Optical Illusion

I love using wide-angle lenses.  The way it distorts reality by making the small look big and the big look small.  In this photo the reality is this box is very small; only about 2 feet wide (it's a donation box for visiting the shrine at the top of the stairs.  Just about every landscape/seascape or any other wide angle shot, I try and put a foreground element in close to layer the photo allowing the eye to travel through the photo vs. just going to some small element somewhere in the scene.  My last photo was less successful in that goal (IMHO) because the ship was so small and bright they eye goes straight for it and skips the shallow rocks in the foreground I was trying to highlight.

What are your thoughts?  Agree/Disagree? 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 9-18mm 4.0-5.6 lens @9mm.  Processed with Lightroom, Perfect Efex 4 and Perfect B&W.

Looking Back in the Archives

Did a quick look back at some photos from 2009.  I am starting to look at my really old files to see if any can make it into my print gallery.  Here are a few of the shots that I've looked at so far.

Rainbow Bridge From Odaiba

Happy at His Work; Tanabata Festival 2009

Local Brewmaster, Tanabata Festival 2009

Horsing Around in Mihama

Came across this photo after reviewing my December photos.  My friend and I were at Mihama Boardwalk playing around with our flashes, when I saw these young guys dancing and just acting silly.  I took a few photos of them and went back to what I was doing with my friend.  A few minutes later, one of them comes over to where I was wearing this horse mask.  Not able to pass this one up, I got my flash out and took a photo.  This is by no means a photo I will feature as one of my best, but it gives a little insight as to what goes on during an evening at Mihama here in Okinawa.

Flash Fun in Mihama 16 Dec 12-26.jpg
Shot with a Canon 7D with Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 lens. Used a Canon 580EX II Speedlight off camera, handheld and activated with the wireless function in the 7D.

Come Out of Your Shell

A couple of animal shots from my visit to Yagaji and Kouri Islands.

I saw this hermit crab while walking back to my car on the beach. He of course immediately crawled back into his shell, but I took my 70-200mm lens and sat back and waited


Saw this guy tied up along the side of the road on Kouri Island. I stopped for some mango juice and then went a took some photos with the ocean and bridge in the background

A Statue Honoring Buddhism

Several posts ago, I posted a photo of a Temple Bell in a location I discovered by driving around Yomitan.  At this same location was a large statue of a buddhist monk.  This statue is around 15 feet tall but when you add the pedestal and stairs leading up to it, it's about 30 feet in height.  This whole area with the bell and statue was provided by a devout buddhist businessman in an effort to honor his religion.

All Okinawa Eisa Festival

I headed over to the All Okinawa Eisa Festival tonight (Sunday) to see the unique activities of this very popular event.  Eisa is a form of Okinawan dance that recoginized the end of summer and honors passed ancestors.  All the cities around Okinawa have local competitions and send their best to this festival to compete in 3 days of Eisa dances.  I'm including a couple photos and a video (I apologize for the quality of the video, but I had my big 70-200mm lens on my camera at the time and holding 5 lbs of camera and lens over my head can be tough).

Here's a link to an article about Eisa: http://www.japanupdate.com/?id=7062

These painted characters are a fun and unique part of the dance.

Drums are a major component of the music for the dance

Last entry is the video, showing a clip of what the Eisa Dance is like.


After Sunset with a Potentially New Lens (70-200mm L, 2.8)

My friend is interested in selling me his 70-200mm L, 2.8 lens.  It's not one with Image Stabilization, but the quality of the photos is legendary with this lens.  While having the Image Stabilization would be nice, the price of that extra bit is significant.  He let me keep the lens overnight so I could play around with it.  So I went out to the beach near where I work and took some photos.  The weather here is pretty nasty, but I was fortunate that the rain let up long enough for me to get some photos.  This photo was one I took as I was leaving after the sun was down.  With all the clouds, there wasn't any quote "sunset", but from this angle I was able to capture some detail in the clouds which contrasted well with the lanterns.


Here's a photo with the lens on my Canon 7D