here’s a giant instant film camera originally at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, now in NYC.

cheers !

volcano + lava





fun times over on the big island with for a short week compounded with amazing clients and amazing photography in an amazing locale ! the big island of hawai’i


above, a tour boat gets really close to the volcanic action as lava pours into the ocean. the scary part is all the noxious gases the visitors are inhaling ! whoa !

file pix


Thumbing through some old compact discs or commonly called ‘CD’

what a blast from the past ! fun ! above photograph was the normal customarily 2-3 songs, front row in front of the crowds at Aloha Stadium, in an area called the ‘pit’. we get shuffled in after the beginning blah blah then the 2-3 songs go by really fast. need to find my michael jackson photographs /negatives…


completely forgot i used to shoot sports, got ‘ok’ at it. far cry from the ‘zen’ photography attempts in the near dark Klum gymnasium or ‘Ad Nauseum’.


if i need to share one tidbit about getting interesting photographs, my philosophy has always been, ‘put the reader (or viewer) where they cannot be…’. easier said than done. here a view into a burning condominium fire at honolulu’s century center. building didn’t have any sprinklers. the good part, i survived ! oh, also, smoke rises !


last but not least, always carry a camera. you never know what you’ll see, in this case a giant crab devouring a building in kakaako, honolulu. cheers ! have a great week !

viva las vegas


viva las vegas

Last week i attended my very first WPPI photography convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first couple of days were spent in dark rooms with judges and moderators to observe judging of the WPPI print competition.  This by far was the best learning experience i’ve ever had !  amazing !


Many attendees were from around the globe attending workshops on lighting, business and celebrity photographers.


above view of the winners of the print competition.  the prints were amazing, wishing the judging size was 16×20-inches instead of the smaller 8×10 standard print size.  next year, i need to bring a magnifying glass !


shawn from Black Tie Cinema photographs his print that took ‘Second Place’ congratulations !  link to his site http://www.blacktiecinema.com/


best advice given at the workshops by Ben Chrisman of http://www.chrismanstudios.com .  “how to become a better photographer?  to FAIL”  .  yep. the endless process of lifelong learning !  thanks to the Chrisman’s !  inspirational work ! link to the chrisman’s site


above, Rod Gammons maker of the amazing ‘Rotolight Anova’ demonstrates the LED light that puts out 1000ws.  this amazing light can be controlled via wireless and iPhone rotolight link


another notable piece of gear was Photogenic’s new Ion Battery link here. compact size and killer power ! can’t wait to pickup a pair of these compact beauties.

Musings with Light


Thank you to all who participated in the recent Pacific New Media class about Painting with light at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Thanks to David Ulrich and staff for hosting this fantastic photography workshop series. honored to participate and share !  pls check out previous post light painting 101 here.

above photograph, blue gelled vivitar 285 flash within a plastic container and a small AA battery powered LED flashlight w/ special snoot. will post a photo of the snoot soon

below image made w/ ‘backlight’ only


we worked from a simple one object still life to a group image with attendees.



above images. top, one baretube flash subject rear. silhouette of subjects. 2nd image below, i ‘painted’ in the silhouette w/ LED light. 8 seconds f/8.0 iso 200


above image, 1 baretube flash placed behind john, LED flash light painted his face then w/ 4 seconds left, i quickly turned the lens out of focus and used the LED to ‘paint’ his jacket and desk areas. 8 seconds, f/8.0 iso 200 . nikon D800 w/ manual focus 105mm AIS lens.