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Portraits of Karate Sensei

February 08, 2015  •  3 Comments

On my previous blog I talked about the excellent training I had received from Damian McGillicuddy, a grand master of portrait photography. In this next project I have utilised some of the techniques that I have learned in this training to capture some gripping portraits in a location based professional portrait session.

The brief for this project was to shoot a series of professional portraits of the Sensei (instructors) from Southport Miyagi Karate School (SMKS) for the instructor profiles page on the newly refreshed website - www.southportkarate.co.uk ​This project is a little unique in that I am the senior instructor of the karate school and therefore on this brief I am working to myself.

SMKS is a local karate club that was established in Southport in 1979, the club is affiliated to the English Goju Ryu Karate Association and the International Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate Federation headed by the world renowned karate master Sensei Morio Higaonna. The club has 3 lead instructors, myself, Sensei Karl Wolfenden and Sensei Stuart Smith.

The first set above is of Sensei Karl, the shots were taken on location at the SMKS Dojo (training hall) which is currently situated underneath New Attitude gym on Hart Street, Southport. The shots capture atmospheric images of Sensei Karl during his performance of some of the Kata (forms) from the Goju-ryu style of karate. For lighting the location I selected 2 strobes from my portable studio kit, setting one as the main-light bounced of the wall and the other as an accent light.

The second series is of Sensei Stuart who instructs the children’s class at SMKS, Sensei Stuart is shown performing movements the Seiunchin, the 4th Kata in the IOGKF syllabus. Seiyunchin kata focuses on standing grappling and involves a number of pulling and controlling self-defence techniques. The shots of Sensei Stuart were taken using a similar strobe set-up with a switch of lens to capture the full body shot in the final image.

There is more to follow in this project, next step will be to capture some self-portraits to finish the sequence off.

 
 

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