• Taka タカ
    • Taka is your average lad, and is his first time doing a photography session. In the beginning he was a bit rigid, but after some good photos, he wasn’t as tense and was able to be his usual self


  • Tarumi 垂水
  • Arima Onsen (Hotsprings) 有馬温泉


  • 5D3
    • 24-70mm 2.8, 85mm 1.2 (ND8), 50mm 1.4
    • Speedlite 600EX-RT with ST-E3 radio trigger
  • Lighting
    • 2 lights without modifiers
    • As its a practice model shoot, I was keeping the lighting setup to be as simple as possible. Thus, most shots are shot with:
    • 45 degrees facing the model, top to bottom when space allows
    • I’ll add in the details if the lighting setup is different along the post


  • I wouldn’t call it a theme, but in general, cool, guy pictures, with an essence of the bad guy.

Tarumi 垂水

Started as a bright sunny day, but the clouds came in later which helped a lot.

5D3-2066 2 lights together from the right @1/1


Ran into a slight problem where I thought the batteries were charged but turns out it has discharged itself and had some time wondering what went wrong. Changed the batteries and everything was normal again. Normal meaning near 1s charging time as I was shooting at 1/1 against the sun.

5D3-2101 2 lights @ 1/1

5D3-2118 2 lights @ 1/1 from left



5D3-2132 2 lights just below my shooting position

5D3-2142 2 lights from left



5D3-2198Shoot-through umbrella from left

5D3-2210 1 light left , 1 light behind model legs

5D3-2216 At this point of the day, the clouds came in which really helped!

5D3-2234 1 light from the right, behind the stone ring.

You can see where the light is coming from the shadows

5D3-2237 Another shot, cropped to give that poster feel

Tarumi was a good and fun place to shoot! Especially with the bridge at the background. Time flew real fast… Wish I had more time there.

5D3-2259 1 light, walking while assistant follows along at a 45 degree angle

5D3-2267 In the car heading towards our next location.

Arima Onsen 有馬温泉

Tourist locations… people! Most of the time we had to wait for people to pass by and luckily while you’re in Japan, the locals are kind enough to wait and have fun looking at the photo session. Some of the places were really tight, and my assistant had a difficult time hiding herself. Luckily though, its a tourist location, my model and assistant ended up looking at the attractions which really helped tense things down. Taka was getting used to modelling and was posing automatically without much directions.

5D3-2287 1 light on the right behind the wooden door.

Tight space. Originally asked Taka to stand right beneath the shelter but the lights couldn’t reach and it was too tight to hide it. Moved 2~3 steps back and got this shot

5D3-2295 1 light from right. Power of the 85mm

5D3-2306 1 light from left

5D3-2310 1 light from right and 1 from behind



I have always wanted to shoot in a tight alley!

1 backlight, 1 light from right. Really really tight.

5D3-2341-2 1 light from right



5D3-2371 A quick break. 1 light from left.

5D3-2415 1 light behind leg, 1 light from left. Hi-speed sync

5D3-2458 1 light from left. Again tourists waiting on our shoot.

We signaled for them to go along but they decided to stay and watch for a while.

5D3-2464 1 light from left.

I like this shot, feels like a titanic movie

5D3-2473 Light from right

5D3-2508 1 light from right. But I wanted to see the cherry blossoms!

5D3-2510 1 light from right, 1 light below the cherry blossoms

5D3-2514 Same lighting, different angle.


Taka was getting tired and I tried my best to finish this last scene. This is a rather dark place to shoot in. Assistant was holding an iPhone with its LED lights on to achieve focus and then turning it away before the shutter press.

A nice tip during dark shoots where your camera has problem focusing on the subject’s face. Use a constant light, the LEDs on your iPhone is a quick and easy way to help achieve focus.

Another way is to use your camera’s live view. As you focus on the subject, the live view will compensate for the dark scene and try to shoot a bright photo. It’s 50-50 chance that the focus hits correctly, let alone focusing on the eyes of the subject. Better than nothing.

5D3-2543 Last shot of the day.

After Snaps

No lights.

5D3-2564 5D3-2602 5D3-2608 5D3-2636