Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Art of Iaido

Iaido when witnessed in person gives the feeling of a bygone era that just is not seen any more. In these times of fast paced MTV based commercials blaring at 110 decibels, Hollywood's blockbuster action packed movies and everyone getting food on the go instead of a sit down home meal, Iaido feels out of place and past its time. After the shoot, I realized how very wrong I was and how desperately art forms like Iaido are so important to our well being.

Iaido takes years upon years to even grasp the mastery of the art form. By definition, Iaido is an art of drawing a sword out of its scabbard, as fast and clean as possible, with evident naturalness and fluidity, being the main objective to cut the enemy long before he is able to draw his own sword or use any other type of weapon. Sounds simple enough, right??? What I witnessed during a recent shoot at a local Dojo in San Francisco drove this definition to shame. Iaido to me is a mixture of meditation, skill, gracefulness, beauty, power and finesse all rolled up into one.

Please allow me to share a few of the shoots I took that day. Since Iaido is a strong but clam art form, I created a simple lighting technique for the shoot. One Bare SB900 strobe to light up the background and one SB900 strobe w/Honl 1/4" speed grid approx 45deg to the left. Both set at 1/32 power and fired off by pocket wizards.

After witnessing at awe with this art form, it sparked some kind of need for peacefulness that only comes when all outside stimulation is turned off and quite time becomes a priority. On the way back home, I turned off the radio and just listened to the outside world and my thoughts. When I got home, I turned off the blaring TV and opened a book that I have be meaning to read for months. This is the way life supposed to be lived.

I would like to thank Sensei Andrej Diamantstein of Eishin Ryu Iaido and his students for the honor of witnessing and capturing just the tip of this beautiful yet powerful art form.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like them all black and white really brings out the essesance and beauty of the art.