For many years I have worked as an advertisement photographer, mainly engaging in portraits. When I first started working, I shot with a film camera, so of course digital correction wasn’t possible, making it quite difficult when photographing models with rough skin. After trying various equipment and methods, I selected a large-format 4x5 camera shooting close to the maximum aperture setting, focusing only on the eyelashes for soft defocusing effects in the foreground and background. The finished shot was met with high praise from the client’s advertising manager, and that method later became one of my signature expressions. I can say that the HD PENTAX-D FA★85mmF1.4ED SDM AW lens truly helps my personal form of expression. In addition to the incredibly shallow focus at the maximum aperture setting, I was truly amazed at the gentle level of focus on the eyes when focusing on the eyelashes. Stopping down to F2 results in a superb focus and wonderful bokeh effect. Because this lens is highly resistant to flares, I placed a backlight just out of frame to highlight the model and I was still able to capture the details of the black costume without any flares for an amazingly impressive result. In the photo of the model in the red dress, I used the ambient light reflected from the white horizontal curtain placed behind the black curtain to shoot without directly illuminating the model. The lens picked up that faint light, capturing the delicate, soft effects for a beautiful image. This lens is really the most powerful ally a portrait photographer can have.
Shiratori was born in Nagano. He graduated from the Department of Photography, Faculty of Engineering at Chiba University. Later, Shiratori worked in the Photography Division of the Advertising Department at Shiseido Company, Ltd., the Photography Division at Hakuhodo Inc. (currently Hakuhodo Product’s Inc.), then established Shiratori Photography Office in 1989. He has won a number of awards including the ADC Creator Award, the Mainichi Advertising Design Award Grand Prize, the Nikkei Advertising Award Grand Prix, and the APA METI Award. In 2018 Shiratori won the Blue Ribbon Medal. He has served as chairman of the Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association since 2008.
His main published photography collections include “Shiratori Photo Studio” (Kyoto Shoin, 1993), “KAO Shiratori Photo Studio” (Graphic-sha Publishing, 1999), “KAO II Shiratori Photo Studio - The Future...” (Nikkei Business Publications, 2016), and “Shintaro Shiratori Advertising Photo Studio” (Genkosha, 2019).
Shiratori’s main photo exhibitions include “Shiratori Photo Studio” (Roppongi AXIS Gallery, 1993), “KAO Shiratori Photo Studio” (Fuji Photo Salon Tokyo, 1999; Fuji Photo Salon Fukuoka, Fuji Photo Salon Nagoya, Fuji Photo Salon Osaka, Fuji Photo Salon Sapporo, 2000), “KAO II Shiratori Photo Studio - The Future...” (Wako Hall, 2016; Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Fukuoka Camera Museum, 2018; Shiinoki Cultural Complex, 2019), and “Shintaro Shiratori Advertising Photo Studio” (Canon Gallery S, 2019).
> Shintaro Shiratori
The 85mm focal length is most often used for portraits, however, for this shoot I captured lifestyle photos and snapshots from a close distance at the maximum aperture setting. My impression of using the HD PENTAX-D FA★85mmF1.4ED SDM AW is of its wonderful imaging capabilities with a sharp sense of resolution and beautiful bokeh effects. The sharp resolution of in-focus areas even when shooting at the maximum aperture setting and the smooth bokeh effects produce a very appealing sense of depth in images. When stopping down the aperture, the resolution increases even more, but only the depth of field becomes deeper without creating thick, hard lines. I enjoy the elaborate, delicate details when changing the aperture value. The varied high contrast, solid color development, and tones that show subtle gradations are all superb. There are virtually no ghost images or flares even in backlit conditions which have significant differences in brightness, and fringes which tend to occur at the edges of subjects are greatly reduced. The autofocus is fast, smooth, and highly precise, and the operation sounds are quiet enough to be unnoticeable. I set the manual focus and used a difficult focal position at the widest aperture setting where the depth of field is shallow, but the wide focus ring operates smoothly, delivering quick, accurate focusing. This lens offers superb high image quality and performance that is perfect for portraits, landscapes, daily scenery, and any other subjects.
Impressed by 17th century artists, Suzuki began studying oil painting and drawing. Later he became interested in photography, and after graduating from the Tokyo Visual Arts College in 1988, he worked at a photography office, etc., then struck out on his own in 1995. Starting in 2006 Suzuki lived and worked out of Malaysia. His wide-ranging activities include advertisement, portrait, beauty, fashion, and editorial photography in Malaysia and Singapore. He also began writing in 2000, with many works published in Japan and overseas. In October 2010 he returned to Japan from Malaysia, and began working from Tokyo again. He has contributed photos to the PENTAX K-3 II, K-70, RICOH GR DIGITAL IV catalog, and the GR II, GR III online catalog.
> Mitsuo Suzuki
The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mmF1.4ED SDM AW led me into uncharted territories, and is a gem that inspired my creativity as a photographer. I took it with me to capture various natural landscapes, shooting all types of scenes as earnestly as possible. The motifs ranged from hard stones to soft flower petals and surreal forms of water. There were various shapes and textures, as well as rays of light illuminating them. Natural landscapes force you to shoot with endless variety, and the power of a next-level lens is everything when capturing the perfect shot. This lens offers a high level of sharpness from the maximum aperture value along with smooth, beautiful bokeh effects. It is also comfortably clear. Images are always stable. Although this is a lens that truly feels heavy, the photos it produces are delicate, capturing the atmosphere of the scene and rendering it in realistic detail that goes beyond what your own naked eye sees. Although I frequently use a zoom lens in natural landscape photography, this lens has the maximum aperture of F1.4 (two stops brighter than the F2.8), delivering a very shallow depth of field. Utilizing footwork to find the right focal length makes it possible to capture the unique depth effects with the 85mm lens. You can feel moments as if scooping one out of the flow of time and feel a sense of being enveloped in silence, and get the feeling of stepping into another world unlike a realistic reproduction.
Fukuda was fascinated by nature, landscapes, and people from a young age. With the desire to study a world overflowing with life through his own eyes, at the age of 18, he aimed to become a photographer. After working as an assistant to photographer Toshinobu Takeuchi, he began working as a freelance photographer in 1997. His many published photo collections include “A Forest of Springs” and “Springtime Love - A Tour of Cherry Blossoms”. Every year Fukuda holds photo exhibitions. His main photo exhibitions include “Heisei, Cherry Blossom, Fukushima”, “Wandering 2017/2018”, “Migration”, “Sign”, and “A Forest of Springs”.
Fukuda is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS) and the Photographic Society of Japan (PSJ).
> Kentaro Fukuda