Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween !

By the time I get this typed it should be close enough, anyway. It's been a pretty hectic week around this corner of the world and looks like business will be picking up, even more, next week. This photo was taken the last night of the Obon holiday and really has little to do with Halloween, except maybe the colors, spooky face and the fact that all the racket the Eisa Dancers in the streets are making is to send their ancestoral spirits off for another year.

The photo did get published and that's a major accomplishment for a poor old country boy like me. To me, The Brave New Traveler Magazine is the National Geographic of the Matador Network, where, I've been lucky enough to get published a couple of times. Between articles pending print, articles I'm working on and blogs I do regularly, on other people's sites, my poor cameras are collecting alot of dust. So, this weekend, providing Mother Nature cooperates, I'll be out doing a couple of Gigabytes of shooting. Might even catch some spooky ones for ya.

Happy Halloween !

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Weak-End

I know how to spell "Weekend", don't panic smarty pants Spell Checker; I'm talking about MY WEAK-END. Call it my weak-point, if you'd like; indoor photography and I just don't get along.

Wedding photorgaphers and the folks who do studio shots of babies and families have my utmost respect. I admire them, but, don't exactly envy them. Maybe they feel the same way about us outdoors-wildlife types.

Anyway, if you're one of them, STAY OUTA MY JUNGLE and I'll gladly stay outa your studio and weddings!

This was one of my favorite shots captured at my Nephew's wedding Sunday. About as close to the outdoors as I got all weekend. And the photo is probably not exactly what the bride wants to save in her wedding album, but it's perfect for me to use in my Camera Talk Blogs or anywhere else I might like to use it.

It demonstrates what a chore the real photographer has trying to capture a great shot when there's around 300 other people trying to take crappy little pictures with their cell phones. They pop-up everywhere, everytime you're making that last manual adjustment, holding your breath, ready to smoothly trigger the shutter for a jump-off-the-page photo.

The gal on the left was the wedding photographer. And she was good. Swapping out lenses faster than you could look at your watch, without taking her eyes off the subject. Taking 2 or 3 horiontal shots then, 2 or 3 verticals, twisting her on-camera strobe, bouncing flash off the ceiling, climbing a ladder, kneeling; whatever it took to get some awesome shots.

Wedding photographers in this part of the world charge somewhere between $1000-$3000 per event. Pretty decent buisness if you don't mind working weekends.

Me, I'd rather be in the woods or on the beach looking for my million dollar shot. For more on my WEAK-END click on the TITLE ABOVE and go to GALLERY for the Okinawa Wedding Slideshow where you can even hear the mushy music I hooked-up for the family and friends.

Back to the jungle.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to Ada

A quick post before I forget. Last Saturday I got to go back to Ada Kunigami Okinawa; the place where I shot the Shinugu Matsuri Photos and damn-near lost over a hundred photos by deleting in-camera.

Anyway, this trip paid off big time. Got a picture of a live wild boar and all kinds of good stuff.

Made some great contacts, got model releases signed, so I can't be sued for using peoples photos and maybe, even have aplace to sleep the next time I go on a 2 day shoot up in the mountains and beaches of northern Okinawa.

Sign by Danasoft - Get Your Free Sign

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not Exactly NYC

This year I swore I'd get some wide-angle shots of the Guiness World Record Tug-O-War in Naha. Magazine editors are always asking for shots that show the whole scene. They weren't too wild about my photos last year where I got in the middle of the crowd and attempted close-up shots.

What you see here is a shot I made from a pedestrian overpass a few hundred yards up the highway. It was kinda cool being able to set up a tripod, tweak exposure settings, adjust focus and zoom without being bumped around in the crowd below.

PLUS, you can get ARRESTED for smoking DOWN THERE. Whatever happened to SMOKER'S RIGHTS ANYWAY! Presidents, kings and even some queens and dictators smoke. So why'n hell can't I ?

This scene doesn't capture the whole 15,000 people pulling on the 40 something ton rope, in fact, I doubt you can see a thousand folks down there. The idea here was to capture some sight of the rope, crowd at the start of the event and the golden ball opening, showering balloons , confetti and streamers on them as the signal to PULL.

Maybe you can enlarge this shot on your screen and see more details. The reason I'm late updating here and on my website this week: I had a few hundred more shots to develop and still have to sort them out for publication. Not here, of course; this blog doesn't pay me!

If you absolutely want to see more now, visit my shootin' pardner, Doc, over at: he's got the whole story and probably doesn't say anything about SMOKER's RIGHTS, either !

To be continued...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Zakimi Castle with Doc

Zakimi Castle with Doc
Sunday was our normal Sunday routine; grab our camera bags, tripods and get as far away from home as we could before the wives wake up and think of stuff for us to do.
When Doc sent me a text message the night before asking where I wanted to go shoot, my reply consisted of one word, “far”.
The best plan for a day of shooting in Okinawa is to not have any plan at all; just follow the sun and watch the shadows; that always leads to some fun shootin’. I always say “Perfect lighting for a picture takes place for only about 30 seconds at any point on this island". You just have to be there to catch it at the right time.
If you make plans, I guarantee, they’ll fail. So, we learned, a long time ago, just get out and go; let the weather be your guide.
We have a grand old time, shoot until it gets too hot or bright in the afternoon sun, then go inside museums, into the shade of the woods, or just stop in some air-conditioned restaurant and eat until the weather starts cooperating outside, again.
My plan is to catch all 5 of the UNESCO World Heritage Castles on Okinawa, in the best light and from every possible angle and put together an article that’ll knock your flip flops off!
Stand by for more…..