WPPI 2013 Second Half Online Competition Awards & Canon Pixma My Favorite People and Places Contest

November 1, 2013 in Portrait

2nd Place - WPPI 2013 Second Half Online Competition

I’ve been extremely humbled to be awarded by the WPPI 2013 Second Half Online Competition and Canon Pixma My Favorite People and Places Contest – what an amazing two weeks!  In 2011 and 2012, I submitted photo entries to the US Army Digital Photo Contest and performed fairly well at the local and Army-wide levels.  I never had a desire to enter any other contest until I caught wind of the Canon-Pixma My Favorite People and Places photo contest in September this year.  I still can’t explain why, but I had an overwhelming itch to enter and I submitted a few of my photos.  

Fast-forward four weeks and Read the rest of this entry →

Ian & Jodi – Trash the Dress in Japan

August 11, 2013 in Portrait


When Jodi first approached me about doing a Trash the Dress shoot, I was a little apprehensive about tackling something new – but I knew that I couldn’t grow without challenging and pushing myself.  So Frances and I scoured the area for the perfect location, got our lighting ready, planned the shots as best we could, made a game plan and made the call.  We agreed on the first weekend of July and timed it just perfectly to take advantage of a local fireworks show Read the rest of this entry →

Yokohama Fireworks Festival 2013

August 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Yokohama Fireworks 1200px-1

Fireworks light up the Minato Mirai 21 area in Yokohama, Japan

The Yokohama Fireworks Festival 2013 was held this past Thursday and it did not disappoint!  Officially called the 28th Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival 2013, 15,000 fireworks bursts lit up the Minato Mirai area of Japan’s port city of Yokohama.  The 1.5-hour Read the rest of this entry →

My First Collaborative Effort – Jewelry Model Shoot [Product Photography]

June 18, 2013 in Portrait

I love trying new things, and this was definitely the biggest project I’ve tackled to date.  We put four beautiful models, gorgeous jewelry, wardrobe, a talented hair & make-up artist, Read the rest of this entry →

9Jun13 – ZAHS Class of 2013 Graduation Ceremony

June 9, 2013 in Portrait

ZAHS Graduation 2013 v2

Frances and I had the opportunity to photograph Zama American High School’s Class of 2013 graduation ceremony yesterday and, as with all event coverage we do, time just melted away.   The 2-hour ceremony was highlighted by a standing-room only crowd, reflective-yet-humorous speeches, tear-inducing guitar/violin/piano, band, and choir performances.  All of it was streamed live online, enabling the world to watch as Read the rest of this entry →

30May13 – Bead Jewelry & Product Photography

May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


I’m quickly discovering that collaboration can be an awesome venture, especially when syncing product photography efforts with an award-winning bead jewelry designer.  The labors of love you see here take many painstaking hours of devotion to create – each one crafted with the hopes of one day gracing necklines around the world.  Guziala Reed’s jewelry are equally astonishing and ornate – each one worth as much as some of Read the rest of this entry →

9May13 – Zama Killer Katanas

May 9, 2013 in Portrait

ZKK Group-001On occassion, I’ve been known to take on pro bono work for worthy causes – the Zama Killer Katanas is a roller derby team based around Camp Zama/NAF Atsugi that has pulled in an eclectic mix of men and women who also happen to be active duty Read the rest of this entry →

7May13 Before/After at Fuji Speedway – Ferrari 458

May 7, 2013 in Automotive

SuperGT before-001SuperGT after-001

Here’s another before/after showing off the magic of RAW (unprocessed ‘before’ image) and the power of Lightroom (‘after’ image).  This shot of the TEAM MACH Ferrari 458 (GT300) was taken at 5pm in the pit lane of Fuji Speedway on qualifying day at the Fuji GT 500km SuperGT Race… pit walk had just started for children to visit the paddock area, to visit drivers, pose for photos, and to grab freebies.  This was a 1-second (crowd blur at camera right) exposure at f/22 (starburst), ISO100 at 32mm using a 24-70mm lens on a tripod.  Normally, these camera settings would result in an overexposed image, but I decided to experiment a little with the sweet variable ND filter I had just picked up from Scott Robert Lim.  By stopping down the exposure significantly, I was able to keep the shutter open longer, resulting in the blur effect as people whizzed by the car.  Check out more of my automotive photos at http://facebook.com/BackFromLeaveSpark

22Apr13 – On the Streets of Japan with Toni and Nate

April 22, 2013 in Portrait

Johncour Blog Post-5

As a hobbyist photographer with a full-time day job, I’ve been very limited to the amount of time I have to juggle family life, work, and play while living in Japan.  Priorities being what they are, I’ve been slowly going mental knowing that I can’t go out and realize ideas that have been stagnating in my head for months.  One of these ideas was to capture a couple on a night shoot, walking through nearby Japanese streets and towards the local train station.  So when Read the rest of this entry →

9Apr13 – Sakura Wedding Photos, Lopez Family

April 9, 2013 in Portrait

The Lopez family first contacted me early in February to ask about photos and, although I don’t specialize in family portraits, this was a rare opportunity.  In the 12 years they’ve been married, Tiane and Julian had never had wedding photos taken, so they wanted to seize the moment with photos of their family – all this in preparation for an upcoming ceremony this summer.  So… the checklist: Wedding dress?  Of course.  Dress blues?  Check.  Avid motorcycle enthusiasts/weekend instructors and a Ducati Hypermotard?  Why not!  Sakura bloom at Camp Zama, Japan?  How could I possibly say no!  Fast forward 2 months later with the cherry blossom season upon us, add a little rain for magical effect, and click on the photo to view the resulting sakura wedding photos.  Thanks to the beautiful family for sharing this day with us!

Lopez-002 Read the rest of this entry →

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