Last Saturday, I decided to head out early to get in a sunrise shoot at Hamahiga Island. I usually don't get too many keepers from these type of shoots because the exceptional lighting is so fleeting, you usually only get one look from one position before it is all gone. Fortunately the light had several different stages on this morning and I made a concerted effort to not stick to one area taking a lot of photos of the same thing. I changed lenses, moved locations and I was fortunate that good light stuck around for awhile. You can see the captions for some more about each of the following photos.
Headed out on a road trip on this New Years Day with my wife, two daughters and sister-in-law. While driving out near Kaishu Doro Bridge, we saw these paragliders getting ready to take off. I immediately pulled over, hit the hazards and grabbed the camera.
I've been around U.S. Air Force bases continuously for the past 31 years yet I still am fascinated by watching these miracles of engineering (all different types) pulling off their magic. It also not bad when you get some crazy clouds and sun rays to add drama.
The title pretty much sums it up. Been bored with the photography lately, had to change things up a bit. Still waiting for some good sunset/skies here in Okinawa. Lately just a lot of rain and ugly weather.
The Koi Nobori are hung not too far from where I work at an inlet where a river and the ocean meet. I stopped by here on my way to work one morning to catch the morning light and the calm water.
Koi Nobori: Carp shaped windsocks which are flown late April through early May in celebration of Children's Day in Japan (5 May). While these streamers are flown in the run up to Children's Day, they are flown to honor sons so they will be healthy and strong.
This past Saturday, Naoko and I both left the house at 4am to make the drive to Haneji Dam to catch this large display of Koi Nobori flying on top of the dam in time for sunrise. I really didn't want to go during the festival because I wanted to see it without people and also to catch it in the morning light. The dam is about an hour from our house so we arrived about 20 minutes before sunrise and given there were a lot of mountains around, I had a lot of time to photograph during what is known as blue hour (the hour or so after sunset and before sunrise). The actual sunrise was not very exciting, but I took some artistic license and gave a warmer feeling to the sky in the main photo above since I made the effort to get out there :). The second photo below was taken earlier during blue hour. One other note on the photo below is that I took this at 800 ISO because it was so dark and I wanted to have a fast enough shutter speed to capture the blowing flags fairly clearly. The noise, or lack of, in my new camera is quite capable at even higher ISOs. I'll have a post about this particular subject at a later date.
Decided to play around with my Variable ND Filter during a church Men's Retreat at a military recreation area in Northern Okinawa (Okuma for those familiar with the area) this weekend. Without the ND Filter, there's no way to get a .5 second shutter speed in the middle of the day. One would think this was taken later in the evening after the sun went down, but adding about 5 stops of reduced light can give you interesting options even during the day. The varialble ND filter I have has the ability to go from 1-10 stops of reduced light, but it can do some strange effects (put a black cross in the middle of the frame or darken the sides) as you rotate the filter to add darkness, especially on my super wide-angle lens. In this case, I was using my 24-105mm 4.0L lens so the filter works without issue.
As for the processing, I was experimenting with some new software for editing photos. onOne Software has been a real joy to work with. It's masking and layers are easier to use than Photoshop and for the minor things I'm doing, it's just as powerful. In this photo I converted to B&W and toned it the way I wanted, then brought the opacity of the B&W layer lower to show just a very little bit of the color layer underneath show through.
One can never tire of photographing Cape Zanpa; so many opportunities.
I started working on this photo tonight but didn't want to do another standard Okinawa, ocean, sky and limestone shot. I originally started going with a black and white, but started playing around with the settings of this new photo editing program called OnOne Photosuite. After I did the B&W conversion I decided to try and blend the color image with the B&W and I really liked the look. I then increased the green/yellow saturation and brought down the blues. This isn't something I would do all the time, but it's good to try new things sometimes. I like it, how about you?