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 →

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 →

20Mar13 Before/After

March 20, 2013 in Portrait

Shirk Before-001Shirk After-001

So I thought it would be kind of neat to see how far I’ve come with post-processing images from SOOC (Straight Out Of the Camera) RAW files, to the finished image… each photo typically takes me 15-20 minutes to process within Lightroom and Photoshop (if I’m in the zone, that is.  Out of the zone?  Sorry, but we’re talking weeks/months… just ask my TF clients) and I’m always amazed by the changes possible.  Shooting both RAW and JPEG formats gives me the ability to manipulate an information-laden 5k petabyte original file alongside the (floppy-disk-sized) JPEG file that the camera had already quaintly processed using my in-camera settings.  Click and drag the slider to see the difference a little post-processing can make!  Another one after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry →

16Mar13 – WPPI and Musings About the Future

March 16, 2013 in Portrait

BFL - Peter & Terry Tie the Knot 1600px wm-001

Peter Bryant and Terri Lavenstein share their wedding day with dozens of photographers during a photowalk with Moshe Zusman Workshops at the 2013 WPPI Conference. 85mm, f3.2, ISO400 1/200s, softbox with Profoto strobe at camera right.

Having just returned from my trip to WPPI University and the WPPI Conference & Expo, I’m re-energized and excited with the prospect of working on new projects and portraits over the next year!  I had the opportunity to listen to and learn from some of the best in the industry (to include Moshe Zusman, Doug Gordon, JP Elario, Craig Stidham, Jerry Ghionis…), review my portfolio with potential mentors, attend classes with other aspiring photographers, and network with artists (yes, photographers can be artists!) who have a similar vision and passion for not just delivering an end product, but one into which we have infused our personality, sweat, Read the rest of this entry →

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