Gone racing

6 09 2014
The Mechanic.

The Mechanic. Without Kimura-san, the Lola Formula 3 car would never have gotten off the trailer.

‘Peter-san, please brake on’ – Kimura-san was about to put the jack under the front suspension, and just needed me to activate the brakes. Climbing over the wide body moulding, I levered myself into the driver’s ‘seat’ and stretched my legs down a seemingly endless tunnel. My size 11s found the pedals, but you need ballerina’s feet to touch only the brake. By turning myself kind of sideways, and pointing my toes, I managed it. Not a comfortable experience by any stretch of the imagination, and then there’s the wild howling crazed monster of an engine, inches behind the driver’s head. You really have to be a slave to cars, to even contemplate strapping yourself into one of these missiles.

I had come to Fuji International Speedway, location of the longest straight in the world, to shoot some portraits with a 10 year old Japanese karting champion. Unfortunately, he had gone to school. But Kimura-san, the mechanic for dentist Saito-san’s little F3 Lola, had an interesting face, and I told him so ‘not interesting, Peter. bad, maybe’. Saito-san owns and drives the Lola at closed meetings like this one, or historic racing events. But he seemed a little camera shy. So Kimura and I went to the pit lane, where you have these beautiful converging lines, and a heavy cloud covering the background. I shot with a 14mm lens, to include the dramatic architecture of the grandstand and circuit buildings. A flash in a soft box provided the light for Kimura’s face. It was a shame that the original subject had not made himself available, but still coming away with a great shot is compensation in itself.

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location spotting at the docks

10 08 2014

DSC_9465 - Version 2

while scouting a worthwhile and hopefully interesting shooting position for the Tokyo Bay firework show, I did happen across a few interesting industrial locations, which I hope will make a great backdrop for some portraiture or band promo shots. This one’s a set of disused warehouses, which will likely be demolished to make way for something ghastly….(sigh). The wear and tear on the paintwork is absolutely delicious.





great light is where you find it

6 08 2014

Ko in Tamachi

the other day I spent 8 hours in Tamachi, where I was engaged to photograph a workshop dealing with improving your TOEIC score (Test of English for International Communication). The event was held in a giant glass fronted office building, and afterwards I went out into the huge lobby, and noticed the amazing light. Floor to ceiling glass on two sides, and highly polished black marble on the other two. So I grabbed Ko, who was assisting at the event, and we shot a few photos, one of which you can see above. All natural light, around 5pm.





she’s so versatile

5 10 2013

she's so versatile

nice when it works. manual focusing a 24mm lens is close to impossible, especially when you’re shooting wide open at F1.4. however, this time I managed to nail it.





Petal Girl Shot

11 05 2012

So recently I had the idea of shooting a homage to the classic American Beauty image. We decided rather than scarlet petals, to use black. 3000 (approx) were obtained from a stage effects supplier. Put a foam mattress on the floor, and used my black background sheet on this. The model then obligingly lay in the centre, and we unceremoniously tipped the entire package over her. Although she looks naked, she is wearing a bra & nude-coloured panties. Lighting was from a single 120J head, inside a softbox boomed over the set. I shot this from above, simply by standing on a chair with a 28mm lens, on the D300  (I’m over 6′ tall and the chair added another 18″). It was quite a challenge to make sure that the petals covered her adequately; next time I think I could use a petal wrangler.