Monday, April 30, 2012

The Trip from New York to Okinawa, Japan (Photo Essay)

Home safe and sound and here's a quick recap of the journey from JFK International Airport to my favorite place in the whole wide world, Okinawa, Japan.
It all started off with a delicious steak and cheese sandwich.

Then, this humongous Delta airplane headed towards Tokyo, Japan.

A pretty Japanese girl who spoke English got stuck next to me.

She was somebody important, I think. It looked like she was working on a Doctorates Degree, or something.

Trust me. I know a bibliography when I see one.

So, I went to sleep.

The next thing you know, about 13 hours later, there was Japan down below.

The plane stopped and I got off in Tokyo.

Right off the bat, I was lost. But, three hours is enough time to figure everything out.

Tokyo has airports and planes all over the place.  

You just have to find out which terminal to go to for your next flight.

Next time I think I'll take a boat.

Here are all the weary travelers on a small Japan Airlines flight headed to Okinawa.

Looking out the window as the plane was landing in Naha Okinawa, Japan I could see that rainy season was already started.

 Lucky for me, RyukyuRu and RyukyuRusty showed up with some beer and stuff for me at the airport. 

They even had my yellow flip flops waiting for me in the parking lot.

There's one of my feet on the bar.

We had a little party until the wee hours of the morning.

A trip from New York to Okinawa is a big event that seems to take up a whole day.

That got me wondering.

Maybe there's something we could do to make those planes fly faster. 

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sleepy Hollow Lake Was Fun But I'm Going Home (Photos)

It's been a whole week for me at Sleepy Hollow Lake.

But, it's time to head back to Okinawa, Japan. 

Great friends and family on both sides of the world are what keep me in good spirits.

This morning I verified my flight schedule and let the Ryukyu Dudes know I'm coming.

RyukyuRusty promised to meet me at the airport with my favorite beer.  That'd be Orion.

RyukyuRu, not wanting to be outdone, said he'll bring along an Orion Beer Gal to greet me.

Folks at Sleepy Hollow Lake wish I'd stay in New York longer.

It was fun being here but, it's time for me to move along.

Those Orion Beer people should start sending their stuff to New York.

Then, people would visit and stay a lot longer.

Dontcha think ?

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Photo of the Day from Sleepy Hollow Lake New York

Here is a photo of the day that you don't see me doing very often.

This was taken handheld with the Canon G12 at 6:26AM Apr 22, 2012

f/4.5  1/40  ISO 400 at a focal length of  30mm

The temperature was a blazing 40 degrees centigrade and I was wearing brand new flip flops.

My favorite niece picked me up at JFK International Airport yesterday and dropped me off in the

 Catskill Mountains.

Then, went and got her uncle some flip flops to make him feel at home.

Er else I would have shot those deer at Sleepy Hollow Lake barefooted.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Passenger Legroom: Japan Airlines VS Delta Airlines (Photos)

These photos demonstrate how much legroom you can expect on flights between the USA and Japan.

This photo was taken aboard a JAL flight from Okinawa to Tokyo Apr 20, 2012.

There was so much legroom I thought somebody made a mistake and let me slip into 1st class seating.

Continuing my trip to the USA on a Delta flight there wasn't enough room in the cheap seats for me to bend over and unlace my shoes.

It got me thinking. People should start growing shorter legs in the USA.

That way the airlines could squeeze the seats even closer together.

They'd probably make a heck of a lot more money if they could stuff more passengers into the poor people section of those airplanes.

If they want to hire me as an airline consultant, I'd tell them what I think.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo and Song for the Week: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Just because, here's what's happening, right now, I'm making the song

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE my song for the week.

The difference between that song and my travel goes something like this.

One bag packed and ready to go.  I'm leaving Okinawa on a jet plane.

But, I know when I'll be back again.

Next week. I hope.

I'll try and keep you posted.


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Wildlife Photo: The Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) Okinawa

The Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) found in Okinawa, Japan may be black or white.

Today I found a link saying, the ones in New Zealand are  predominately grey.

They have a shortage of eye Doctors down there is what I'm thinking.

What color would you say the bird in my photo is ?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photography Tip: Leading Lines and Curves

Ladies and Gentlemen, the answer to the $64,000 question is:

This is a leading line.

It has nothing to do with photography but, if it got you to look a little closer at my
Photography Tip today, it worked. It’s a little trick you can use in your photographic technique, too.

When composing a shot:
Look around and find some lines to draw attention to your subject. They don’t even have to be straight lines. Anything in the scene that can be captured and lead the viewer’s eye from the corner of the frame towards the subject is fair game. Sometimes it’s a curved or crooked line, like a branch, shoreline, curve in the road or, paint on a basketball court. 

Some examples of straight lines used in pointing towards a subject are handrails, railroad tracks, the roof of a house, edge of a sidewalk, even the crease in someone’s shirtsleeve. The diagonal line of the sail on a boat, a tent or the white lines painted in a parking lot can be used to point from a corner of your photo to the subject. The lines don’t even have to reach all the way to the corner just use them to help the subject say, “Hey, I’m over here. Look at me”!

  Use lines and curves to your advantage.
Every scene doesn’t require leading lines. But, when you shoot something as huge as a castle, compose the scene so any lines , or curves lead into a corner of your frame. It will give your scene some balance.

In your travel photos, use this simple rule of composition. You’ll start noticing a depth to your pictures which makes you feel you could walk right into the scene. Give Leading Lines a try next time you’re out snapping photos. You may come home with the $64,000 photo. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wildlife Photo: Spot-billed Duck an Editor's Pick for April 2012

This may be the only Editor's Pick I'll have to show for the month of April 2012.

Time is flying by quickly this month.  

Between travel and moving the office there won't be anymore contest entries from this location.

The laptop and the Canon G12 will be on the road with me.

Time permitting, internet available and me able to keep my eyes open, I'll post frequently.

If you don't hear from me just poke around in the archives.

Once things get settled down again, I'll have tons of new photos to show you

if them varmints at the airport leave me alone !

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nakabaru Vestige Photo: An Early Okinawan Dwelling

This photo was taken on Ikei Island Okinawa, Japan April 10, 2012.

It shows what some of the earliest Okinawan dwellings looked like a few thousand years ago.

There isn't much to be found researching these structures online.

Not in English, anyway.

But, I did find a video posted on YouTube.

Check it out, if you'd like to see the inside one of these homes. 

Meanwhile, I'll keep digging until I get the whole story for you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Five Photos Taken at Shima Uta: Here's A Live Mineo Band

Mineo is what you could call Okinawan Folk Music.

This band plays in a place named Shima Uta on HWY 58 somewhere in Onna Son Okinawa.

So, for now, I figure that's the band's name, too.

Shima Uta means "island song".

Going there with the crowd I was with and taking the camera made it a rough night.

RyukyuRusty, RyukyuRu and a whole bunch of family Ryukyu dudes were there.

I had to shoot as many photos as I could, as fast as I could.

Then, drink massive quantities of beer to try and catch up with them.

What I plan on doing next, is print a few of the best photos for the Shima Uta.

Then, I'll ask them their names and what the name of the band might be.

Because after that night photo shoot, I'm lucky I still remember my own name !

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Photo of the Week: Argusia on the Beach at Ikei Island Okinawa

It's about time I added some new tree, shrub and flower photos of Okinawa to the collection.

So, here's a photo of some Argusia blossoming on Ikei Island.

These are just babies and I can see where some folks would call them shrubs.

Messerschmidia  argentea, the Argusia plants we have here, can become six meters tall.

Well, six meters is something like 18 feet, according to my calculations.

That's a tree.

These trees are found along the coasts of all the islands around here.

They are pretty tough characters and survive typhoons better than any other tree on the beach.

It's nice to take shelter under them on a hot sunny day because they provide lots of shade.

One of these days, I'll go shoot some tall Argusia trees while they are full of white flowers.

Just wait 'til we have some blue skies and I get my bones back into an office where I'm in fully

 operational mode. Right now I'm (groan) still in the process of moving.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Photography Tip: Get Your Reflection Out Of The Picture

Once in awhile in your travels you may come across a scene like this.

Something important inscribed on a highly reflective metal surface.

It was hotter than blazes on a July afternoon when Doc Graff and I located this spot.

This plaque describing the burial site of two Frenchmen is on Yagaji Island in Okinawa, Japan.

There was nothing available to shield the chrome plated sign from the sun.

Standing in front of the sign and taking a photo was not such a great idea.

What I wanted was, to be able to read the words and not look at someone's beer belly.

All you have to do to get your reflection out of the picture is move to one side of the metal object.

Have a look at all of my PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Photo Essay: Another Day in the Temporary Office


Here is quick look at the temporary office I've been using.

What I try to do is get there early in the morning.

That way I can get the laptop warmed up and hog up my favorite four seats.

It's a nice clean place with hi-speed internet service and friendly people.

While I'm working online I drink lots of fresh coffee.

They even got my drinking this stuff called Bubble Tea.

There will be a full report coming on that stuff later but, if you just can't wait, GO HERE.

 By the end of the month I should be moving down the street to my new office.

It's really going to be different from where I'm at right now.

 It might take awhile for me to adjust to the new office environment.

For sure, I'll miss those gals being nice to me and bringing me coffee and tea.

But, I just noticed a little Richamocha Cafe motor scooter parked out front.

So, I reckon if I call them once in awhile, they could deliver the stuff to my new place !

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Harvest Moon An Annual Event At Shurijo Castle Okinawa

People don't just watch the full moon when they have that Harvest Moon viewing event at Shurijo Castle in Okinawa, Japan.

There's all kinds of entertainment like music and dancing.

But, I think most of the crowd shows up to help select the king and queen for the 

Annual Coronation Ceremony.

That's about the time I sneak outside the main courtyard walls.

And go shoot the moon !

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday's Travel Photo: Everyone Should Try Island Hopping

The weather guy predicted rain today so, I figured it would be a real bummer.

The sun was shining when I woke up.

Walked the dogs to the beach, real quick and woke up RyukyuRu on the way home.

We grabbed cameras and went island hopping all day long.

That's what everyone should do whenever the weatherman guesses wrong about the rain.

Go island hopping.  

What if you don't have any islands around ?

Go bar hopping, Scotch hopping/Hop scotching or whatever they call it.

I'm hoping the weather dude is lying about rain again tomorrow. Hah !

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Photos of the Things You See Along the Okukubi River

This series of photos was taken in less that two hours along the Okukubi River in Okinawa, Japan.

There's a Grey Heron posed in the corner of this photo so I could show off the blue sky.

A little farther into the mangrove forest was this Coot.

Some real friendly Eco-tourists smiled and waved when I signaled asking to take their picture.

Next, I spotted this Black-winged Stilt and shot him.

Look at that dude in the last kayak.  He's relaxing while she's paddling.

I bet they're on a honeymoon and it just ain't over, yet.

He'll learn.


It was 2:41PM when that first photo was taken.

These Egrets took off at 4:02PM

and so did I.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Photo of the Week: This Ain't Exactly Arizona

Here's a shot made while out looking for a scene to photograph for the Then and Now Series.

If I'd have cropped out some of the beach in the lower right corner I could probably trick someone into thinking I was in New Mexico or somewhere like that.

There's something different about the way those rocks were formed and I wish I knew a geologist or, whatever they call those rock scientists. 

They could go along with me and see if they can figure out what makes the place look so strange.

All I can tell you about the place right now is, it's in Okinawa, Japan.

And this ain't exactly Arizona.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Week Full of Fun, Photos and New Stuff. Dang, I Got Busy !

This week started off with a visit to another island and an event inside a cave.

There's a story, for sure, coming out of this, once I get it all sorted out.

But, plenty of research needs to be done so I can give you an accurate account of what took place.

Most of the time, when I'm at some cultural event like this, I get so wrapped up with trying to compose the best possible photos, I kind of miss out on what's really going on around me.

The middle of the week saw me chasing unidentified flying butterflies.

What I normally do with these critters is take plenty of shots.

Get them at different positions and from several angles.

The color isn't the only thing you need to ID a butterfly.

Markings and colors on the wings are important.

The size and shape of their body and antenna give you some clues, too.

Well, I just got so busy developing photos from that cave and butterflies I've been chasing this week, that I ran out of time to complete my research.

 But, I'm counting my blessings.

One of the women from the cave whacked me with a stick.

And did some prayers by the fire.

Maybe, my fortunes will change.

Look at what I found this week.

  That's my new office. I'll be moving uptown, soon.

Once I get that place hooked up to the world wide web, I'll be back in business.

Then, I can have three computers running at the same time and not get so far behind when I'm busy ! 

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