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.


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.

4×5 graflex


first off, thanks a million matt of www.abelsonscopeworks.com awesome and amazing work ! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !

Aloha all ! happy fathers day ! 

thanks matt ! the amazing modified Graflex Super D 4×5 SLR w/  Pentac 8-inch f/2.9 lens arrived ! here above you can see at camera right,  Super D graflex 4×5 SLR w/ built in hood and super sharp kodak ektar. 

First off, the front is made from a billet piece of aircraft 6000 series aluminum an amazing feat of machining with the option of tilt added.  the front standard is secure by two knurled knobs at the center of the standard keeping the heavy 8-inch pentac in position.


Ample tilt can be attained with a slight limit by the bellows. A future project might involve making a slightly bigger bellows to accomodate more front movements. the above view is about where the lens is at infinity. 




Left, you can see the grafted Sinar 4×5 back that was installed and fitted to the original rotating graflex system. At camera right, a modified graflex 4×5 super D w/ graflok back.  One of my goals in having this modified is the ability to shoot 4×5 instant film w/ the convenience of a single lens reflex. Both Fuji 4×5 instant films and 3×4 pack films can be utilized. 

i’ll post more photographs of the lens in action shortly, need to head up to http://www.hawaiicamera.com/ to pick up some Fuji FP-100C 4×5 !’m on my last sheet.


quality of light

learning about facebook and twitter… the million dollar questions, how do i connect a potential client to the vendor, in my case, how do i connect with new clients or companies needing images for their corporation or brand ? if u know please let me know. i’m learning about how social media can spawn new clientele. many humble thanks to our readership.

not just any kind of photographic images that any tom, dick or harry can make w/ a $2000 multi megapixel camera, but instead images that move beyond a snapshot by a ‘picture taker’ as opposed to an ‘image maker’.

one important key is LIGHTING. what is LIGHT ? simple photons you might say ?

there is one key component of light in the photographic world called ‘quality of light’. the sun is a light we commonly know and see every day, morning to evening. the most beautiful ‘quality of light’ of the sun happens at the moments before the sun actually rises and another time before the sun plops below the horizon and a magical time after the sunsets. i see many ‘picture takers’ leave after the sunset, they don’t realize or ‘see’ the magical ‘quality of light’. these ‘picture takers’ have the gear but lack the sensibility of how to see light.

i often wondered why i was sitting in art history class up at manoa listening to countless lectures and millions of slides being projected on huge auditorium screens. engrained in my subconscious was the renaissance works of rembrandt and his iconographic sense of light. what made him a painting meister was his sense of creating a mood with highlights and shadows.

PHOTOGRAPHY is ‘drawing with ight’ or in my case ‘painting with light’. when i set out, i brainstorm a few ideas, sketch them. most importantly, i think about the background (BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND, BACKGROUND) and of course foreground light and how and what tools i might schlepp along. less is more… sometimes.

if you have any questions, please chime in, this is a two way dialogue. sharing, growing and learning together.

quest for vision, vis a vis unique tools

Why have stock lenses and cameras ‘off the shelf’ when each photographer has their own personal vision?

the quest for unique vision begins with one of a kind tools to see in your personal way. let the quest begin

below is part of a solution to a lens received. a wild, fast optic made by Schneider Gottingen germany 125mm f/2.0 with full 3×4-inch coverage.

the above is a geared base / focus system w/ the front standard from a Linhof Technika. it will likely make lenses easily added on like the Schneider Gottingen Xenon 125mm f/2.0 (below). yeah FAST ! bellows will be handmade neoprene, wetsuit material that will be handsewn. looking for a wonderful color combo.

why might you think that a lens like this needs to be mounted to a hasselblad 6x6cm film body ? first off, the hasselblad mount can be adapted to canon EF also. second, with full 3×4 inch image circle will allow ample movements with tilt and shift. more on that later.

unlike the hasselblad flexbody, Zeiss hasselblad CF lenses were not conceived to handle movements, the lenses were designed with 6x6cm coverage only. so very limited lens movements, if any movement at all. llimited tilt/shift.

where do these ideas come from ? what feeds the ‘beast’ ? insert sinister laugh here. most of it comes from analyzing many pieces and owning different kinds of gear from the film days up until now. most of the gear now, digital and the like, lack ‘aji’ or flavor. also, finding ‘parts’ of functional gear that can be modified to quench the desire to see a unique way.

thanks to the meisterly metal crafting of artisan matt abelson www.abelsonscopeworks.com/, the speedgraphic swing adaptor was born. it allows front standard swing movement. why ? because the horizontal focal plane shutter, capable up to 1/2000th of a second, is only in a horizontal format. to get a vertical ’tilt’, one must turn the camera on its side to get a ‘vertical’ compostion. the swing in horizontal format, becomes a tilt in the vertical format. YAY ! thanks matt !

these images all made w/ an amazing lens called a Kodak Aero Ektar. sort of the noctilux of large format. shot on fuji 100c 4×5 inch instant film.

please check out my last post while on duty in honolulu, some behind the scenes images of the whitehouse press corps, president obama’s vacation in hawaii. wp.me/pvuuZ-3w

radioactive quest

Aloha all !
sorry for the delay!

been working on building some businesses and finding some interesting and eclectic gear to make my job easier and vision more unique.

just arrived the other day, an amazing tool used in the 1950s, the Folmer & Schwing Speedgraphic U.S. Army Signal Corps 4×5, Still Picture KE-12(1) camera with a built in focal plane shutter that goes up to 1/1000 second ! the camera can be used with front lens shutter and an option of using the huge cloth focal plane shutter from 1/1000th of a second to 1/30th of a second ! pictured above with Jolo Lensboard and Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f/2.5 lens.

this unusual variant is a KE-12 signal corps 4×5 camera features all external non metal parts in olive drab leatherette and all the normal chrome/silver finishes are all anodized in black. the ‘stealth mode’ speed graphic. very unusual indeed. the mechanisms seem a lot smoother than the standard speed graphics i’ve owned.

the detail below shows the front 127mm /f4.5 Graflex ‘Yellow Dot’ Optar lens with graphex leaf shutter from 1/400th second, T thru B. this lens feels particularly heavy and dense with black anodized lensboard. when removed, the jolo lensboard by Jo Lommen and giant kodak aero ektar fits into the body/front standard without any ‘stretching’ of the front standard.

the camera even features handy dandy rangefinder focusing.

above image, Fuji FP100c . 4×5 instant film. notice the wild bokeh. its sort of the character of this wonderful speedy lens !

i’ll try to scan and post more 4×5 color instant images. at almost ¥400 per pop… it gets pricey fast !