Tengu Warrior

On March 4, 2011, in Studio & Lights, by kvitalij

Ninjutsu Photo, tengu Warrior

Last Saturday I had the pleasure to photograph a great man behind the Warrior Hood. Since he decided to stay incognito as much as he could, all I can tell you is his name is Rob and he is a great person I’ve known for many years. He is an interesting, reliable individual, is always positive, fun to talk to and have a pint or two with.

We started early in the morning and worked in the photo studio for almost five hours.

Male Portrait with a Wiskey

As a photographer I can say, that studio shooting is a great experience, but 5 hours do wear you and your model out. Since both of us have some good experience in endurance we fly true 3 light set ups and 3 backdrop swaps, and only then realised that for five hours we didn’t see sunlight. We both came prepared, my first light scheme was set, and he was already enjoying alcohol-free drink that you can see on one of the shoots.  Next thing you see he pulled out dummy gun and the James Bond photo idea was achieved with fun and creativity.

Drink and a Gun - Deadly combination

Aiming with a gun

James Bond Photo

‘In for a penny in for a pound’, he said and pulled out a submachine gun with a silencer from his huge bag.

Submachine Gun - Gunner in stance

During the photo experiments we tried different stances (Kamae No Kata) and weapons (Swords, shuko’s, kama’s, hanbo and throwing stars/shurikens).  As he adapted to the studio lights and interior we transformed the photography process into one photo shoot flow.

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Photographing Rob was a great experience and lots of fun. Suits were changed one after another, he even took with him Kendo training armor and shinai fro photography ideas I had in mind. Weapons even flew through the air at one stage in the studio, swords were drawn and guns were fired (not really! 🙂 )

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When we changed the backdrop to black, a photographer’s nightmare appeared because ninja suits as we know are black by default. And as it blended in with the studio background, we had to play around a lot with light positions, to get the right angel. Also feathering with softbox helped to some extent.

Ninja and a sword

As you can probably see in the images, our main photography idea was Ninja in its element. You don’t have to live in Japan to know who are they, but just in case here is a bit of info on Ninjutsu:

Ninja and deadly shuko

Throwing stars - shurikens in hands of ninja

Ninjutsu was developed as a collection of fundamental survivalist techniques in the warring state of feudal Japan. The ninja used their art to ensure their survival in a time of violent political turmoil. Ninjutsu included methods of gathering information, and techniques of non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. Ninjutsu can also involve training in disguise, escape, concealment, archery, and medicine. At some point the skills of espionage became known collectively as ninjutsu and the people who specialised in these tasks were called shin obi no mono.

Ninja Armor

Shadow Warrior photo

Black and White Photo of Ninja

Ninja Master Portrait

By understanding the philosophies of all martial arts in addition to ninjutsu, the true ninja has become the modern-day Renaissance man. To be called “ninja” is a title of honour. It means you have been called the perfect gentleman; and one who seeks only peace and enlightenment. It should be the guiding force in one’s life. If you want more information on shadow warriors please visit ninjutsu site.

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Tengu Warrior

One of my the ideas for the photo shoot was Mask of Tengu Warrior: The patron of martial arts, the bird-like Tengu is a skilled warrior and mischief maker, especially prone to playing tricks on arrogant and vainglorious Buddhist priests, and to punishing those who willfully misuse knowledge and authority to gain fame or position. In bygone days, they also inflicted their punishments on vain and arrogant samurai warriors. They dislike braggarts, and those who corrupt the Dharma

Photo of Ninja-Tengu Warrior

The Story of a Tengu

Taking Tengu Mask Off

Overall I was very happy with the amount of photos we ended up taking, and many of them were keepers which is a rarity. My warrior Ninja was exceptionally happy with the results he received on DVD after post processing.

Rob - Tengu Warrior

Ninja with cama's

Ninja Rob Holding Hanbo

Black and White Photo of Ninja

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed capturing them.


10 Responses to Tengu Warrior

  1. Ulises Loria says:

    Awesome Photos! Would you mind telling me where did you get the ninjato sword and the middle chest armor to see If I can purchase them. As a ninjutsu practitioner I too have a traditional shinobi shozuku suit but still you did a remarkable job with both the scenery and the tools altought I would change the shuriken on some of the photos.

  2. WooooooooooooooooooooW excellent sir. great,i most like ninja. in this case is we can not to find out reall ninja master. like a ninja assiste movie. wow master i most like you r gread reply

  3. Dustin says:

    Good work with the photos. I would suggest altering the fold of the do-gi. Or are your photos horizontally inverted? As the right hand is usually the “fighting” or “sword” hand, you want your gi to make the first fold to the left and the second fold to the right so you can reach into the inner pockets with the right hand where the teppan shurikan are traditionally held. As a side note, the outer fold on the left as in your photos here is traditionally the fold for women. Also, would you be willing to make some photos in the future with the bo-shuriken?

    • kvitalij says:

      Hi Dustin,

      Glad you liked Photos.
      I actually never new about the fold rule 🙂
      I have been doing ninjutsu for more than 10years now, and this is the first time I hear about it.

      I have a lot of ideas I would like to put in action. But for that I usually need a model, time and in this case bo-shuriken – which I actually don’t have. If you are in Dublin, and you are interested to shot, please let me know.

      Yours truly – Photographer!

  4. Yo says:

    pagliaccio !

  5. NInja says:

    Beautiful photos ! Great Mask !

  6. Masako says:

    I am a Japanese.
    Your photos is so beautiful.
    I can feel your strong spirit.

    • kvitalij says:

      Thank you Masako,

      Much appreciated this was a great photoshoot.
      Hope to do similar soon.

    • Ai vazut Breakfast at Tiffany’s? acolo canta Audrey Hepburn la chitara pe geam Moon River. Mie nu mie se pare ca e nimic cu Craciunul ci “longing”..de fapt, tot filmul are tema moon river ascunsa in muzica de fond. Poate daca il vezi iti modifici conexiunea Craciun – Moon River.:)PS Tu esti pe flickr?

  7. Raven says:

    Great photos !

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